01/09/2007 12:00AM

Bai and Bai, Victorina give fans a thriller

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ALBANY, Calif. - Golden Gate Fields fans saw some of the top horses on the grounds over the weekend, starting with Bai and Bai and Victorina, who put on a stirring battle Saturday in the $59,175 Muir Woods, with Bai and Bai winning by three-quarters of a length.

On Sunday, Smokey Stover staked his claim to being northern California's top older sprinter with a 10-length victory over Vaderator in an allowance race.

Bai and Bai's time for winning the 1 1/16-mile Muir Woods, 1:42.71, was the second-fastest at the meet for the distance, behind only McCann's Mojave's 1:42.46 in winning the opening day Union Square.

Bai and Bai, a $3,200 bargain yearling purchase at Pleasanton, has earned $295,848 and has 6 wins, 3 seconds and 2 thirds in 13 starts. She has won four stakes.

Bai and Bai's trainer, Bill Delia, acknowledged after the Muir Woods that his runner had a conditioning edge over Victorina, who had not raced since Oct. 28.

Bai and Bai was tired and had a nick on one leg, but otherwise came out of the race fine, Delia said. He also said that he would run her next in the Grade 2, $200,000 La Canada for 4-year-old fillies at 1 1/8 miles at Santa Anita on Feb. 11.

"She's a tremendous filly to do what she's done, especially with what we paid for her," Delia said.

Co-owner Harry Wilson invited breeder Bill Nichols to the winner's circle.

Said Delia: "At the sale, she looked so nice I couldn't believe we got her for $3,200. After the sale I asked Bill what's wrong with her, and he said nothing, so I told him, 'I think we stole her.'"

Nichols said that Bai and Bai's dam, Bai Shun, is currently in foal to Benchmark.

As for Victorina, her trainer, Greg Gilchrist, is not proposing to swap fillies with Delia, and said he thinks she's better at seven furlongs or a one-turn mile rather than the 1 1/16 miles of the Muir Woods.

Victorina has never finished off the board. A $160,000 Ocala purchase, she has won 6 of her 11 starts, including the Grade 3 Azalea at Calder as well as two other out-of-state stakes. She also has four seconds and a third and $374,378 in total earnings.

Smokey Stover to Sunshine Millions?

Although Smokey Stover ran six furlongs in a fast 1:08.11 to win on Sunday, jockey Russell Baze was wrapped up on him the final eighth of a mile as he continued to pull away.

Smokey Stover won so easily that his trainer, Gilchrist, said he might run him back in the Sunshine Millions Jan. 27.

No new herpes positives

No positive herpes tests have been reported since two horses in the Lloyd Mason barn tested positive last week, according to Golden Gate Fields general manager Robert Hartman. Fifty horses, all in Mason's barn or in adjacent barns, have been tested since a horse trained here by Mason tested positive for the disease in late December. Golden Gate, Bay Meadows, and Pleasanton have been under quarantine since Dec. 29.

Overall, five horses at Golden Gate have been found to be positive for herpes, all in Mason's barn. The outbreak seemingly has been contained, and Mason's horses continue to train, although separately from the rest of the horse population.

Two of the five horses that tested positive, including the only horse to show signs of the sickness, have since tested negative, meaning the disease has run its course.

The quarantine on northern California tracks remains in place at least through Friday.

* Saturday's $50,000-added Tiburon for 3-year-old fillies at six furlongs drew six entrants, including three - Glorification, Storming Starlet, and Black Pulpit - from the Jerry Hollendorfer barn. Also entered are Quite a Rush, Kimmy Potter, and Alphabet Seeker.

* The Thoroughbred Owners of California offers another "Ownership 101" workshop for prospective owners Saturday at 8:30 a.m. at the Trackside Court. The workshops provide information about horse ownership. Fans watch morning workouts and then meet with owners and trainers to find out about the business. For information and reservations, call (800) 994-9909.

* The track will host its popular Dollar Day on Saturday, offering $1ogeneral admission and parking, $1oprograms, hot dogs, beers, sodas, and chicken wings.

* A celebration of the life of clocker and handicapper Ray Straub will be held following the races at the nearby Eagles Hall at 3223 Carlson Blvd. in El Cerrito.