05/22/2005 11:00PM

Bonfante, Flying Supercon in Maddy matchup


ALBANY, Calif. - Golden Gate Fields will hold three stakes over the Memorial Day weekend.

On Saturday, there's the $75,000 Ken Maddy Sprint for California-breds at six furlongs, which could boil down to a matchup between Bonfante, a troubled third in a May 15 prep, and Flying Supercon, second by a nose in the Phoenix Gold Cup at Turf Paradise and also second there as the odds-on choice in the Howard Memorial in his last start.

Jet West, who won the Arlene McCabe Derby at Sacramento last August and an allowance race on May 15, will pass the Maddy and run instead in the Oakland on June 5.

Jet West suffered a quarter crack in the May 15 race, but trainer Art Sherman said the primary reason the colt is passing the Maddy is that he didn't want to run him only 13 days after his tough comeback victory. Jet West battled on a hot pace and prevailed late in the same race Bonfante comes out of.

"I hate to come back in less than two weeks," Sherman said.

Grand Appointment, Ice Legend and Kool Suggestion are also expected to run in the Maddy.

On Sunday, R Fast Lady, Lunachick, and Jewels of Bagdad - who ran one-two-three in the Winner's Foundation Stakes at Bay Meadows - will renew their rivalry in the $55,000-added Vallejo Stakes at six furlongs.

R Fast Lady upset Lunachick, who was odds-on, in the Winner's Foundation, after breaking a bit slowly and finding herself boxed in on the turn. Jewels of Bagdad, 3 for 3 at the time, faded in the lane and suffered her first loss that day.

R Fast Lady, trained by Eoin Harty, has now won two straight starts and is the probable favorite.

Meanwhile, Thrilling Victory will be trying for her fifth victory in six career starts in Monday's $100,000 Golden Poppy Breeders' Cup for 3-year-old fillies at one mile on the turf. Jill's Sky, Cal Gal, who has won two straight, and stakes-winning Tense Wager are also listed as definite for the Golden Poppy.

Baze closing in on 9,000th win

Russell Baze is 16 victories shy of 9,000 career wins after riding eight winners from 14 mounts over the weekend. He nearly had nine wins for the weekend, but apprentice Kate Repp kept Sweet Currency together and held holding off the fast-closing Baze and odds-on Princess Razyanna by a nose in Sunday's nightcap.

Baze rode five winners Saturday, including all four winners in the pick four - Spilikin ($7.40), My Dancen Diva ($7.60), Pickle ($4.80), and Cooperation ($3.40).

Baze rode Pickle to victory in Saturday's Grade 3 Yerba Buena Breeders' Cup Handicap at 1 1/16 miles on the turf. She sat back and fired late for her second straight Grade 3 victory.

"Put me on the best horse, and I can usually manage not to mess it up most of the time," Baze said.

He finished second on Our Mango, losing to to Yerevan Star, in Sunday's Camilla Urso, and was equally succinct.

"There's not much to say," Baze said. "We had no problems. She was simply second best."

Morning works pay off

Yerevan Star was washy and rambunctious in the post parade before Sunday's $71,500 Camilla Urso, and she usually is not happy unless she's on the lead.

But jockey Joe Castro got Yerevan Star to sit coolly in third outside dueling stablemates Storminbayoubabe and Princess Lianna in the six-furlong Camilla Urso and she moved three wide on the turn and rallied to win.

Castro, who regularly works Yerevan Star, said that it's important to take it easy with her.

"If you try to manhandle her, she won't take it," he said.

Getting Yerevan Star to relax early is testament to hard work by both Castro and Yerevan Star's trainer, Gloria Haley.

Wednesday: Five superfectas

Although Wednesday's card lacks high-quality horses it offers excellent wagering opportunities with superfectas in the final five races and trifectas available in every race.

The best race on the card is a one-mile turf race for maiden 3-year-old fillies.

Twentyforkaratlady, a distant second last time out, and stablemate Beautiful State, making her career debut, look tough.

Commercialize, who has been sprinting down the hill at Santa Anita, should like the added distance and the move from Southern California to Golden Gate Fields.

Sweet Ambition and Sparkling Silver both figure to improve as they stretch out from sprint preps on the dirt to two turns on the grass.