02/24/2004 12:00AM

Irish Ides gets a race, but is it too tough?


ALBANY, Calif. - Perhaps trainer Greg Gilchrist forgot that sage piece of advice: be careful what you wish for, because it might come true.

Gilchrist's undefeated Irish Ides returns to the races at Golden Gate Fields on Thursday in a $50,000 optional claimer at six furlongs.

Irish Ides won her debut in a $25,000 maiden claimer at Pleasanton last summer and followed up with a victory in the Solano County Juvenile Fillies Stakes.

"She broke her maiden and won that little stakes," Gilchrist said. "That's all well and good at the time, but when you come back, it's not like you'll find a soft spot. Thank God, the racing secretary wrote this race."

It sounds like a good spot for a 3-year-old filly with an unblemished record to make her comeback, but Irish Ides hasn't faced this kind of competition before.

Lined up against her are two stakes winners: Heavenly Humor, who recently won the Miss California by five lengths, and Uppity Kitty, who ran third to Heavenly Humor in the Miss California in her first start since winning the Courtship Stakes at Bay Meadows three months earlier.

There also is I'mbethtoo, a two-length allowance winner in a fast race in her last start, and a minor stakes winner in Ugotadowhatugotado, who has won two straight starts and was recently claimed.

Rounding out the field is Little Foxy Baby, who trailed Uppity Kitty and Heavenly Humor in their stakes victories but won the first two starts of her career.

Heavenly Humor is the one to beat. Her only defeat is to her stakes-winning stablemate Wildwood Flower, which came in her racing debut; Heavenly Humor has defeated another stablemate, Bending Strings.

Gilchrist agrees that the speedy, versatile Heavenly Humor should be the heavy favorite. Still, he isn't sure exactly how to classify Irish Ides, who he had considered only the third-best filly in his barn last summer.

"She did what she was supposed to do," he said. "Maybe we need to look back and see where the horses she beat are now.

"We never had a major problem with her. She sored up a little bit after she put two tough races together. Her condition was not 100 percent, so we decided to wait then come back and run all of her 3-year-old year.

"She's coming back good, but there will be a question about her condition. She'll run as hard as she can every time. We'll run her here and then evaluate."

Hollendorfer fills field

Ten runners were nominated to Saturday's San Carlos Handicap for 3-year-olds and up at a mile, including five from the barn of leading trainer Jerry Hollendorfer.

Hollendorfer nominated Boss Ego, Bring Home Thegold, Cappuchino, Gold Ruckus, and Sirpa. But the horse to beat might be Onebadshark, from Brian Koriner's barn.