12/02/2010 2:40PM

Cathy's Crunches looms large in Corte Madera

Marcel Langevin/Vassar Photography
Cathy's Crunches, with Chad Schvaneveldt up, wins the Golden Gate Debutante.

ALBANY, Calif. – Trainer Daniel Franko is all too aware of the presence of Cathy’s Crunches – the winner of Golden Gate Fields’ first two 2-year-old stakes of the fall meet – in Saturday’s $75,000 Corte Madera Stakes.

A daughter of West Acre trained by Jerry Hollendorfer, Cathy’s Crunches dominated fillies in the Golden Gate Debutante and came back to defeat males in the Golden Nugget. She drew the rail in the Corte Madera , a one-mile race for 2-year-old fillies.

“There’s a super filly in there,” said Franko, who will send out Notorious Nikki. “I’m just a guy who had $50 to nominate and had a jockey to ride.”

Saturday’s race will be Cathy’s Crunches first try at a mile, but she was a runner-up going seven furlongs at Parx Racing, formerly known as Philadelphia Park.

Although she has hit the board in all six of her sprint starts and has shown early speed in both tries at Golden Gate Fields, Cathy’s Crunches’ breeding suggests that one mile should be a perfect distance. She has the highest Tomlinson figure in the field.

Jockey Chad Schvaneveldt said she relaxes despite showing speed and that he is confident she will get two turns.

After Cathy’s Crunches won the Golden Nugget on Nov. 20, two weeks after winning the Debutante, Hollendorfer said he wasn’t sure he’d bring her back in two weeks for her first try around two turns, but she has responded positively so he has entered her.

Hollendorfer has also entered Seismic Speed, who is coming off a strong effort graduating at one mile on the turf.

Lilacs and Lace, who defeated Seismic Speed at one mile on the main track, Scarlet Starlet, who won her debut sprinting on the turf at Hollywood Park, and Honey’s Prize, who has run very well in two starts but is still a maiden could also be threats.

Franko is aware his filly will be a longshot, but she is experienced at the distance. All three of her career starts have been around two turns, and she has a win at 1 1/16 miles on the turf, ridden that day by Catalino Martinez, who has the mount again.

“She worked better in her longer works than her short works and never showed any speed, so we decided just to go ahead and route her,” he said.

She comes off a poor effort against males in a prep for the Corte Madera, but Franko said that she was pushed too hard early and will run better from off the pace.

“That was the opposite of what I wanted,” he said of the last start. “She’s doing fine and gets the jockey who won with her.”