11/01/2005 12:00AM

Ulistnintome cuts back in his return


ARCADIA, Calif. - has not raced in nearly eight months, so when he runs 6 1/2 furlongs in the first of the two turf allowances Thursday at Santa Anita, is it just a prep race?

"First time back, down the hill, I think he'll probably run pretty good," said trainer Richard Mandella. Loosely translated, the analysis means "go to the window."

There is only one problem. Ulistnintome is facing older horses for the first time, including an import from Europe whose powerful U.S. debut stamped him as a potential stakes runner. Charmo was facing Group 1 company in France before a three-length maiden win Oct. 14 in his U.S. debut. He has an edge in current form, and unlike Ulistnintome, he is proven in a sprint.

Ulistnintome and Charmo are the principal starters in race 3, a first-condition allowance at 6 1/2 furlongs on turf. In race 7, California-bred one-other-than fillies and mares run on the same downhill course. Front-runner Easy Obsession meets comebacker Cambiocorsa and Classical Lady, who cuts back from a route to a sprint.

Turf racing is winding down in Southern California. Hollywood Park will not conduct racing at its fall meet that begins next Wednesday, so the two downhill turf sprints Thursday represent one of the final chances to run on grass until the winter meet begins Dec. 26. Not that Ulistnintome requires grass. He was a promising 3-year-old during fall and into the winter meet, on dirt and turf, until he was sidelined.

Ulistnintome has won 1 of 5, all around two turns, and the March 10 race he exits became a key race. A son of Wild Rush owned by Mandella and Gerald Ford, Ulistnintome finished third behind subsequent Illinois Derby winner Greeley's Galaxy and allowance winner Yes He's a Pistol in his last start. Corey Nakatani rides Ulistnintome.

A series of sharp works suggests the Ulistnintome is ready to roll, as Mandella suggested. Both he and Charmo, however, must rally from behind on a turf course that has favored speed. Charmo lost his first 16 starts before winning his U.S. debut for trainer Julio Canani and Garrett Gomez.

The horse to catch in the downhill sprint is Yes Master. Runner-up in three straight dirt sprints, Yes Master will set the pace from the inside post. He has won 1 of 7 and is trained by Doug O'Neill.

Others starters in the race include Gone Cattin, Spankys Ladder, Xiste, Mudweiser, Cronenbold, and Cocha Bamba.

In race 7, Feel the Heat returns from a layoff of more than six months for trainer Barry Abrams, who entered the week 0 for 24.