06/30/2006 11:00PM

Turf sprint just may be a scorcher


INGLEWOOD, Calif. - are two of the fastest female turf sprinters in California. Monday, they will face off on the front end of a $60,000 allowance race at five furlongs at Hollywood Park.

The 2005 course record of 55.62 seconds may be in jeopardy.

Both Simply Because and Starkay enter Monday's race in excellent form. Simply Because led throughout an allowance race on May 28, drawing off to win by 2 1/2 lengths. Starkay led for every jump but the last of the Great Lady M Stakes on June 3.

The early fractions could be close to 20.78 and 43.05 seconds, the pace that Simply Because ran in the May 28 race.

Simply Because won the CERF Handicap at six furlongs on dirt at Del Mar last summer. The recent allowance race win was her first start of the year. Trained by David Hofmans, Simply Because will be ridden by Patrick Valenzuela.

Starkay won the restricted Exotic Wood Stakes at 5 1/2 furlongs here last June, her final start of 2005. Trained by Roger Stein, Starkay was a disappointment in her first three starts this year, but rebounded with a much-improved race in the Great Lady M at 5 1/2 furlongs on turf.

Starkay set an early pace of 21.73 and 44.11 seconds, led by a length in the stretch, and lost by a nose to Costume Designer. Jon Court, who was aboard for that race, retains the mount on Monday.

Simply Because and Starkay have four opponents: Arnprior, a top contender, and the outsiders Hello Lucky, Reality Show, and Vino Tinto.

Arnprior rallied from off the pace to win an allowance race at 5 1/2 furlongs on turf here on June 3, her first victory in three starts in this country. Trained by Luis Seglin, Arnprior will benefit greatly if Simply Because or Starkay set too quick of a pace.

A win by any of the other three fillies and mares would be a surprise.

Hello Lucky placed in a stakes at Golden Gate Fields in May 2005. Monday's race will be her first start since she ran fifth in a stakes at Evangeline Downs last December.

Reality Show finished second in the La Zanzara Handicap at 1 1/4 miles on turf on Jan 27, her most recent start. Her three wins have come at a mile or farther.

Vino Tinto won a turf sprint at Del Mar last summer, but is on a three-race losing streak.