06/13/2004 11:00PM

Closing weekend's stakes firming up


SAN MATEO, Calif. - Bay Meadows will wind up its spring meeting with a pair of strong weekend stakes.

Racing secretary Tom Doutrich received 16 nominations for Saturday's Grade 3, $125,000 Bay Meadows Breeders' Cup Sprint at six furlongs and 18 for Sunday's $55,000-added Foster City Handicap at 1 1/16 miles on the turf.

Seven runners have already been listed as starters in the sprint: Cappuchino, a stakes winner, will be joined by Debonair Joe, Giovannetti, Green Team, Hombre Rapido, Sirpa, and Smile N Wildcat. R. Baggio, trained by Eric Kruljac, is probable.

The nominees for the Foster City on closing day include Handyman Bill, the defending champ; Ninebanks, Vallarta, and Van Rouge, all stakes winners over the course; and Buddy Gil.

Competitive field in turf feature

An interesting $50,000 optional claimer for fillies and mares at one mile on the turf tops Wednesday's Bay Meadows card.

The field has several strong contenders, such as Royal Again, who has won four of her past five starts, including her turf debut last time out; A Reel Tizzy, winner of two straight; Royal Teresa, who had a three-race win streak before she finished second at this level last out and was claimed; and Our Mango, who alternated on the lead before losing by a nose to Royal Again.

The four have something in common. Each likes to have the lead, which could set things up for a patient stalker such as Can I Call You Dad, who has won two of four starts over the Bay Meadows turf. Her two defeats both came in stakes races.

Gods Ear is another that could take advantage of the contested pace to run rivals down late. She has won two of six starts on the lawn here and has a second and a pair of thirds, as well.

Can I Call You Dad may be set for a good one, though. She won two straight over the course last spring before finishing fifth in the Bay Meadows Oaks. She went to the sidelines with "nagging problems" after that, but won her 4-year-old debut at this level on the dirt at Golden Gate Fields on Jan. 29.

The victory showed her versatility, but Brent Sumja's assistant, Aggie Anderson, says Can I Call You Dad is better on grass.

A daughter of Corslew, Can I Call You Dad did little in her second start against a tough field in the Miss America over the turf here, then ran twice more on the dirt. She showed signs of life in her last start when third behind stakes-winning Lucky Sabre, and she has a solid work since.

More to come for stakes winners

Both winners of last weekend's stakes here may have good futures.

Crozet, a half-sister to multiple stakes winner Lindsay Jean, is maturing nicely and was most impressive beating Kurlicue on Saturday in the Bay Meadows Oaks, Crozet's stakes debut. Kurlicue probably went too fast early, but she finished better than everyone with the exception of Crozet, who may surface on the turf back east later this summer.

Whatsthenameman, winner of the Malcolm Anderson for 2-year-olds on Sunday, impressed with his quickness, and he still has plenty of room for improvement. He may be cut out to be a sprinter, but he seems to have talent.