07/11/2007 11:00PM

Aces female sprinters clash in Vacaville


The two best female sprinters in Northern California, Victorina and Vaca City Flyer, meet at six furlongs in Saturday's $50,000 Vacaville Handicap at the Solano County Fair.

They've won a combined 18 of 29 starts and $669,392, but is the showdown coming a year too late?

The graded-stakes-winning Victorina, 4, comes into the race off the two poorest starts of her career, a fourth-place finish in the Grade 2 Distaff Breeders' Cup at Aqueduct on March 24 and a ninth-place finish in the Grade 3 Chicago Handicap at Arlington Park on June 16.

Vaca City Flyer, 5, won 6 of 8 starts last year, including a seven-length victory in the Vacaville, and lost only once in Northern California, finishing second to Shaggy Mane. She's 0 for 3 this year but was second in the Monterey on the turf April 21 at Bay Meadows and third in the Valkyr in her last start on June 24 at Hollywood Park. She ran against males in her first start of the year, finishing fourth in the California Sprint Championship on the turf on March 31 at Bay Meadows.

Despite their recent losses, the two seem to tower over the other four in the field, which includes Calamity Girl, a stakes-placed sprinter who comes off a solid allowance victory at Pleasanton on July 2. Denaesa-

lildevil, third in that race after setting the pace, is also entered.

Victorina and Vaca City Flyer were to meet in the Camilla Urso on May 20 at Golden Gate Fields, but Vaca City Flyer came up with a cough and didn't enter, and the race did not attract enough entrants to be run.

"She's a trier," trainer Art Sherman said of Vaca City Flyer. "She might have lost a few strides now that she's getting older, but she loves that track and is training well. I look for her to run a good race."

In addition to winning last year's Vacaville, Vaca City Flyer won her maiden in her only other Solano start.

Victorina's trainer, Greg Gilchrist, said the opportunity run at home - Solano is located a half-hour from Victorina's home base at Golden Gate Fields - made the decision easy.

"Opportunities around here for good horses, whether at the fairs, Bay Meadows, or Golden Gate, don't come up often, so we have to take advantage when they do," he said.

The race seemingly sets up as a match race, with Vaca City Flyer having perhaps a bit more speed and the advantage of being drawn outside. But with Denaesalildevil providing pace pressure, Victorina's stalking style could prove advantageous.