10/12/2008 11:00PM

Albany field looks small but talented


ALBANY, Calif. - When Golden Gate Fields gets back in the stakes business Saturday, it will present a race that is expected to include five 2008 stakes winners.

The six-furlong Albany has traditionally been a strong sprint, and this year is no exception, even though the $50,000 event is being carded for fillies and mares rather than as an open race.

Greg Gilchrist sends out a seemingly unbeatable tandem of High Resolve and Victorina, but connections for Kalookan Dancer, Gadget Queen, and Unspoken Word indicate they will also run.

That could be the extent of the field, but it would be hard to find a deeper group no matter how many entered.

High Resolve, a 3-year-old, has won 6 of 7 starts, including four stakes. Her lone defeat came Aug. 13 at the Bay Meadows Fair when she finished third behind stablemate Victorina and Fleetheart. That race marked her first start in six months and was also her first start against older. She has since come back to win the Sweepida for 3-year-old fillies at Stockton.

Victorina finished third in the Grade 3 Ken Maddy, going down the hill in her turf debut at Santa Anita on Oct. 4 in her lone start since beating her stablemate. She began the year with a stakes win at Emerald Downs and has earned $543,125 while winning 11 of 21 career starts. She has 2 wins and 3 seconds in 5 starts at Golden Gate Fields.

Kalookan Queen defeated Victorina in the Vacaville this summer at Solano and most recently ran second in the 6 1/2-furlong Bangles N Beads at Fairplex on Sept. 21 after setting the pace.

Gadget Queen comes off a Sept. 14 victory in the Belle Roberts at 1 1/16 miles at Emerald Downs.

Unspoken Word, like Gadget Queen, may be better going longer and has not won since capturing the Hillsborough Handicap at Bay Meadows in March.

More racing translates to smaller fields

With Monday's holiday card, Golden Gate will race six days this week, missing only Tuesday.

Although the track did not race the past two Wednesdays and Thursdays to prevent some overlap with the Big Fresno Fair, the Northern California circuit presented 18 racing cards in the first 13 days of October.

The heavy schedule is reflected by the total entries for the midweek cards, with just 54 horses entered for Wednesday and 53 for Thursday.

Tom Bachman, one of the directors of the Thoroughbred Owners of California, said the schedule that Northern California tracks are pushing for in 2009 would eliminate all six-day weeks, including at the fairs.

The schedule will also seek four-day weeks during the January and February winter months, despite the fact that Golden Gate Fields's Tapeta surface has held up well during wet weather.

The feature on Wednesday's card is a $50,000 optional claiming sprint at six furlongs.

Vaderator looms the one to catch in the field of six. He drew the outside post, and doesn't have a top local sprinter like Tribesman or Vicarino to contend with.

Vaderator won the Jack Robinson for mixed breeds at 870 yards this summer at Pleasanton by an unheard of eight-length margin. His last victory against Thoroughbreds came in the Fairfax Stakes here on Feb. 3, 2007, when he beat Britt's Jules and graded stakes winner Trickey Trevor.

The race marks the return to action for 3-year-old A Cat Named Snip, who won the first two starts of his career this summer at Pleasanton and Santa Rosa but has not raced since running third in a $62,000 optional claimer at Del Mar on Aug. 22.

Lenzini does his best work on Fridays

Look out for trainer Mike Lenzini on Fridays, the day of the week when he has saddled four of his five winners at the current meet.

Two weeks ago, he scored in back-to-back races with Mean Joleene ($94.60) and Way Speed ($17.40) in the third and fourth.

Last Friday, he struck again with Topper's Smiling ($36.80) in the first and Gorgeous Gibson ($43) in the fifth.

Trainer Gil Matos followed up with a longshot double on Saturday, saddling Flex Time ($63) in the second and Deep Credentials ($14.40) in the fifth.