11/10/2006 12:00AM

Beamer Bee seeks third straight win


SAN MATEO, Calif. - Steve Sherman wasn't sure what to think when Beamer Bee arrived in his father Art's barn.

The 3-year-old filly was her own worst enemy, getting nervous, getting hot and bothered before races, and leaving her race behind the starting gate.

She did nothing in one troubled start as a 2-year-old but has blossomed this year with two consecutive victories heading into Sunday's Bay Meadows feature, a $25,000 claimer for 3-year-old fillies at six furlongs. She has four rivals.

"I think she's more mature," said Steve Sherman, assistant trainer to his father. "She used to come in the paddock hot. We still have to saddle her on the fly [as she walks around the paddock], but at least she's calm."

The Shermans backed off Beamer Bee following her 2-year-old debut at Bay Meadows last October. She returned to the races 10 months later, running third at the Bay Meadows Fair on Aug. 13.

She regressed in her next start, at Golden Gate Fields, sitting off a brisk pace and fading to fifth in a $32,000 maiden claimer on Sept. 1.

Then the light bulb went on.

She won a $32,000 maiden claimer on Sept. 28 at Golden Gate and followed with a win Oct. 25 in a $20,000 claimer at Bay Meadows.

"The only reason we ran her for $32,000 was because a race for $20,000 didn't fill," Sherman said. "When she broke her maiden, it was her best race. Some horses know when they've done well, and she got a lot more comfortable after that win. That sparked her interest in racing."

The Shermans didn't get carried away following her maiden victory.

"We didn't think she was starter-allowance material," Sherman said. "She ran good, but she was a little lucky because neither of the speed horses in the race broke, so she inherited the lead."

One speed horse that day, Pretty Lucky Lady, broke last from the rail, and in the end snapped a two-race win streak. She's back in against Beamer Bee on Sunday, and again drew the rail.

Misty Miss Cristy, who has lost twice in starter allowance company since beating Beamer Bee, Emerald import Charmin Dot, and three-time winner Hybird Diablo - still looking for her first win of the year - round out the field.

Hybird Diablo, who has been meeting better horses, drops a notch and adds blinkers for her second start off a layoff, and also switches from a turf route back to a sprint. She drew the outside post.