12/17/2004 12:00AM

Gotta Go Gal makes two-turn debut


ALBANY, Calif. - Gotta Go Gal, a 2-year-old filly claimed for $16,000, faces Southern California invader Cee's Irish in the $50,000-added Corte Madera Stakes on Sunday at Golden Gate Fields.

Gotta Go Gal drew post 7 and Cee's Irish, the likely favorite, drew post 8.

Trainer Jerry McArthur gives owner Charles Lo credit for claiming Gotta Go Gal.

"Charles spotted her the first time she raced at Fresno," said McArthur. "We put her on a list to watch."

McArthur said Gotta Go Gal's breeding made her even more attractive.

"I looked up the pedigree on the dam's side and saw [her dam] was a nice runner going a distance," he said. "She won over $250,000."

Gotta Go Gal won her maiden at Golden Gate Fields in her second start. McArthur claimed her in her next start and she won a $40,000 starter allowance race in her first start for him.

Sunday's one-mile race will be her first around two turns.

"After she won, we said we wanted to go a route with her next time," McArthur said. "I think she can run a mile the way she came down the lane and galloped out. We're kind of excited to see what we've got."

Owner Merv Griffin and trainer Doug O'Neill bought Cee's Irish after her second start. Cee's Irish missed by a nose in the Cal Cup Juvenile Fillies in her first start for O'Neill, then came back to win her maiden in her next start.

O'Neill and Griffin had an eye on the Cal Cup when they bought her. They almost pulled off a storybook finish.

"The beauty with her is that she gets better with distance," O'Neill said. "Most 2-year-old fillies, if you add distance, fall by the wayside, but it's favored her when we've added distance."

Crisane, coming off a nine-length allowance sprint win at Hollywood Park, is the one to catch.

* O.K. Mikie, owned by Lo and trained by McArthur, suffered a fatal breakdown after a five-furlong work Friday morning.

O.K. Mikie was preparing for a comeback, and the five-furlong drill was his third on the comeback trail. He suffered a fractured shoulder. O.K. Mikie won the Golden State Mile in February.