10/09/2003 11:00PM

Highweight no standout in Ramser


ARCADIA, Calif. - Trainer Mike Machowsky and jockey Jose Valdivia Jr. are likely to have a brief strategy session before Fencelineneighbor starts in Sunday's $100,000 Harold Ramser Handicap at Santa Anita.

Machowsky learned his lesson after giving elaborate instructions to Valdivia before Fencelineneighbor finished fifth in the San Clemente Handicap on Aug. 2. He shortened his presentation for the Barona Cup Handicap on Aug. 23.

"The time before last, she was five wide the whole way and that was my fault," Machowsky said. "I told Jose to keep her clear. The next time I said, 'Don't listen to me.' "

Fencelineneighbor responded with a convincing victory by 1 1/4 lengths in the one-mile Barona Cup, the same distance as the Ramser, for 3-year-old fillies.

Fencelineneighbor starts as the 118-pound highweight. Machowsky decided to run Fencelineneighbor after Dessert was not entered. Dessert won the Grade 1 Del Mar Oaks in August.

Fencelineneighbor is not a standout among the 12 fillies entered for the Ramser. The race drew four other stakes winners - Amber Hills, Star Vega, Summer Wind Dancer, and Valdoura.

Star Vega is attempting to end a four-race losing streak dating back to a narrow win in the Providencia Stakes over this turf course last April. The four losses came in major stakes, including a fourth in the San Clemente and a sixth in the Del Mar Oaks.

"In the last two races, I thought she was good and got beat by better," trainer Jim Cassidy said. "She's training great, so I look for her to have a good effort."

Cassidy was encouraged by Star Vega's stalking position in the Del Mar Oaks under Mike Smith. In previous races, Star Vega had come from farther back, relying on a quick pace to help her late kick.

"Mike got her a little closer than she's ever been," Cassidy said. "I thought she was a dead closer."

There should be ample speed in the Ramser to help Star Vega. Alashir's World, who is making her stakes debut, and Amber Hills, a multiple stakes winner, run close to the front.

The stalkers include No Kings and Summer Wind Dancer. No Kings was a troubled sixth in the Carmel Handicap at Bay Meadows Sept. 13, losing all chance when blocked in the stretch.

"She had a ton of trouble last time or I thought she would have won," trainer Ron McAnally said.

Summer Wind Dancer was a game second in the Solana Beach Handicap at Del Mar on Sept. 1, her first start on turf.