04/15/2004 11:00PM

Hollendorfer: I wanted 4,000 'real bad'

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SAN MATEO, Calif. - It didn't take trainer Jerry Hollendorfer long to reach the 4,000-victory milestone at Bay Meadows on Thursday.

He came into the day needing two wins after a pair of victories Wednesday.

High Liability, his first of three entrants Thursday, ran second as the favorite after leading in the stretch in the second race. Soccer Dan, ridden by Russell Baze, won the fifth race by four lengths as the 4-5 favorite. Victory number 4,000 came in the next race, when Gonetorule paid a very un-Hollendorfer-like $17.80 as she beat 1-2 shot Five Star Meeting by a half-length.

"It's kind of a big deal for me. I wanted it real bad, and I worked hard to get here," Hollendorfer said after a winner's circle celebration that included the presentation of a flat-screen television by Bay Meadows.

Winning rider Ron Warren Jr. was almost as happy as Hollendorfer.

"I love that kind of thing. I was hoping I'd get to do it," Warren said of being part of the milestone. "I told Jerry in the winner's circle not to cut me out of the picture and paste Russell instead."

Baze has nearly 2,000 wins with Hollendorfer.

Warren, who once came to blows with Hollendorfer as he was weighing in after a race, said he respects the trainer.

"His intensity and attention to detail can't be matched," Warren said. "He wants a $3,200 claimer to come over the same as a stakes horse. He doesn't take anything for granted.

"He's so good to work for, said Warren. "He'll talk to you about an equipment change you might suggest. He's like all successful people. He surrounds himself with good people. He takes the information he gets from everybody and uses it to the best for his horses."

Alferez returns

Jockey Jose Alferez returned to riding Thursday, finishing last aboard longshot Louisiana Storm and losing by a head to Riley's Orbit after a strong rally aboard Dominated Day.

Alferez had not ridden since a positive drug test last month, but because he voluntarily left the track was given a retroactive 30-day suspension from March 9 to April 7 for violation of a California Horse Racing Board rule covering disorderly conduct and illegal drugs.

He will remain on probation for the term of his license, March 30, 2006, and is subject to the terms of his sobriety contract with the Winners Foundation and a signed testing agreement.

I'mbethtoo a tough stalker

I'mbethtoo, Princess Lianna and Madrone, all coming off wins, tackle stakes-winning Heavenly Humor in Sunday's $55,000-added Stanford Stakes for 3-year-old fillies at six furlongs Sunday.

I'mbethtoo, who has won two straight from a stalking position, is vastly improved and is 4 for 5 in her career. She beat the odds-on Heavenly Humor in her last start and has also defeated Madrone. Princess Liana is 2 for 2 in her career.