12/09/2005 12:00AM

After long wait, Sanfran finds spot on turf


ALBANY, Calif. - Trainer Mark Rheinford, who has waited more than 10 months to return Sanfran to the turf, finally gets that opportunity Sunday in a first-level allowance race at Golden Gate Fields.

Sanfran won his lone turf start here in January, when Rheinford claimed him for $16,000. Sanfran moved five wide on the second turn, circling the field while winning easily.

An overflow field of 13 entered the 1 1/16-mile turf race, which will be limited to eight runners. Sanfran and Proud Chief are the only two 3-year-olds in the main draw.

"I've been anxious to get him back on the turf," Rheinford said.

was a badly troubled second, beaten a head by King Mobay, in his first start for Rheinford. He rallied nicely to be second again in his next start, both on the main track at Bay Meadows.

"I gave him a couple months' rest, then took him to Emerald Downs," Rheinford said. "We gave him a couple races, thinking we might run him in the derby there, but I just don't think he took to Emerald very well, so we freshened him more for down here."

Although Sanfran has been working nicely, Rheinford isn't sure what to expect in his first start against older runners.

"If we get him back to the point he was earlier this year, he should be productive," Rheinford said.

The two 3-year-olds will both have to be at the top of their games in this competitive heat. Proud Chief has been first under the wire in his past two starts in $32,000 claimers, but was disqualified to eighth in his last start.

will make his second start after unleashing a strong belated kick in his U.S. debut. An Argentine-bred 5-year-old, Dixieland Wells should improve with a race under his belt and should like the distance, although both of his victories in Argentina came at one mile.

Dixieland Wells finished fourth in his most recent race, three lengths behind favored Sands of Time, who had no excuses and returns here along with Motivus from the same race.

, just claimed for $20,000, looks like the one to beat. He has good speed and held the lead in the lane in two northern California races against similar.

Taco Willy had a rare off day in his last start after running into trouble entering the first turn. He could bounce back.

Fancy Foxtrot won his northern California debut by a neck in wire-to-wire style and is given a big jump here.