10/18/2003 12:00AM

Bay Meadows: Angel Gift again


SAN MATEO, Calif. - Angel Gift ($3) repeated her 2002 victory with an easy five-length win in the $60,500 Golden Poppy Handicap.

Angel Gift, winless in five starts since scoring a three-length victory in the race last year, was fourth and four wide around the first turn. She took the lead down the backstretch and was never challenged. Rhiana, who sat behind her all the way, was second as the field of six paraded home in single-file order. The winning time was 1:42.78 for 1 1/16 miles.

"They told me the same thing as last year: Don't mess with her," winning jockey Russell Baze said. "I took a nice long cross and let her run her race. I would have tucked in on the first turn, but those others weren't clearing me, and I didn't want to take her back. When they tried to slow things down, she kicked by them, but she really relaxed on the lead."

Angel Gift earned $33,500 to increase her lifetime earning to $340,314 with five wins in 22 starts.