04/20/2003 11:00PM

Fog City Willy's in tougher

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SAN MATEO, Calif. - The most interesting race on Wednesday's card is a $32,000 claimer at six furlongs, which goes as the second race.

Fog City Willy, who has won all three starts this year after going 7 for 10 last year, will meet his toughest competition since he ran fourth in a $40,000 optional claimer 11 months ago.

Stocks are Rising, who has won two straight starts at the $32,000 level at Santa Anita after being claimed, and Big League, who has four straight Beyers in the 90's in sprints and drops from the $50,000 level, will be the primary rivals in the field of five.

Fog City Willy drew the outside post 5, which should benefit him because he will break from the gate just outside of his primary pace rival, Stocks are Rising.

Meanwhile, Saturday's $200,000 San Francisco Breeders' Cup Mile, northern California's only Grade 2 race, might come up with a short field because of a prediction for rain.

Ninebanks, who beat three rivals to win the Grade 3 Golden Gate Breeders' Cup Handicap, may not have many more rivals this time in Bay Meadows's premier stakes race.

Ladies Din, the 120-pound highweight of the 16 nominated to the one-mile turf race, has had his status downgraded from probable to possible.

Trainer Frank Monteleone, originally said Ladies Din would run. But Monteleone also said he does not want the millionaire Ladies Din to run on a soft course.

Ladies Din has not raced since he won the Shoemaker Breeders' Cup Mile 11 months ago.