08/04/2001 11:00PM

Tranquility Lake a dirt devil in Hirsch


DEL MAR, Calif. - Regardless of whether she starts on turf or dirt, Tranquility Lake is bound for the Breeders' Cup this fall at Belmont Park.

After Tranquility Lake upset Gourmet Girl in Sunday's $300,000 Clement Hirsch Handicap on the main track at Del Mar, Marty Wygod, who co-owns the 6-year-old with his wife, Pam, said the Breeders' Cup Distaff on dirt is a possibility as well as the Breeders' Cup Filly and Mare Turf.

"We've got options on grass and dirt," Marty Wygod said. "There is no way of telling how good she is. It will be tough for anyone to beat here for the rest of the year."

The four-runner Hirsch Handicap was essentially a match race between Gourmet Girl and Tranquility Lake, two millionaires who are multiple Grade 1 winners.

Gourmet Girl led for the first furlong, but jockey Eddie Delahoussaye engaged her aboard Tranquility Lake and took over midway on the first turn.

"We thought we'd have to put the pressure on," Delahoussaye said. "The mare broke a little flat-footed and I had to use her more than I wanted to, but it worked out."

Tranquility Lake led through fractions of 23.01 and 46.25 seconds, holding a half-length advantage over Gourmet Girl on the backstretch. On the final turn, Tranquility Lake began to pull clear and was not challenged in the stretch. She won by three lengths, finishing 1 1/16 miles in 1:41.78.

"We were right," Delahoussaye said. "She can run on the dirt."

Tranquility Lake ($6.60) was trainer Julio Canani's first win in the Hirsch, a race formerly known as the Chula Vista Handicap.

Gourmet Girl, the even-money favorite, held second, finishing 2 1/2 lengths in front of Nany's Sweep, who was a head in front of Saudi Poetry.