04/11/2008 11:00PM

Filly keeps improving on the turf


SAN MATEO, Calif. - Alex Paszkeicz was a teacher and track coach before beginning a second career as a trainer.

Many of his observations from his coaching days apply to the racetrack as well. For example, he shows a positive $4.83 return on investment when he switches a runner to the turf.

"I look at these horses a lot like people," Paszkeicz said. "Some are able to do things from their environment. I think some do better on turf because they were raised in grass fields and feel quite at home on the surface."

Paszkeicz has a runner worth looking at in Monday's Bay Meadows feature, a 7 1/2-furlong $40,000 starter allowance for fillies and mares on the turf that drew 10 entrants.

Look to the Sky, a steadily improving 4-year-old filly by Michael's Flyers, just earned the highest Beyer Speed Figure of her career, a 72, when she ran third in a similar spot at the same distance as this race March 28. She improved her Beyer for the third straight race as she closed nicely to be third behind Pamelot and Geribeca, who held her off by a neck for second.

"You usually think of Michael's Flyers as sprinters, but that race I wish had been a mile," Paszkeicz said.

Though Monday's conditions are written in a similar manner, the quality of starter allowance races varies dramatically. The March 28 race was a very competitive races.

"It definitely was tough," Paszkeicz said. "That race was run in one of the fastest times of the year."

Although winless on turf, Look to the Sky has a second and third in four career grass starts, with both placings coming at Bay Meadows.

Look to the Sky prefers to be ignored in the barn, but Paszkeicz said she "enjoys coming out to the track."

"She's definitely a trier," he said. "She's always made an effort."

Paszkeicz said some people say he trains his runners too much, but he said that may be one of the keys to his success on the turf, where conditioning seems to make more of a difference than on the main track.

Look to the Sky has stalking speed, which should give her good position in Monday's race. Famous Speed, who was fourth behind her in their last start, could prove the perfect target to run at again.