07/19/2007 12:00AM

'Gibson' aims to rebound

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SANTA ROSA, Calif. - Gorgeous Gibson won her debut in a four-furlong Golden Gate Fields maiden race by 1 1/4 lengths in May. So when she returned there June 10 in the Lost in the Fog Stakes, trainer Greg Gilchrist was expecting her to run well.

Instead she ran fifth, beaten 12 1/2 lengths by the winner, Imaginary Sailor.

Gilchrist is hoping his initial positive impression of Gorgeous Gibson will be confirmed when she runs Saturday in the $50,000 Wine Country Juvenile Filly at 5 1/2 furlongs at the Sonoma County Fair. She meets nine rivals, including Carbella, who won the Juan Gonzalez at Pleasanton on June 30.

Gilchrist said he was disappointed by Gorgeous Gibson's race in the Lost in the Fog.

"I can't tell if one is going to win, but I know if they're going over and will run a good race," he said. "She did the absolute opposite. At no point did she show any try at all. It wouldn't have mattered if she ran against $12,500 claimers. She just didn't do any running."

Gilchrist still can't explain what happened.

"When they put in a disappointing race like that, you observe everything they do to try to find a reason," he said. "It's one thing if you take someone over and something's not quite right. If they have a bad race, you can explain by whatever they had to overcome.

"But in her case, you observe everything - eating habits, the way she walks, the way she gallops. You look for anything to hang your hat on, but I could find nothing wrong with her."

Gilchrist passed on the Juan Gonzalez, believing the filly would benefit from additional works before racing again. He didn't even nominate Gorgeous Gibson to Saturday's race until she turned in a strong five-furlong gate work on July 14 at Golden Gate Fields.

Carbella was bumped, crowded, and took up badly at the start of the Juan Gonzalez. She had been on the lead at every call in her first two races but was nine lengths behind the leader after the opening quarter of the Gonzalez. She rallied nicely and was edging clear late.

She should avoid early trouble after drawing the outside post.

"She's the one to beat, and she'll be the favorite," Gilchrist said.