12/27/2007 1:00AM

Twilight Meteor overdue

EmailARCADIA, Calif. - At the beginning of the year, when Twilight Meteor won the Hallandale Beach Stakes at Gulfstream Park, he appeared poised to have a terrific 2007. And while he has performed well against top company all year, that Feb. 24 victory remains his lone win in eight starts this year.

Twilight Meteor will attempt to bookend the year with another victory on Wednesday, when he competes in the Grade 3, $100,000 Sir Beaufort Stakes, the eighth race on the nine-race opening-day card at Santa Anita. The Sir Beaufort, at one mile on turf, drew 14 3-year-olds, with Twilight Meteor marooned in post 13.

"He's been a little bit unlucky," his trainer, Todd Pletcher, said Sunday from Florida. "He just missed in a couple of big races. He was a little headstrong in the Hollywood Derby. A cutback in distance and a little more pace hopefully will help him settle better and help his closing kick."

Twilight Meteor was fourth in the 1o1/4-mile Hollywood Derby after finishing second in three straight stakes.

There are several other top contenders in the Sir Beaufort, led by Whatsthescript, who is making his first start since finishing an unlucky second in the Crown Royal American Turf at Churchill Downs on May 5. He is a two-time stakes winner on the Santa Anita turf.

Wing Forward steps up following a pair of wins against older allowance horses. He has never finished worse than second in four starts in the United States and his native Argentina.

Stoneside has been a disappointment in two starts since arriving from France, where he was second in the Group 1 Prix Jean Prat in July. He was third in the Oak Tree Derby in his last start.

No Dream was a listed stakes winner in France. This is his first start since July, and he is stuck in the outside post.

Cal Breeders': Bob Black Jack a fit

Bob Black Jack, fourth last time out against CashCall Futurity stalwarts Into Mischief and Massive Drama in the Hollywood Prevue, drops back down to face eight fellow statebreds in the $125,000 California Breeders' Champion Stakes.

The Cal Breeders', like the Prevue, is at seven furlongs. Bob Black Jack ran well in the Prevue, and his form was flattered when one-two finishers Massive Drama and Into Mischief took two of the first three spots in the CashCall Futurity on Sunday.

His primary rivals include Dee Dee's Legacy, who rallied powerfully to defeat Cal-bred maidens in his debut at Hollywood Park on Nov. 11, and Liberian Freighter, who won first time out at Santa Anita's Oak Tree meeting on Oct. 20.

Mike Puype, who trains Dee Dee's Legacy, said: "I think we gave him enough time, and it's not an overly ambitious spot. The top three choices are all one-time winners."

Dirty Dish Mitch makes his first start for trainer Lisa Lewis, who claimed Dirty Dish Mitch when he romped against maiden claimers in his second start on Dec. 6 at Hollywood.

Red Hot Flame was sixth in the Prevue, his first start in six months, then was third in a fast allowance race at Hollywood on Dec. 7.