04/29/2003 12:00AM

Hopes high for all five juveniles


SAN MATEO, Calif. - For those worried about both the quality and quantity of Thoroughbreds in northern California, Thursday's first race at Bay Meadows may answer the first of those concerns.

Only five 2-year-old fillies are entered for the 4 1/2-furlong maiden race - the most interesting race on a Thursday card that also includes a pair of $40,000 starter allowance races - but their owners and trainers believe in the quality of each filly.

Lucy Loup (Loup Sauvage-Miss Aciss, by Sham) drew the rail for trainer Chuck Peery. She was a $50,000 purchase at the March Barretts sale of 2-year-olds in training.

Vaca City Flyer (Michael's Flyer-Desert Rose, by Native Prospector) breaks from post 2 for owner-trainer Ellen Jackson. She was a $48,904 yearling purchase. Smoke Break (Smokester-Sky Feather, by Flying Paster), a homebred, drew post 3 for trainer Gil Matos.

One Trick Pony (Mazel Trick-Turn and Sparkle, by Danzatore) will break from post 4. She cost $57,000 as a yearling and is trained by Jeff Bonde.

Bonde also trains - and part-owns - Helen Anna (Smoke Glacken-Illustrious Lady, by Apalachee), who will break from post 5. Bonde paid $105,000 for her at the February Ocala sale of 2-year-olds in training. She sold for $38,000 as a yearling at the Keeneland September sale, the same sale from which Bonde bought One Trick Pony.

Smoke Break, One Trick Pony, and Helen Anna have the best workouts.

Smoke Break has two bullets among her eight workouts and finished preparations last Wednesday with a half-mile gate drill in 46.80 seconds.

One Trick Pony shows a dozen workouts for her debut. Her last move was a bullet gate drill in 35.40 seconds in the mud Saturday. Helen Anna shows four workouts, including a half-mile move in 45.60 seconds April 16.

Bonde enjoys working with 2-year-olds and says both of his entrants have trained well.

"Two-year-olds are always best," Bonde said. "You don't know where the end of the rainbow is."

Bonde said it's easier to evaluate 2-year-olds than yearlings.

"Yearlings can have nice conformation, and you can tell some things by the way they walk," he said. "Most of the time they fill out like you expect, but not always.

"Two-year-olds, you can see them run and watch their stride. You can watch them on the track and then watch replays [of their timed workouts]."

Before purchasing Helen Anna, Bonde repeatedly watched tape of her sale workout. He liked her then, and likes what he's seen since.

He feels the same about One Trick Pony, but he's not alone. All trainers represented in the maiden race seem to have equally good pre-race feelings, but only one's expectations will be fully realized Thursday.