Updated on 09/15/2011 1:35PM

Bridesmaid no bargain as a win bet


ALBANY, Calif. - When Fancee Bargain runs in Sunday's featured allowance race at Golden Gate Fields, trainer Art Sherman knows just what to expect.

A quick glance at the 5-year-old Fancee Bargain's form suggests she will be the runner-up. In 19 starts, Fancee Bargain has won three times and finished second nine times. In eight starts this year, she has won once and finished second five times, once when disqualified from a win.

"She tries; she just gets outrun," Sherman said. "She tries every time. She runs her eyeballs out. A couple of those times, she's had trouble. She's nice to be around, but she's not the most robust mare."

Fans recognize Fancee Bargain as a trier and have made her the favorite in her past two starts.

In her last start, Fancee Bargain chased the fast fractions of Quins Return, who is also entered in the race. She was wide on a track that seemed better on the inside.

The early pace took its toll, and Fancee Bargain couldn't hold off Dream Every Dream, who rallied along the rail and won the race.

"Eventually, she's going to win that condition," Sherman said of the nonwinners-of-one-other-than level in which Fancee Bargain has run in her past three starts.

Running second hasn't been all bad for Fancee Bargain. As a Cal-bred, she is eligible for a portion of the $9,600 in Cal-bred bonuses offered in addition to the $32,000 purse. The Cal-bred bonus helps explain her earning of $57,216 this year.

"We've been finishing second, but with the bonus, it's almost as if she's winning the race," Sherman said.

Fancee Bargain was sidelined for 15 months with an ankle problem before returning to action on May 25.

"We just turned her out. We stopped and gave her time off," Sherman said. "You have to take care of them, and this kind has a chance to earn good money."

Sherman has a second entrant in the race, Gold is on Time, who was last in a sprint prep on Nov. 16 after a seven-month layoff. "She'll run better," Sherman predicted.

Gold is on Time was given time off after a long campaign that included 11 races last year and four more starts in the first four months this year.

"I'm glad I've got owners who understand you've got to stop on them," Sherman said. "With winter racing in the mud, you've got to have fresh horses. The tracks are a lot harder on them, even the wet-fast tracks. It takes a fresh horse."