04/24/2005 12:00AM

Valentine Dancer surpasses $1 million mark


INGLEWOOD, Calif. - Valentine Dancer became the fifth California-bred filly or mare to surpass $1 million in career earnings on Sunday with a measured victory in the $150,000 at Hollywood Park.

The Fran's Valentine was one of five races worth at least $150,000 on the undercard of the Snow Chief Stakes.

Valentine Dancer's victory increased her career earnings to $1,008,126, leaving her well behind Fran's Valentine's all-time mark of $1,375,465.

Ridden by Jon Court, Valentine Dancer ($3.80) was well-placed throughout the Fran's Valentine. Court kept her in third to the final turn before challenging 15-1 Smokegetenyoureyes for the lead in early stretch. Valentine Dancer took the lead before the eighth pole and won by three-quarters of a length, finishing 1 1/16 miles in a quick 1:40.53.

"After the quarter-pole, I started to feel pretty good," trainer Craig Lewis said.

Scrofa, who was expected to challenge Valentine Dancer, was not a factor in the stretch and finished third in the field of five fillies and mares.

Valentine Dancer races for Al and Sandee Kirkwood and has won 8 of 22 starts. She will be pointed for the $200,000 WinStar Distaff Handicap over a mile on turf at Lone Star Park on May 30.

* A strategic ride from Gary Stevens helped Alphabet Kisses upset Dream of Summer in the $150,000 .

Breaking from post 2, Stevens had Alphabet Kisses on the lead a few strides out of the gate, leaving Dream of Summer disputing the lead on the rail through wicked fractions of 21.61 and 43.80 seconds.

Alphabet Kisses led by a half-length over Dream of Summer on the turn and pulled clear to win by two lengths, finishing seven furlongs in 1:22.06. Thunder's Echo, a 33-1 shot, closed from fourth to finish second, a nose in front of Tucked Away. Dream of Summer finished fourth, but was only a half-length from second. She was sent off as the 7-5 favorite two weeks after winning the Grade 1 Apple Blossom Handicap at Oaklawn Park.

"She never quit trying," jockey David Flores said.

Marty Jones, who trains Alphabet Kisses, had feared the presence of Dream of Summer.

"She's run so many game races," Jones said. "I think the way the race shaped up helped. Gary was able to keep (Dream of Summer) on the inside and had her all the way."

Owned by Harris Farms, Alphabet Kisses has won 6 of 11 starts and $456,910.

* Trainer Eric Kruljac perceived Leave Me Alone to be a sprinter - until the top of the stretch of the $200,000 .

Leave Me Alone, by Bold Badgett, pulled clear from nine rivals to score her first stakes win in the Melair, run over 1 1/16 miles for 3-year-old fillies. It marked the longest race of her career, which includes three wins in five starts and earnings of $196,180.

"There haven't been too many Bold Badgetts that have stretched out," Kruljac said. "She has been relaxing so much and has such a long stride that I wanted to try it."

Owned by Steve Mitchell Ranch, Leave Me Alone ($8.60) won by four lengths over Cee's Irish, the 5-2 favorite who had won the Sunland Park Oaks earlier in the month. Two Times Won, an 18-1 shot, finished third.

Leave Me Alone was always near the front under jockey Tyler Baze. She was three-wide on the backstretch and took the lead for good on the final turn. She was timed in 1:43.07.

* Until the $150,000 , Unfurl the Flag was best known for equaling Spectacular Bid's seven-furlong track record of 1:20 on a souped-up racetrack at Santa Anita in February 2004.

In the Tiznow, Unfurl the Flag, 5, replaced that milestone, scoring his first stakes win with a frontrunning performance over 7 1/2 furlongs. Ridden by Corey Nakatani, Unfurl the Flag disputed the early lead with Grand Appointment, shook off that rival turning into the stretch and was not threatened. Unfurl the Flag led by three lengths at the eighth pole and two lengths at the wire.

Unfurl the Flag was timed in 1:27.49.

"He's been training like a freight train and he ran like it," trainer David Bernstein said. "He loves this track."

Two longshots completed the trifecta. El Don, a 10-1 shot, rallied from ninth in a field of 10 to finish second, two lengths in front of 14-1 Greg's Gold.

Unfurl the Flag, 5, has won 5 of 17 starts and $310,408 for owners Gaylord Ailshie, Alan Aidekman, Tom Harris and Bruce Rose,

*Running Free overcame a toothache to win his first stakes in the $150,000 .

After a workout on April 19, trainer Kristin Mulhall discovered that one of Running Free's teeth had "a sharp edge that was digging in". After the tooth was filed down, Mulhall felt more comfortable starting Running Free. "We got that taken care of and he was his normal self," she said.

Ridden by Victor Espinoza, Running Free stalked pacesetter Skywalker Red to early stretch and held off a determined rally from the 9-year-old gelding Continental Red to win by three-quarters of a length. Running Free ($6.20) finished 1 1/8 miles on turf in 1:48.

Legal Logic rallied from last to finish third in the field of seven.

Running Free, a 4-year-old gelding, races for breeder Southern Nevada Racing Stable and has won 5 of 15 starts and $283,604.