01/07/2004 12:00AM

Will Argentine star shine in California?


ARCADIA, Calif. - Potra Fabulous was a top older mare in Argentina last year, winning three group stakes in the first six months of 2003.

Whether that form can be effective in Southern California will be known to some extent when she makes her U.S. debut against four opponents in Friday's seventh race at Santa Anita.

Run at a mile on turf, the $70,000 allowance race features Abbey Bridge and Lacrystal Classic, the first two finishers of the Queen of Green Handicap at Turf Paradise in November; Dreamers Glory, who placed in a graded stakes in 2002; and Fun House, a four-time winner who has not been worse than third in her last seven starts.

Potra Fabulous won the Group 1 Estrellas Distaff at 1 1/4 miles on turf on June 28, her last start. Owned by Gary Tanaka, Potra Fabulous won group stakes at a mile on turf and dirt in Argentina early last year. She has not been worse than third in 10 career starts.

Trainer Bobby Frankel was guarded in his expectations, but says that Potra Fabulous has adapted well to American training.

"I won't know until I run her, but she's doing well," Frankel said.

Frankel also trains Dreamers Glory, who was second in the Boiling Springs Breeders' Cup Handicap at The Meadowlands in September 2002 for trainer Frank Orseno.

In five starts for Frankel, Dreamers Glory has one victory, an allowance race at 1 1/16 miles at Hollywood Park on Nov. 13.

Abbey Bridge, trained by Frankel in 2002, won her first stakes in the Queen of Green Handicap at a mile on turf. Now trained by Kathy Walsh, Abbey Bridge won a claiming race on the Santa Anita hillside turf course last April.

Fun House will be well-supported. A front-runner trained by Ron McAnally, Fun House was second by a half-length at a similar level at Hollywood Park on Nov. 27. Her most recent win came at Hollywood Park in an allowance race last June.

* In the fourth race, Bornwithit, the winner of a maiden claimer at 1 1/16 miles by an astonishing 24 1/2 lengths at Keeneland on Oct. 10, makes his California debut in a starter allowance for 3-year-olds at a mile.

Trained by Bob Baffert, Bornwithit was purchased privately after his win by Jim Helzer of Arlington, Texas, from owners Glenn and Sara Montgomery, who had claimed Bornwithit the day he won the $30,000 maiden claimer.

By Charismatic, Bornwithit has not started since his Keeneland win.