05/27/2003 11:00PM

A B Noodle tries sprint


SAN MATEO, Calif. - Saturday's $60,000-added Sunnyvale Handicap will mark the return of A B Noodle.

Unraced as a 2-year-old, A B Noodle developed nicely as a 3-year-old in northern California last year, winning four races, finishing second twice, and third once in eight starts for trainer Chuck Jenda. The only time she finished off the board came in July when she finished 11th after setting the pace in the $500,000 American Oaks behind Dublino and Megahertz. A B Noodle has not started since finishing a strong second in the Palo Alto Handicap Oct. 19.

Although all four of her victories came on turf - including three stakes victories - and all her races except her debut were around two turns, A B Noodle will be worth watching in Saturday's six-furlong sprint.

A B Noodle has held the lead at the half-mile mark in all of her starts except the Bay Meadows Oaks, when she rated in second until taking the lead in the stretch en route to victory.

A B Noodle should be ready after turning in bullet drills in each of her past three workouts - a bullet five-furlong move in 57.80 seconds May 25, a 1:12 six-furlong bullet drill May 18, and a bullet five-furlong workout in 58 seconds May 11.

Not that Jenda expects a wire-to-wire effort with the likes of Ican'tgoforthat, Grant Marty a Wish, Consignada, That's Our Tricky, and Marty's Wish also nominated.

"There's speed, and there's El Dorado Shooter or Presidio Heights speed," said Jenda, mentioning two of the fastest sprinters in this region. "Whether she has blazing sprinter speed is a question. I don't think she can keep up with a blazing sprinter early, but we'll let her run her race."

A B Noodle finished third sprinting in her debut. Her place effort in the Palo Alto Handicap was her only other dirt start.

Jenda, who could find no turf options for her return, said, "Let's see what she does. She had no [physical] problem when she left other than the way she handled racing. She'd wash out and shake before a race. We didn't want that to become a problem."

Frank Alvarado will ride.

"He's been on her for her last few works," Jenda said. "With a lot of horses, it doesn't matter, but I think it's important that he knows her."

* Five older fillies and mares compete in Friday's feature, a six-furlong $50,000 optional claiming race. Princessaconcuervo returns following a wire-to-wire score, but she will be hard-pressed to get the lead against Summer Lite. Kona Queen and Power to Burn will stalk, while Miss Terrasita will likely be trying to rally late.