09/01/2007 12:00AM

Comedy Girl sharp for Palo Alto


SAN MATEO, Calif. - Between them, trainers Jerry Hollendorfer and Gloria Buckridge have five of the eight 3-year-old fillies entered in Monday's $75,000 Palo Alto Handicap at 7 1/2 furlongs on the Bay Meadows turf. Hollendorfer has Rockella, Forest Huntress, and Eastlake Avenue in the race, while Buckridge saddles Comedy Girl and Whims and Fancies.

Comedy Girl seems to have a better chance than her stablemate. She scored 3 1/4-length allowance victory on the turf at Del Mar on Aug. 9, her first race since she finished fifth in the $75,000 Golden Poppy on May 12 at Golden Gate Fields.

"To go down to Del Mar, I had confidence in her," Buckridge said. "They tried to get me to come back to a stakes there, but I'm a Northern California person. If I can race at home, that's what I like to do."

Though Comedy Girl has yet to win a stakes, Buckridge is confident heading into the Palo Alto.

"She's still learning," Buckridge said. "She's still a little bit green, but when the jock came back at Del Mar, he said she was a real nice filly and that she just galloped."

Although Buckridge has found Comedy Girl can be a "handful," the filly has won 3 of her 4 starts since Buckridge took over her training and immediately put her on turf.

"I think she's better on turf," Buckridge said. "She has a way of going that's suitable for the turf. She doesn't hit the ground hard.

"She's grown by leaps and bounds. She never leaves a morsel in her feed tub and came out of the Del Mar race just bouncing. She can do anything in a race and doesn't need the lead."

The lone stakes winners in the field are the Hollendorfer-trained pair of Forest Huntress, a 15 1/2-length winner in the $75,000 Penny Ridge at Stampede Park in Calgary, Alberta, in her last start June 17, and Eastlake Avenue, winner of the Feb. 10 California Oaks at Golden Gate Fields.

Rockella, Diva's Seastar, Nootka Island and Macadamia are all stakes-placed.