01/14/2005 12:00AM

Ema Bovary works five furlongs

Email

ALBANY, Calif. - The $50,000-added Richmond Handicap, a six-furlong sprint for fillies and mares on Monday, drew 10 nominees for what should be a competitive race at Golden Gate Fields.

But the names of the two best female sprinters in northern California were not on the nomination list. Ema Bovary, who recorded a best-of-22 59.20-second five-furlong bullet workout Friday, is gearing up for a summer campaign that could kick off in February.

A 6-year-old Chilean-bred, Ema Bovary ran off nine straight wins after her U.S. debut in the 2003 Richmond. She went on to beat Bear Fan and Lady Tak in the Grade 2 Princess Rooney at Calder on July 10, her last start of 2004.

"She's ahead of schedule," trainer Larry Ross said. "She looks great."

Ross is pointing Ema Bovary, who has six works since Nov. 30, to the Grade 2, $150,000 Shirley Jones Handicap at Gulfstream Park. The seven-furlong race is scheduled for Feb. 19.

Also missing is Factual Lady, who beat Richmond nominees Pheiffer, Our Mango, and Lyin Goddess in a six-furlong allowance on Nov. 27. The victory improved Factual Lady's career record to 5 for 5, but turned out to be her final start.

"She's at the farm to be bred," trainer Greg Gilchrist said. "She always had problems and faced an operation that would have been pretty tough to come back from. She'll be bred to High Brite."

High Brite is the sire of the Gilchrist-trained stakes winner Beyond Brilliant.

Texcess out of derby

Texcess was in a van heading north from Hollywood Park for the Golden Gate Derby when Thursday's racing card here was canceled. Trainer Paul Aguirre had the van return home. Texcess was scheduled to instead run in Saturday's Grade 2 San Rafael at Santa Anita.

"We had just gotten over the hill to Santa Monica when I saw the track [had canceled] so we made a U-turn and came back," Aguirre said.

With Texcess staying home, trainer Doug O'Neill, who also cross-entered Dover Dere in both races, immediately arranged a van to bring his horse north.

The maiden Valdini scratched along with Texcess, leaving only a derby field of three.