12/27/2004 1:00AM

Two looks at potential stars

Email

ARCADIA, Calif. - After opening the meet with a pair of Grade 1 stakes, Santa Anita on Wednesday returns with a less glamorous card, but one that could unveil future stakes stars. A pair of allowance races, which go as the sixth and seventh races, feature lightly raced runners who could be headed to stakes competition soon after the new year.

In the sixth, , who has blossomed since moving to the dirt, goes for her third win in four starts since being repatriated from Great Britain. In the seventh, recent Hollywood Park allowance winners El Don, Siren Lure, and Skukuza look to successfully make the move to the second-level allowance race.

Both races are at 1 1/16 miles. The sixth is restricted to fillies and mares.

There is some commonality between the two fields, though, because Girl Warrior raced against males, including Skukuza, in a Hollywood Park allowance race Nov. 6. She finished fourth in that race, but rebounded with a victory against females Dec. 10.

"She ran against males because the other races for her were not filling, and she needed to race," trainer Neil Drysdale said on Monday morning. "It wasn't a bad race, and it moved her along. So far, she's improving as she goes. If she runs well here, we'll look at the next step."

Girl Warrior was winless in four starts in Great Britain. But Drysdale wasted no time moving her to the dirt for a victorious North American debut at Del Mar on Sept. 1.

"She's by Elusive Quality, and her running style is conducive to dirt," Drysdale said. "Her style and her shape - she's a strongly made filly."

Girl Warrior's primary rival could be The Candi Queen, who is returning from a 10 1/2-month layoff but has dangerous early speed and is a three-time winner at Santa Anita.

In the seventh race, will try for his second straight victory going two turns. He stretched out for the first time Nov. 27 and responded with the best race of his career, overcoming a wide trip to prevail under jockey Gary Stevens.

"Mentally, he can run as far as he needs to run," said trainer Marty Jones. "He's really intelligent. Physically, I don't see why he couldn't run a mile and an eighth."

That's the distance of the $1 million Sunshine Millions Classic on Jan. 29, which would be a tempting spot should El Don win again.