10/10/2004 11:00PM

Holiday weekend dilutes Wednesday card


SAN MATEO, Calif. - With several tracks having run Monday because of the Columbus Day holiday, some jurisdictions are taking Wednesday off. But not California.

The six-day racing week, coupled with racing at both Bay Meadows and the Big Fresno Fair, has resulted in a shortage of entries for Wednesday's races.

On Monday, Fresno had 75 horses entered in eight races. Six of the races were for Thoroughbreds, and those attracted 55 horses.

Fresno's Wednesday card dropped off dramatically, with 62 entrants for eight races. The five Thoroughbred races attracted 38 horses.

Monday at Bay Meadows, 57 horses were entered in the eight races, with two scratched off the program. There were 52 betting interests, including three entries, meaning there was an average of 6.5 betting interests per race.

On Wednesday, only 49 horses were entered at Bay Meadows, with one early scratch, meaning there will be an average of six horses per race and no superfecta opportunities on the card.

The draw for Thursday's card included only 56 horses, an average of seven per race.

Right course for Can I Call You Dad

Wednesday's Bay Meadows feature drew six fillies and mares in a $25,000 claimer at one mile on the turf.

The race could come down to Can I Call You Dad, who has won 3 of 6 starts over the turf here, including a claiming race Sept. 22, and Royal Teresa, who was fourth as the favorite in that race.

The field also includes the comebacking Chic Domestique, who is making her first start since Dec. 28.

Air Julie pulls big upset

In Sunday's Harvest Futurity at Fresno, 3-10 favorite Wind Water lost to Air Julie ($38.40), a filly whose lone victory was in a $12,500 maiden claimer.

Wind Water had an excuse, though. Longer Walk, who was part of the pace battle with Tough Buy, kept floating Wind Water wide, leaving the rail wide open for Air Julie. Air Julie was home free after some traffic problems early on the turn and won by three-quarters of a length. Longer Walk, who lost to Wind Water by 11 in the San Mateo Stakes, finished second by a nose.

Wind Water looked as if he would take the lead out of the gate, but was fourth early. Michael Lenzini, who trains Air Julie, said he expected Air Julie to be challenging Wind Water early, but she, too, was far back.

"She was boxed in on the turn, and that gave her a chance to get a breather," said Lenzini.

Midwife thriving on turf

Owner-trainer Jedd Josephson concedes that Midwife is a cheap claimer at best on the dirt.

But on the turf, particularly the Longden Turf Course at Bay Meadows, Midwife is the queen, with 3 wins in 3 starts, including Saturday's Palo Alto Handicap. She has won all three races in wire-to-wire style.

"My gallop girl, Clare Pear, deserves a lot of credit," said Josephson. "She's really gotten her to relax."