07/01/2007 11:00PM

Bai and Bai comes back a big name


PLEASANTON, Calif. - Bai and Bai was a footnote the last time she was at Pleasanton, selling for a bargain $3,200 at a Northern California yearling sale in 2004.

She returns for Wednesday's $50,000 Alameda County Fillies and Mares Handicap as a star against nine rivals in the 1 1/16-mile stakes.

Bai and Bai earned more than 100 times her original purchase price ($335,848) before being sold to the Robert and Beverly Lewis Trust prior to her most recent start, which came in the $150,000 Fran's Valentine on April 29 at Hollywood Park.

Though she ran seventh in that 1 1/16-mile turf race in her final start for trainer Bill Delia, Bai and Bai will be a key factor in Wednesday's race.

She has won 6 races, including 3 stakes, in 12 dirt starts, including the Cal Cup Juvenile Fillies. She was second to the very talented Balance in the Grade 2 La Canada at Santa Anita on Feb. 11 in her lone graded stakes try.

"I wasn't involved in the sale," new trainer Craig Dollase said. "I'm sure her value as a broodmare prospect was considered. I was just asked to train her after her purchase. My job is to win, and my main goal, hopefully, is get her more stakes victories."

The true goal for Bai and Bai is the Grade 2 Clement L. Hirsch on Aug. 5 at Del Mar.

"This is a prep for the stakes at Del Mar, but she hasn't missed a beat in her training," Dollase said.

Bai and Bai has a wire-to-wire stakes victory but is even more comfortable playing a stalking role, which should be what she does Wednesday.

Several horses in the Alameda have speed and enjoy being on the lead: Come on Margaret and Snowdrop, who are drawn to Bai and Bai's inside, and Thrill After Dark and Truly Quiet, who are to her outside.

Her primary competition could be from the sharp Gentle Charmer, second in the May 13 Work the Crowd and winner of a second-level allowance race on June 8 in her last start. Both races came on turf, but the

5-year-old mare may be even more adept on the main track, where she has four victories.

She, too, has a stalking style.

This race has been on trainer Ed Moger Jr.'s radar since Gentle Charmer's last start. She has had two maintenance drills since then.