05/23/2007 11:00PM

Baze picks Dixie Crisp for stakes


ALBANY, Calif. - Did jockey Russell Baze make the right decision about which filly to ride in Saturday's $50,000-added Dipsea Trail at Golden Gate Fields?

Five 3-year-old fillies entered the six-furlong stakes race. Baze has been the only rider for three of the fillies: the undefeated Hot Spell, who will be ridden Saturday by Chad Schvaneveldt; the stakes-placed Quite a Rush, who will be ridden by Joel Rosario; and Dixie Crisp, the filly Baze chose.

Also entered are Eastlake Avenue, a Jerry Hollendorfer-trained stablemate of Hot Spell and Dixie Crisp, and Into Reality, who just won her maiden by seven lengths at Santa Anita for trainer Bob Baffert.

"It's a great position to be in, but it's a tough spot because you hate taking off these kinds of horses," Baze said.

Dixie Crisp has run only once, romping in a Feb. 19 maiden race at Bay Meadows. She won by 6 1/2 lengths in 1:09.20.

Baze is comfortable with his choice.

"She's a cut above normal horses, like Lost in the Fog was a cut above good horses," Baze said. "She's got unlimited potential, and she's done everything we've asked, but we find out a little more Saturday."

Baze called Dixie Crisp mentally tougher than Hot Spell.

Quite a Rush is making her first start since running third to the Hollendorfer-trained Glorification in the Jan. 13 Tiburon Stakes. Quite a Rush earned bullets for trainer Greg Gilchrist in her last two drills, a 1:11.80 six-furlong work on May 19 preceded by a 59.60 five-furlong work May 13.

"I worked her early in her comeback, and she was doing good," Baze said. "In that last race, she was running with a quarter crack, and it split open. You have to throw that race out."

Into Reality, who drew just outside Dixie Crisp in post 5, has flashed good speed and could have the early lead. Quite a Rush will probably stalk in third with Eastlake Avenue and Hot Spell sitting back.

"Hot Spell is a very high-quality filly," Hollendorfer said. "If there's too much speed it will set up for her."

Eastlake Avenue - the lone stakes winner in the field, having won the California Oaks - seems better going long, but Hollendorfer said owner George Todaro asked to run here because there aren't many spots for her.