07/13/2005 11:00PM

What a Song or Bashert - take your pick


INGLEWOOD, Calif. - Trainer Bill Currin is convinced that Bashert will be helped by the presence of top 2-year-old What a Song in Saturday's $100,000 Hollywood Juvenile Championship at Hollywood Park.

Trainer Bob Baffert is convinced that What a Song would be better off in the six-furlong Juvenile Championship if Bashert were absent.

"I'd feel a lot better if he wasn't in there," Baffert said, referring to Bashert. "They're going to run really hard."

That is precisely what Currin wants for Bashert.

"Were it not for him, it would be a cakewalk," Currin said, referring to What a Song. "I think it's good to have something to run with."

The gamesmanship aside, the two colts figure to dominate the Grade 3 Juvenile Championship, the circuit's first graded stakes of 2005 for 2-year-olds. They have provided two of the top performances in the division at this meeting.

The Juvenile Championship is only the second stakes for the division this year. The Haggin Stakes last month failed to draw sufficient entries.

The presence of has limited the Juvenile Championship to a field of five.

The speedy Bashert beat fellow maidens by five lengths on June 5, without being fully extended by jockey Rene Douglas.

What a Song has been well regarded all year. By Songandaprayer, What a Song was purchased by Bob and Beverly Lewis for $1.9 million at the Barretts March sale of 2-year-olds in training, topping that prestigious sale.

On June 18, What a Song beat maidens by 3 1/4 lengths in his debut. He stalked the pace to early stretch, took the lead quickly under Victor Espinoza, and won handily.

Baffert expects What a Song to be near the front, close to Bashert. "You can't take too much of a hold of him," he said. "He ran to his works. Sometimes they don't do that. That was a positive sign. He's a very fast horse."

The field also includes Stevie Wonderboy, a maiden, and Blaze It, the winner of a claiming race for maidens.

Stevie Wonderboy was second to What a Song on June 18 in his career debut. Trained by Doug O'Neill for Merv Griffin, Stevie Wonderboy was supplemented to the Juvenile Championship for $2,000 on Thursday.

"Mr. Griffin said, 'If you think he's up to it, let him do it,' " O'Neill said.

Blaze It won a maiden claimer June 16, in his second career start.