02/14/2002 12:00AM

Guess who has them over a barrel?


ALBANY, Calif. - Not surprisingly, northern California's leading trainer, Jerry Hollendorfer, seems to have the one to beat in Saturday's $55,000-added Richmond Handicap at Golden Gate Fields.

Hollendorfer will saddle three of the eight older fillies and mares entered in the six-furlong stakes race. They are Bullish Miss and My First Lady, who will run as an entry, and The Lord's Tune.

Rounding out the field are multiple stakes winners Hall of Gold and Phaenna, defending champion Rollette, Imadeed, and Selector.

The Lord's Tune is the most interesting of Hollendorfer's three starters.

She has won eight of her past nine starts, with the lone defeat coming against males. She is capable of a sub 21-second opening quarter, yet has run in $6,250 starter allowance races.

Hollendorfer did not think he was claiming a potential stakes runner when he claimed The Lord's Tune for $25,000 March 30 at Santa Anita. But he is not necessarily surprised at the result.

"I liked her consistency," said Hollendorfer, explaining the claim.

"Some horses run cheap early on, then they find out what's going on and improve. I didn't do anything special with her."

The Lord's Tune was eligible for a starter allowance series, and Hollendorfer ran her in the claim-proof races. But he also ran her in a $50,000 optional claimer at Arlington Park on Oct. 18, although not for a tag. He ran her for $80,000 in an optional claimer at Golden Gate Fields on Dec. 26.

The Lord's Tune won both of those races as well as a $6,500 starter allowance race in her last start.

Bullish Miss might be the best of the three Hollendorfer runners.

"I think she's very much improved," Hollendorfer said.

Bullish Miss was second to Above Perfection in the Orinda Handicap in her last start Jan. 21. She won two of her first three starts for Hollendorfer early last year, but did little in her stakes debut at Arlington Park in the Ribbon Stakes in June. She was third in an allowance race in her next start, in July, then was freshened until a Nov. 29 victory at Golden Gate Fields.

"She didn't handle Chicago that well," Hollendorfer said. "She needed time off, and the owners let me give her the time."

My First Lady came back from a three-month layoff and finished second in a 1 1/16-mile $40,000 optional claimer on Jan. 24.

"I don't have anywhere to run her," Hollendorfer said, explaining why she is entered in the Richmond.

My First Lady has three wins and two seconds in eight starts at the distance, as well as two firsts and a second in three starts over the track.

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