07/18/2002 11:00PM

Anderson plays it cool

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VALLEJO, Calif. - Trainer Carmella Anderson knows better than to get too high on young horses, so she is avoiding any hyperbole when it comes to Market Garden, who will meet seven rivals in Sunday's $50,000-added Solano County Juvenile Fillies Stakes at the Solano County Fair.

The 5 1/2-furlong race for 2-year-old fillies will be headed by My Honey Bunny, winner of the Juan Gonzalez Memorial Stakes at Pleasanton on June 30.

Market Garden won her maiden at first asking one day earlier.

"You don't want to get too high on a young horse," Anderson said.

She pointed out that Market Garden had the advantage of running on her home track in her debut, but the filly did things the right way.

She chased Four Tens at Once through a very fast opening quarter, responded well when asked by jockey Ronnie Warren, and held off Her Eminence, who was also making her debut.

The winning time was 58 seconds flat for five furlongs, while My Honey Bunny ran 57.49 the next day, although she did not finish particularly well after opening a big lead. Perhaps she got bored because trainer Mike Harrington said before the race he was concerned that five furlongs might be too short for her.

Market Garden has room to improve in her second start, and Anderson said, "She's trained steadily," since her victory.

Many trainers say horses know when they win and grow more confident. Anderson does not subscribe to that theory.

"I can't say she's given me a telegram that says she's a lot better," Anderson said. "She didn't come back and act like the queen of the barn, but what we've asked her to do, she's done. If she improves off the last race, it would be great."

Anderson is running the filly because there are really no other spots to run until the Bay Meadows Fair in August.

She is not concerned about the competition, despite her respect for Her Eminence and My Honey Bunny.

"We're not looking at other horses," she said. "We're trying to do what's right with her."

Topaz Jewel, claimed for $40,000 from her maiden victory at Hollywood Park by Steve Specht, seems another legitimate contender.

"One of the factors in me claiming her was this race," said Specht, who was second with Rosanda two years ago and saw his favored Condellone leading last year's race until she blew the turn.

"I don't know if she'll like the extra distance, but it's not like she's some Quarter Horse who only wants to go short."