07/13/2005 12:00AM

Tricky Day right back off taxing victory


INGLEWOOD, Calif. - Tricky Day, claimed for $16,000 at Gulfstream Park in April, has already turned out to be a bargain for the G Racing syndicate, Carl Van Burger, and their partners.

A winner of 3 of 5 starts and $62,100, will try for his third consecutive win in a $51,000 optional claimer over six furlongs at Hollywood Park on Friday evening. And, no, he is not eligible to be claimed.

An 11-day turnaround from a hard-fought win in an allowance race on July 4 has trainer Mike Mitchell concerned. He said he is optimistic that Tricky Day can be a factor on the lead in Friday's race, but also realizes that Tricky Day is being asked to duplicate a grueling race.

"I thought that race was very, very tough on him," Mitchell said. "He gave it everything he had."

Nevertheless, Tricky Day will be favored. His winning streak began in a starter allowance over six furlongs on May 30. In his most recent start on July 4, Tricky Day led throughout over 6 1/2 furlongs, winning by a nose over the well-regarded King of L.A.

Mitchell said he weighed the alternative of skipping Friday's race and waiting for a similar race at Del Mar but has decided that Tricky Day could face an easier field at Hollywood Park.

"I'd love to have had another two weeks, but another two weeks puts me in Del Mar and in a twice-other-than that's pretty tough," he said. "The plus is I think three-quarters is better than 6 1/2 furlongs. Speed seems to dominate on Friday night."

The 11-day turnaround marks the quickest return in Tricky Day's five-race career.

Tricky Day has six rivals in the optional claimer, including the Argentine stakes winner Salop and the recent winner Royal Moro.

won a Group 2 race over about six furlongs in Argentina last December. Now trained by Peter Eurton and owned by a partnership, Salop, 4, has won 4 of his 8 starts, with the wins ranging in distance from 5 1/2 to six furlongs on dirt.

, fifth in the 2004 Hollywood Gold Cup, descended into the claiming ranks earlier this meet and was taken for $50,000 by Dennis DeBoer and Jack Carava off a win over 6 1/2 furlongs on June 2. A stalker, Royal Moro ended a four-race losing streak in that sprint. Royal Moro is entered for an $80,000 claiming price.

Friday's field also includes Lifestyle, Chaseur, Fairly Crafty, and Scheffer.