06/30/2003 11:00PM

Why wait? Amber Hills is ready


PLEASANTON, Calif. - Because he is a good listener, trainer Ed Moger Jr. will run Amber Hills in Thursday's $40,000-added Pleasanton Senorita.

"I was going to wait until Del Mar for her, but she's doing so well, she was telling me to run," Moger said. "She's been training real well for the last six or seven weeks."

Moger noted that running Amber Hills on Thursday would give her enough time to return July 27 in the $100,000 Fleet Treat, a seven-furlong race at Del Mar.

In Thursday's race at one mile and 70 yards, Amber Hills is the only multiple stakes winner in the field of 10 3-year-old fillies.

Moger's biggest concern going into the race might be that it is named the Pleasanton Senorita and not the Pleasanton Oaks.

Amber Hills's two victories this year have come in the California Oaks at Golden Gate Fields and, in her last start, the Bay Meadows Oaks on the turf.

Amber Hills was second in the $100,000 Generous Portion Stakes at Del Mar as a 2-year-old and followed that with a victory in the $50,000 Black Swan at 1 1/16 miles at Fairplex.

Her victory in the Bay Meadows Oaks was her best race yet, Moger said.

"She just ran like we thought she could," Moger said. "There were a lot of things not quite right with her before.

"She's been relaxing more now and doing really good. I think she's going to start racing better."

Jockey Roberto Gonzalez, known for his ability on front-runners, got Amber Hills to relax early without fighting her in the Bay Meadows Oaks. He will ride her again Thursday and will again try to get her to relax and stalk the pace.

After the Bay Meadows Oaks, Moger lamented the trouble, some of it self-inflicted, that Amber Hills had faced in her career.

"She's had so many bad trips that you can throw out just about all of her races," Moger said in the winner's circle.

He said that even the California Oaks was an "ugly race."

"She just needs a clean trip, because she's a runner," he said.

Bartok's Blithe is Thursday's probable favorite off her victory in the $200,000 Melair at Hollywood Park on April 26. Amber Hills was fourth in that race, beaten 16 3/4 lengths. The concern about Bartok's Blithe may be her come-from-behind style, which could compromise her on a track that has played well to speed.

Expected to be tough on the front end are Cinema Paradisa, who has won two straight including an eight-length wire-to-wire victory at a mile in her first try against winners, and Frisco Belle, who has never finished worse than second and is stretching out for the first time.