12/13/2001 1:00AM

Tranquility Lake tries to bounce back

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INGLEWOOD, Calif. - Tranquility Lake and Feverish will gang up on the opposition in Saturday's $150,000 Bayakoa Handicap at Hollywood Park.

A strongly favored entry, Tranquility Lake and Feverish have running styles that complement each other. Both will be trying to use the race to rebound from disappointing performances this fall.

In the Grade 2 Bayakoa, run over 1 1/16 miles, they face seven others, including Starrer, who was fifth in the Breeders' Cup Distaff at Belmont Park on Oct. 27; and Cee Dreams, the winner of the California Cup Matron.

Tranquility Lake finished ninth in the Breeders' Cup Distaff, her worst performance of the year. Breaking from the rail, not considered the best part of the track that day, Tranquility Lake led to the final turn before fading through the stretch.

Trained by Julio Canani, Tranquility Lake makes her first start on dirt in California since she won the Grade 2 Clement Hirsch Handicap at Del Mar in August.

Feverish is the defending champion of the Bayakoa Handicap and has the benefit of a race over the track at this meeting - a second to the front-running Favorite Funtime in the Cat's Cradle Handicap for California-breds on Nov. 22. Trained by Dan Hendricks, Feverish can lead but is expected to stalk Tranquility Lake. Hendricks is anxious to avoid a repeat of the California Cup Matron when Feverish sped away to set a quick pace but faded to finish fifth.

In the Cat's Cradle, Feverish was ridden by Kent Desormeaux, who stalked the front-running Favorite Funtime but could only cut the margin to a length at the finish.

If Tranquility Lakes falters, Feverish could pick up the baton from her entrymate.

"With a rabbit in there, I think she'll run well," Hendricks joked.

Aside from the entry, Starrer is a top contender. Her loss in the Breeders' Cup Distaff, by 2 3/4 lengths to Unbridled Elaine, stung trainer David Hofmans. A postrace conversation with Chris McCarron left Hofmans wondering what would have happened with better luck.

"I thought she was coming up to a perfect race," Hofmans said. "She has to be ridden hard. In early stretch, Chris dropped his whip. When he came back he said, 'I don't know if we would have won, but it cost us third place.' "

In the Bayakoa, Jerry Bailey rides Starrer for the first time, while McCarron rides the longshot Tropical Lady.

Hofmans says Starrer is ready.

"She's had plenty of time to recover from the Breeders' Cup," he said.

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