11/29/2001 12:00AM

Alexine looks like an obvious choice

Email

PHOENIX, Ariz. - She's a good-sized fish in the big pond of Southern California. So when Grade 1-caliber Alexine surfaces at Turf Paradise for Saturday's $75,000 Queen of the Green Handicap she will look Jaws. Still, with a hefty chunk of change on the line, the mile turf race for fillies and mares drew a field of 11, though there's little doubt Alexine is the one to beat.

On paper it's easy to see. Trained by Dick Mandella, Alexine was a Grade 1 winner in her native Argentina before shipping to the U.S. in 2000. She made a big splash in her debut, winning a strong allowance race at Del Mar, beating a Grade 1-caliber Beautiful Noise. She parlayed that to a good third in the Grade 1 Ramona, behind Caffe Latte and Tout Charmant. She found the big girls too much to handle again in the Grade 1 Yellow Ribbon and Grade 2 Las Palmas, but after a lengthy vacation, she resurfaced at Bay Meadows and came back baring teeth.

She won the Miss America despite breaking from post 10 going a mile. She then faced top mares Janet and Keemoon in the Grade 3 Yerba Buena, and finished a good third after setting the pace.

Besides being unable to handle the very elite of the turf grass division, Alexine may have found the distance a bit taxing. She seems at her best from a mile to 1 1/8 miles. Brice Blanc has the call on Alexine, the 122-pound highweight who leaves from post 9, and looms a short price despite not having raced since the May Yerba Buena.

Alexine isn't the only Californian contender here. Aviate, trained by Ted West, comes off a series of solid northern California races, topped off by a win in the recent Star Ball at Golden Gate. Aviate chased Alexine in the Miss America back in April and was only beaten a bit over three lengths.

Aviate has recency and sharp form on her side, and if Alexine isn't quite ready she could be the spoiler. She carries 119 pounds and jockey Isiais Enriquez.

Revillew Slew also ships in from the West Coast for trainer Danny Velazquez. The 5-year-old Revillew Slew comes off a string of strong races, topped off by a nice starter allowance tally at Santa Anita on Nov. 4. She has won 11 of 31 and you don't do that by accident. That being said, she has never beaten the likes of Alexine, or even Aviate for that matter, but she may well be in the best form of her life. She carries

118 pounds and Martin Pedroza.

The best of the local contingent is Gleefully. Coupled with Molly or Me, Gleefully romped in her only try on this turf a year and a half ago. She had tried some of the big girls on the grass in Southern California without success last year. She was gone for nine months, and came back dull in Southern California. Trainer Eric Kruljac freshened her, she put in a string of sizzling drills, and won the Bersid going a mile on dirt here

Nov. 11 smartly.

That win indicates she's back in form and since she has proven on dirt she could jump up and surprise the Californians. She carries 118 pounds and Scott Stevens.