06/24/2007 11:00PM

Butters, 68-1 maiden, not overmatched in stakes


STOCKTON, Calif. - As the odds on Butters, a maiden, hovered at 60-1 before last Saturday's Sweepida Stakes at the San Joaquin County Fair, trainer Angelo Tekos Jr. had some second thoughts about entering her. He was thinking of holding her out of the stakes for a maiden race at Pleasanton this Friday, but, citing the speed-favoring nature of the Pleasanton track, he decided to keep her in the Sweepida.

The result was a $138.20 upset for Butters, who had raced only once before.

"She'd been training good and everything," Tekos said. "I got a lot of calls wondering why I was doing it. But, no guts, no glory."

The upset was reminiscent of the the 41-1 score by the maiden Classic Fool in the 2003 Governor's Handicap at the California State Fair in Sacramento. Classic Fool, 0 for 19 at the time, upset multiple stakes winner Cappuchino and the graded-stakes-placed Metatron. The victory was his only win in 56 career starts.

Tekos said he was encouraged to run Butters because aside from the odds-on favorite, Glorification, he didn't think the Sweepida field was very tough.

"There were a few that had run in claimers, and the Southern California horses appeared to be off form," Tekos said.

Butters, under Catalino Martinez, rallied to defeat the 14-1 Cosmopolitan Lady by four lengths in 1:04.74 for 5 1/2 furlongs. The 96-1 shot Hammett Star finished third, for a trifecta payoff of $53,052.20.

Butters had finished seventh in her only other start, a one-mile turf race May 10 at Golden Gate Fields. Because Butters is by El Prado and out of the Theatrical mare Our Fair Lady, Tekos thought she would be best on turf.

"She didn't handle it," Tekos said. "She came back stressed out and stiff behind."

Tekos got that minor problem squared away and put some solid works into her.

Butters's next race probably will be the $45,000 Vacaville on July 14 at the Vallejo County Fair.

Two stakes winners eye Del Mar

Double Action and Another Kris, both favored and trained by Jerry Hollendorfer, swept both divisions of the Forrest White Stakes at Stockton on Sunday and will race next at Del Mar, according to Hollendorfer.

Double Action will be pointed for the $100,000 Oceanside, a one-mile turf stakes on opening day, July 18. Another Kris also will probably run next on turf.

Handle estimates encouraging

Handle for the San Joaquin County Fair meet, which began June 14 and ended Sunday, will easily top last year's numbers. With account wagering numbers yet to be made available, a total of $23,793,024 (including simulcast betting on other tracks) was wagered during the nine-day meet, according to Forrest White, the fair's general manager. Once the account numbers are added, White is hopeful that the meet's all-sources handle will reach $27omillion.

"That would mean we averaged $3 million a day," said White.

Last year, the Stockton meet had betting of $14,083,845 for 10 days, three of which overlapped with Bay Meadows. This year, there was no overlap.

Mule still going strong at 8

Sarah Nelson, an 8-year-old mule, continued her winning ways in her first stop on the fair circuit, scoring a 2 3/4-length victory in a 350-yard allowance race at Stockton on Sunday.

Her winning time of 20.24 seconds was only 0.02 of a second off the track record. Bar JF Geneo was second but was disqualified to third after veering in badly to bump first Sarah Nelson and then Smoking Joe, who was moved up to second.

Sarah Nelson won her first two starts of the year at Winnemucca, Nev., and now has a career record of 64-44-14-3 with earnings of $207,133.

"She likes to compete," winning jockey Robert Boyce said. "The faster they come to her, the faster she runs. I hope we can go undefeated this year."

Sarah Nelson was turned out at owner Roger Downey's New Mexico farm after concluding her racing season last fall. She began training three weeks before the Winnemucca races and may still have some improvement in her.