06/02/2004 11:00PM

Hollendorfer the man with Midas touch


SAN MATEO, Calif. - There's hot, and then there's Jerry Hollendorfer hot.

Northern California's leading trainer comes off arguably the best local week in his distinguished career.

From May 26 to May 31, he saddled 25 horses in six days at Bay Meadows. Twelve won, five finished second, five finished third. Every one earned a paycheck.

That's 48 percent winners, 88 percent on the board.

He ran horses in 21 races, winning 12. Twice he had horses run one-two in races, including Monday's Grade 3 Seabiscuit Handicap.

He also won last Saturday's Santa Clara Handicap with Gonetorule, who earlier in the meet provided him with his 4,000th career victory, making him the sixth trainer to reach that milestone.

Hollendorfer started the week with the third five-win day in his training career. Only two other northern California trainers, Walter Greenman and Ace Gibson, have won five in a day once.

"Everything fell in place," Hollendorfer said. "We got a little lucky."

Add in four winners from seven starters the previous Sunday, and his numbers are even more phenomenal for seven racing days: 32 starters, 26 races, 16 wins.

During the current meet, Hollendorfer, who has 27 straight Bay Meadows titles to his credit, is winning at a 27.5 percent clip. His 54 wins are more than his top two rivals, Art Sherman (23) and John Martin (21), combined.

And he has won five of the 10 stakes run thus far, finishing one-two in three of those: the Miss America (Hippogator and Marwood), San Jose (Heavenly Humor and Secret Corsage), and Seabiscuit (Yougottawanna and Gold Ruckus).

Hollendorfer is driven to win. He may have mellowed a bit over the years, but that hasn't blunted his work ethic or desire. He is a bit more willing to enjoy the wins and suffer the losses a bit more graciously.

After winning the Santa Clara, Hollendorfer reflected on the important role jockeys such as Russell Baze and Ron Warren Jr. have played in his success, working horses in the morning and riding them in the afternoon.

After the one-two finish in the Seabiscuit, he said, "Things don't always go like that. Many things happen behind the scenes that the public doesn't know. Lots of things go wrong."

But, of late, nothing has gone wrong with Hollendorfer.