11/28/2006 12:00AM

Trips paramount in scramble

Email

INGLEWOOD, Calif. - Of the eight fillies and mares entered in Thursday's featured seventh race at Hollywood Park, five are exiting the same first-level California-bred allowance race. Considering that the first seven finishers in that Nov. 1 race were separated by a mere two lengths, and four of them are back on Thursday, trips again will be paramount in such an evenly matched field set to go a mile on turf.

Trainer Paddy Gallagher sends out Forthewrongreason, and he hopes she has better luck than on Nov. 1, when traffic trouble on the far turn and especially in the stretch hindered her. She wound up fifth, beaten only 1 1/2 lengths, under jockey Victor Espinoza, who has ridden her in all four of her starts and is back for more.

"She did have some trouble the other day," Gallagher said Tuesday morning. "Victor did everything he could, but he couldn't get out."

Forthewrongreason has the least experience in the field, but handicappers might view that in a positive light. Unlike many of her rivals, she has not been stuck at this level for months. She also might have more upside.

"She's a nice, big filly," Gallagher said. "She ran well her first two starts sprinting on dirt, but she always acted like she wanted to go long. The first time she went long, she did that and tried turf for the first time. We were trying to do two new things at the same time. She had a little bit of trouble in that race, and then she ran real well last time."

Silk Kerchief finished second in the Nov. 1 race as the 5-2 favorite. She again should be a factor on Thursday, but she has been stuck on second lately. She has finished second in her last two starts, and in four of her five grass races.

Trainer Nick Hines has two good chances in the race with Easy Obsession, who should lay close to the pace, and the late-running Mamita Chula.

Easy Obsession was third in the Nov. 1 allowance race after setting or forcing the pace.

"She never got a breather," Hines said. "And I don't think she likes being inside horses."

Hines said he would prefer Easy Obsession to get a stalking trip on Thursday. "She runs best when she has a target," he said. "We're prepared to let the speed go."

Mamita Chula wound up in this spot because a similar race on dirt did not fill, Hines said.

Hines said both Easy Obsession and Mamita Chula have responded to having blinkers removed in recent starts.

"It's helped enable them to relax," he said.