08/01/2008 11:00PM

Trifecta King rested and ready


DEL MAR, Calif. - First things first. Trifecta King may sound like a colt's name, but she's a filly. And a very good one.

So much so that trainer Doug O'Neill and the partnership that owns Trifecta King held her out of the $100,000 Landaluce Stakes at Hollywood Park on June 28 to allow her more time to recover from her win in the Cinderella Stakes at Hollywood Park on May 25.

They will know on Wednesday whether that was a wise decision. Trifecta King, who is by Peace Rules, makes her graded stakes debut in the $150,000 Sorrento Stakes for 2-year-olds going 6 1/2 furlongs at Del Mar.

"That race was coming up a little tough at Hollywood Park," O'Neill said. "As a team, we felt the additional time would help."

The Grade 3 Sorrento is expected to draw the first three finishers from the Landaluce Stakes - Emmy Darling, Glitter City, and Cosmic Queen - as well as the well-regarded maiden race runner-up Stardom Bound and the maiden race winner Evita Argentina.

Trifecta King has made two starts. She finished second to Cosmic Queen in a maiden race on May 15 and returned 10 days later to win the Cinderella by 3 3/4 lengths. In the 5 1/2-furlong Cinderella, she stalked the pace to early stretch before rallying for a convincing victory.

Trifecta King has worked steadily through July, though none of her workouts have been fast.

"I think the time has helped her," O'Neill said. "She's more mentally calm."

CERF winners could meet in sprint

Coco Belle and Highland Torree won divisions of the California Equine Retirement Foundation Handicap at Del Mar on Friday. Both may return for the top sprint for females at the meeting, the $200,000 Rancho Bernardo Handicap at 6 1/2 furlongs on Aug. 24.

The style of their victories could not have been more different. Highland Torree ($8) rallied from sixth to win by a length over La Tee, benefiting from a torrid pace. She finished six furlongs in 1:09.17.

A 3-year-old owned by Richard O'Neill, Highland Torree gave trainer Rafael DeLeon his first stakes win at Del Mar. Ridden by Martin Garcia, Highland Torree was 11 lengths behind pacesetter Tizsweetdreams through an early pace of 21.68 and 43.90 seconds.

Highland Torree has won three consecutive races, but the CERF Handicap was her first stakes win.

Coco Belle ($7.60) led throughout the second division and was desperate to hold off a late run from Silky Smooth to win by a nose in 1:08.92.

Coco Belle, who won the Miss Woodford Stakes at Monmouth Park last October for owners Jerry and Ann Moss, ended a three-race losing streak in the second division. Ridden by Mike Smith, she set a more modest pace of 22.92 and 45.92 seconds.

Both Highland Torree and Coco Belle will be tested in the Rancho Bernardo, which may draw Dearest Trickski, Intangaroo, and Magnificience.

Spring House may try Pacific Classic

Spring House, fourth in the Grade 1 Eddie Read Handicap on turf on July 20, is a possible starter in the $1 million Pacific Classic on the synthetic main track on Aug. 24. The race would be his first on a synthetic track.

"He trains really good on this," trainer Julio Canani said. "He glides. Garrett Gomez worked him and said, 'Julio, why don't you try it?' "

Owned by R.D. Hubbard, Spring House has won 6 of 32 starts and $568,294. His last win was the Grade 2 San Luis Obispo Handicap on turf at Santa Anita in February.

There are at least nine candidates for the Pacific Classic, the richest race of the meeting, including Awesome Gem, Go Between, Mast Track, Mr Napper Tandy, Student Council, Surf Cat, Well Armed, and Zappa.

Mast Track, the winner of the $750,000 Hollywood Gold Cup on June 28, worked five furlongs in 59.80 seconds at Del Mar on Saturday, which equaled the sixth-fastest of 58 recorded works at the distance.

"He's an easy horse to work," said Humberto Ascanio, Bobby Frankel's assistant trainer. "If you ask him to work fast, he does."

Go Between, second in the Hollywood Gold Cup, has resumed working for trainer Bill Mott. Last Wednesday at Churchill Downs, Go Between breezed a half-mile in 52.60 seconds, his first work since the Gold Cup.

"We'll consider" the Pacific Classic, Mott said on Friday. "We'll work a few more times and see where we're at."