05/22/2007 11:00PM

First-time fillies merit respect


ALBANY, Calif. - Friday's second race at Golden Gate Fields is a puzzling six-furlong sprint for 3-year-old maiden fillies.

The three fillies that have already raced have run well enough that a case can be made for them, while the three first-timers come from barns that show flat-bet profits with debuting runners.

Although trainer Jedd Josephson's positive return on investment stems from sending out a bomber, his first-timers traditionally are solid contenders. Jewel Lake makes her debut for him from the rail.

The draw may be her biggest obstacle.

"She doesn't have a lot of speed," Josephson said. "But she has a nice stride."

Jewel Lake has plenty going for her. She's out of I've Been a Gem, a stakes winner, and her sire, Meadowlake, is known for producing early winners, with 107 of his 601 offspring to race winning their debut.

A $20,000 purchase, Jewel Lake has four older siblings, all winners.

Josephson says the biggest thing he has worked on with the filly is keeping her quiet and relaxed.

Jewel Lake has 10 works for Josephson and hasn't missed a beat in her preparations.

While Josephson gives many of his first-timers six-furlong works, he hasn't given her one.

"I like working horses five [furlongs] and have them gallop out strong," he said. "Sometimes you like to give them a six-furlong work and come back with a sharp half."

Josephson combined both of those patterns earlier this month, giving Jewel Lake a solid five-furlong work that included a strong gallop following the drill. He then came back with a solid four-furlong gate work.

Jerry Hollendorfer sends out first-timer Malpractice M.D., whose unraced dam, Jury's Still Out, has produced seven multiple winners, including multiple stakes winner Temperance Time.

Malpractice M.D. was ready to run after working in Southern California. Hollendorfer has kept her ready since bringing her north by giving her a series of six-furlong works while waiting for a race to fill for her.

The third first-timer, Lake Dream, comes from the high-percentage barn of Art Sherman. She has worked three times this month, including a six-furlong breeze on May 13.

Beaming Babe was claimed by trainer Steve Specht for $12,500 in her debut. Specht then chose an unorthodox spot for Beaming Babe's next start as she finished third against winners in a $40,000 starter race. Despite being a maiden, she was favored in that race, and looks tough in this spot with her outside draw.