03/18/2010 12:00AM

Croxie has been a bargain


Croxie may not have the resume of her five opponents in Saturday's $50,000 Work the Crowd Handicap at Golden Gate Fields, but she's probably the biggest bargain in the field. Croxie, a 4-year-old filly by Redattore, cost only $7,000 as a yearling and has earned more than $130,000.

"She's rewarded us nicely for what she cost," said Duane Offield, who trains Croxie for Gary and Jean Deter. "She's been a blessing."

Offield is hoping to get Croxie her first black type in the Work the Crowd, a 1 1/16-mile stakes on the Tapeta main track for California-bred fillies and mares. Among her opponents are the stakes winners Saucey Evening and You Lift Me Up.

Croxie has made only one stakes appearance, running fourth in last fall's Pacific Heights on the Golden Gate turf. She has made her last four starts on Golden Gate's synthetic Tapeta surface, with two thirds and two seconds in allowance or optional-claiming races. Offield has given Croxie five weeks off since her last start, a second-place finish to Bella Roja in a one-mile optional claimer, and he is expecting her to run well.

"The last time I thought she'd win, but she got off slowly," he said. "Now we'll see if she can step up one more notch."

Running in stakes competition is old hat for Saucey Evening, who has made 12 stakes appearances and won three of them in her 14 career starts.

Saucey Evening returns to stakes company after finishing second making a rare start in an allowance on March 4 at Santa Anita. That effort followed a sixth in the Sunshine Millions Filly and Mare Turf. She closed out last year with a victory in the Starine over the turf at Hollywood Park.

Saucey Evening, a 4-year-old trained by Graham Motion, won the California Cup Juvenile Fillies and California Breeders' Champion Stakes at 2, rallying from far back in both races.

You Lift Me Up finished just ahead of Saucey Evening in fifth in the Sunshine Millions, and came back with an impressive allowance win on the Santa Anita turf on March 3.

Trained by Jerry Hollendorfer, You Lift Me Up was second when this race was run on the turf last year.