08/01/2005 11:00PM

Bad Anne now faces tougher

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SANTA ROSA, Calif. - Trainer Ricardo Perez plans to ask Bad Anne a tough question on Thursday at the Sonoma County Fair, but he is confident she will respond well.

is one of six 3-year-old fillies who will contest the feature race, a $40,000 optional claimer.

Three-time winner , runner-up in the Fairfield Stakes at Solano, is also a serious contender.

But Bad Anne may be something special, based on the Beyer Speed Figure of 91 she got in winning her debut by 5 1/2 lengths at Pleasanton.

"She ran pretty impressive to me," Perez said. "She went from Bay Meadows to Pleasanton the day of the race. That's hard for a filly. I was kind of surprised she ran so well the first time, because everything there was new for her.

"When I saw her do good in the paddock and the post parade, I thought she would do well, but it's still a surprise to run that well when it was the first time for her."

Bad Anne had worked nicely going into the race, and Perez always thought she was a nice filly.

He knows Thursday's test will be tougher.

"I don't know what kind of company that was," he said of the Pleasanton race. "This is a pretty tough field."

Perez brought Bad Anne to Santa Rosa early along with seven other runners, so the experience won't be completely new to her as it was at Pleasanton.

"We've been here for a week," he said. "She's handled this track well and been galloping over it every day. She's been to the paddock.

"She's been taking things pretty normal, and that looks like a good sign to me."

Jockey Francisco Duran chose her over Please Don't Tell, another fact that adds to Perez's confidence.

Grace field looking strong

Fifteen runners were nominated for Saturday's $100,000 Joseph T. Grace Handicap at 1 1/16 miles on the turf, with A to the Z and Adreamisborn topping the list of probable entrants. Charbonnier, with the local Robert H. Walter Family Trust connections, is probable as well.

Trainer Neil Drysdale has nominated Sarafan-who was entered at Del Mar Wednesday-and Grafton. Also among the nominees is the streaking Bell's Fool from the Kent Molinaro barn.

The Grace will be featured on TVG.

* Also on Saturday, Lost in the Fog will work five furlongs between races.