02/15/2002 1:00AM

Fertile class of field in Vallejo


ALBANY, Calif. - Trainer Jeff Bonde and jockey Jason Lumpkins agree on one thing: Fertile will be difficult to defeat in Sunday's Vallejo Stakes at Golden Gate Fields.

The $55,000-added Vallejo, a six-furlong stakes for 3-year-old fillies, was originally scheduled for Jan. 26 but was postponed when not enough entries could be found.

Bonde was ready to run Fertile then and will be even more ready Sunday.

Fertile won her first two starts last spring, winning a maiden race at Golden Gate Fields followed by the Nursery Stakes at Hollywood Park.

She wrenched a knee after winning the Nursery Stakes and was sidelined until Dec. 30 when she made her return against colts in the Sutter Stakes.

Fertile found herself on the lead in the Sutter, setting blazing fractions of 21.89 and 44.71 before fading to fourth.

When Fertile returned to the barn, Bonde discovered a quarter crack. He believes that contributed to the defeat.

With help from his brother Gary, a horse-shoer, Bonde says the quarter crack should not be a problem. "She's been training like a monster," Bonde said.

Fertile drew the rail against five rivals for Sunday's race. She looks as if she could take the lead again with her natural speed.

Her primary rival may be That's Our Tricky, who drew the outside post. That's Our Tricky raced twice without success in Kentucky last year before moving to Bill Morey's barn at Del Mar. She won her first start for Morey in a $32,000 maiden claimer on Sept. 5. Given a four-month break, she won a $32,000 starter allowance race by eight in her comeback.