09/21/2006 12:00AM

Golden Gate: A match race in the making


The $75,000 Pacific Heights at Golden Gate Fields has the look of a match race.

Somethinaboutlaura and Jill's Sky both have speed and quality. While the one-mile turf race may be a Cal Cup prep for both, neither Somethinaboutlaura's trainer, Jerry Hollendorfer, nor Jill's Sky's trainer, Jenine Sahadi, is looking past the race, which drew seven entrants. Somethinaboutlaura may be a bit easier to rate, which could give her the edge.

Royal Kleven, runner-up to Vaca City Flyer in her past two starts, returns to the turf and stretches out. She could be a pace factor as well.

It will be only the second start for Jill's Sky since she won the Moment to Buy Handicap over the turf here last November.

"She just needed some time," said Sahadi, who brought the 4-year-old filly back to the races on Sept. 3 in the Solano Beach at Del Mar. "She puts a lot into her races. She's kind of hard on herself and is not the type that can go all year long."

Jill's Sky finished sixth in the Solano Beach and was moved up to fifth after being bumped and knocked into another runner in the lane.

Sahadi said the filly gave a "huge effort," though the race "turned out a complete and total disaster."

Although the running line doesn't show it, Jill's Sky broke uncharacteristically badly, causing jockey Jose Valdivia Jr. to lose an iron as she spotted the rest of the field close to five lengths. Still, she was second after a quarter-mile and gave way late after being bumped into another horse in the lane. Despite the trouble, she lost by only 2 1/2 lengths.

"Blowing the start was catastrophic, but I'm very happy she came out of the race all right, and she had an easy five-furlong work since," Sahadi said.

Jill's Sky should improve, but she'll have to in order to compete with Somethinaboutlaura, who has never failed to pick up a check for Hollendorfer since she was privately purchased last winter.

Somethinaboutlaura won the Grade 2 A Gleam Handicap after running third, beaten less than a length, in the Grade 2 Milady.

"There was a race at Pomona we were looking at, but why ship?" Hollendorfer said. "She runs well dirt or turf."