10/13/2002 11:00PM

Fewer turf stakes on Gate slate


SAN MATEO, Calif. - Nine stakes, each worth $100,000 or more, including six graded races, highlight the stakes schedule for the upcoming Golden Gate Fields meeting. The meet runs Nov. 6-March 31

In keeping with the revised stakes schedule for the current Bay Meadows meeting, the schedule has several changes that were requested by local horsemen.

Only three turf stakes will be offered during the meeting, and all three are graded events. They will be the Brown Bess (Grade 3) for fillies and mares on Feb. 1; the Tanforan (Grade 3) for 4-year-olds and up on Feb. 8; and the Golden Gate Breeders' Cup Handicap (Grade 3) for 3-year-olds and up on March 16.

Last year, 10 turf stakes were carded with three of them moved to the dirt. Both the Star Ball and the Work the Crowd, named for popular turf runners, have been moved to the main track.

The meet's premier race, the $200,000 El Camino Real Derby (Grade 3), will be run on March 8. Stakes that lead up to the El Camino Real include the Golden Bear, a six-furlong sprint on Nov. 24; the Gold Rush Stakes, a one-mile race at a mile on Dec. 14; Golden Gate Derby (Grade 3), a 1 1/16-mile race on Jan. 11; and Golden State Mile, a one-mile race on Feb. 9.

Bobble-heads fail to get nod

Bay Meadows's Seabiscuit bobble-head promotion, already postponed once and rescheduled for Saturday, has been postponed again.

The promotion for the first equine bobble-head had drawn national attention with requests for the doll from the National Racing Hall of Fame, and the bobble-heads had appeared for sale on eBay.

The promotion was postponed on Oct. 12 when the bobble-heads didn't arrive due to the West Coast port shutdown. Bay Meadows announced that it wouldn't reschedule the promotion until the bobble-heads were at the track, then announced they would be given away Saturday.

On Monday, the promotion was postponed again with flyers appearing throughout the plant and being handed to patrons upon their entry.

Cal Cup possible for Con Quixote

Trainer Art Sherman is thinking of the Cal Cup Sprint after Con Quixote scored an impressive seven-length victory over millionaire Men's Exclusive and Menacing Dennis in the Bull Dog at the Big Fresno Fair on Sunday. He led wire to wire, increasing his margin at each call as he ran six furlongs in 1:08.51.

A 4-year-old homebred colt, Con Quixote has now won four of eight starts. He entered the Bull Dog after winning a Bay Meadows six-furlong allowance race on Sept. 20 in 1:08.45, earning a 100 Beyer Speed Figure.

Breeders Roona and Eric Hoffman originally planned to use Con Quixote as a hunter-jumper and didn't send him to the track until late in his 3-year-old year.

He won his debut last Oct. 20 in an $8,000 maiden claimer by 7 1/2 lengths and hasn't run for a tag since.

"He's big and rawboned, and he's always been a little green," Sherman said. "He's just coming around. Now he knows what's what.

"He beat a decent field, and, if he comes out of this OK, we'll think about the Cal Cup Sprint [Nov. 2 at Santa Anita]. He is nominated to it."