02/25/2005 12:00AM

Try to catch Papa to Kinzie


ARCADIA, Calif. - At six furlongs on dirt, the Grade 3 Las Flores Handicap at Santa Anita offers handicappers at least two options - class or speed? Graded-stakes winner Victory U. S. A., the 120-pound highweight, returns from a six-month layoff with a fat bankroll and a series of fast works.

set extreme fractions winning a two-other-than allowance by seven lengths, and enters the Las Flores as the speed of the speed.

"She ran incredible, and if she can run the same race I think she'll be awfully tough," trainer Marty Jones said. "Ability-wise, she's probably one of the fastest fillies I've been around. She's rare-speed filly, where you don't worry about what the other front-runners are doing, because I don't think anybody can stay with her."

No one could stay with Papa to Kinzie on Jan. 28, when she ripped the first quarter-mile in 20.74 seconds, a half in 43.02, and drew off with a 98 Beyer Figure. It was the first start for Papa to Kinzie since she tore off a chunk of her left front foot in a stakes last summer at Del Mar, and the allowance comeback stamped the 3-for-5 filly as a major threat in the female sprint division.

Pat Valenzuela rides Papa to Kinzie, a 4-year-old by Boston Harbor who is owned by Always Believe Inc. Although she has missed training time because of rain, so have most starters in the Las Flores field.

Papa to Kinzie has never won a stakes, and therefore was assigned only 114 pounds, six fewer than Victory U. S. A. The weight differential will be less, because Valenzuela will come in two or three pounds overweight. David Flores rides Victory U. S. A., who has won 3 races and $613,637 from 11 starts for Bob Baffert, and is making her first start since July 31. She has spent most of her career unsuccessfully trying to be a distance filly.

Victory U. S. A. is winless in seven races around two turns, while facing mostly top-class company. In sprints, she is 3 for 4. She has a history of running well fresh, and outstanding recent workouts.

Completing the Las Flores field are Liz on Polk Street, Minnie the Moocher, Quero Quero, Puxa Saco, Delizia, Miss Terrible, and Run Rebecca Run.