04/12/2009 11:00PM

Just four fillies probable for Golden Poppy


Although there were only four confirmed entrants early in the week, the Golden Gate Fields racing office is hopeful that the field for Saturday's $75,000 Golden Poppy, a 1 1/16-mile turf race for 3-year-old fillies, will flush out a little when entries are taken Wednesday.

Two of the four confirmed starters, Point of Reference and Digestivo, are stakes-placed, and a third, Digestivo's stablemate Glacier Peak, has won back-to-back races. The fourth, Summers Peace, won two straight before finishing sixth in the Scottsdale Handicap in her turf debut at Turf Paradise. None of the four has won on grass.

Point of Reference ran fifth in her turf debut in the China Doll at Santa Anita, and came back to win an allowance locally on March 27. She missed by a nose to odds-on Will O Way in the California Oaks at 1 1/16 miles on the main track Jan. 31 and also ran third in the six-furlong Tiburon.

Digestivo ran third in the one-mile Corte Madera last December and will be making her first start since finishing fifth in the California Oaks. Glacier Peak has hit the board in three of four turf starts.

Only one stakes winner is among the nine nominees, Conga Kaye, and she has been entered in a first-level allowance race Friday in what would be her turf debut.

Three of the nominees raced in Europe, and all have made one start in this country, at Santa Anita. Hameildaeme won her maiden going 6 1/2 furlongs down the hill. Maid for Music was fourth in a troubled trip March 19 in a $50,000 claimer, while Cornish Rose was seventh in an allowance on March 11.

Sweetwaterwind is the most accomplished turf runner of the nominees, having run second in the Scottsdale Handicap in her turf debt. She then graduated on the turf and came back to run third in the Treasure Town, also at Turf Paradise, in her last start.

Baze on pace for 400-win season

Leading rider Russell Baze had a big week last week, scoring a pair of victories on Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday before notching four on Saturday and three on Sunday. Despite the hot streak, his win aboard Blue Suede Hooves on Saturday was still worth $10.60 on a $2 ticket.

Baze is on pace for yet another 400-win year. Baze has recorded 400 victories 12 times. No other rider has more than three 400-win years.

William Antongeorgi III also had a big weekend with three wins Sunday as well as a pair Saturday. Antongeorgi also had two winners Thursday.

* Vicky Aragon Baze, 44, one of the West Coast's most accomplished female jockeys, returned to the saddle Saturday after taking a two-year break from riding. She finished 10th aboard 29-1 longshot Warren's Hotrod with her first mount and third aboard 33-1 Rileys Classic with her second mount. She is planning to ride the remainder of the meet and the summer fair circuit. She is married to former rider Gary Baze.

* Kyle Kaenel said he plans to ride at Prairie Meadows in Altoona, Iowa, when the meet begins there April 24.

* Nominations close Saturday for the April 25 San Francisco Mile, a Grade 2, $300,000 turf race. Ferneley, who earned a 106 Beyer Speed Figure in his April 3 allowance victory over the turf, is expected to run.