03/18/2004 12:00AM

El Dorado Shooter must answer some questions


ALBANY, Calif. - Saturday's $55,000-added Danville Handicap at Golden Gate Fields is just the latest in a series of strong sprint stakes in northern California.

Stakes winners, runners with triple-digit Beyer Speed Figures, speedsters, stalkers - the Danville has it all, not to mention several key question marks.

The biggest question mark in the race concerns El Dorado Shooter, who sports the best credentials in the field of eight and who got an advantageous draw in post 7.

He worked well following surgery to remove a tiny chip from his ankle last summer heading into the Feb. 21 Ken Maddy Sprint but was virtually eased after failing to get the lead against Giovannetti.

"He ran a bad one, and I don't know why," breeder-trainer Cliff DeLima said. "He's feeling good, looking good, working good."

DeLima said that he did a blood count on the 7-year-old gelding and has made adjustments in his medications. El Dorado Shooter has two bullet drills since his disappointing effort in the Maddy, a 45.80-second half-mile drill that was the best of 14 at the distance on March 6 and a 57.20-second five-furlong best-of-nine on March 13.

Another question surrounds K O Love, who is coming north for trainer Kristin Mulhall. K O Love has only raced once in his career and is coming off a layoff. He won his debut and earned a Beyer Figure of 105 last May at Bay Meadows.

Green Team should be sitting off a contested pace from his rail draw. He has run seven times since being claimed by trainer Jeff Bonde last July. His lowest Beyer Figure since is a 98, and he has five triple-digit Beyers. He won the Cal Cup Sprint and has run second in three starts since, including the Sunshine Millions Sprint and Ken Maddy Sprint.

"He's a trier," Bonde said. "He's a pretty easy horse to train. He likes time between races, but sprinters, if you over-race them, all flat-line on you.

"He does all the things you're supposed to do. He has a good kick from the three-eighths. I think he'll come with a good race. We kept him here so he won't be flying across country this time."

Art Sherman has big plans for My Captain, who won three straight stakes last year but hasn't run since finishing second in the Oakland Handicap on Dec. 6.

"The horse is doing awfully good," said Sherman, who plans to take him east for a summer campaign. "We had no place to go, and the track was bad. If we're ever going to have chance to give him a break, this was it."

Onebadshark, who drew post 8, can't be overlooked either. He won a pair of sprints impressively and should be sitting with My Captain just behind El Dorado Shooter and K O Love.