07/03/2006 11:00PM

Juvenile fillies stealing the show


PLEASANTON, Calif. - "Girls rule," an exultant Phil Lebherz yelled to cheering fans as he entered the Alameda County Fair winner's circle Sunday.

Lebherz and partner George Schmitt had plenty of reason to celebrate. Sharoana, a filly they own, had just beaten males, capping a big week for female runners, particularly 2-year-olds, in the first week of racing at Pleasanton.

Sharoana's trainer, Jeff Bonde, had reason to be just as excited as Lebherz. Sharoana's victory in the Everett Nevin Alameda County Futurity capped a big weekend for Bonde, a Pleasanton resident.

On Saturday, the Bonde-trained Untouched Talent, a $500,000 purchase, won her debut, capturing the Juan Gonzalez Memorial Stakes for 2-year-old fillies. Her stablemate French Forest ran second. A third Bonde-trained runner, Heiress Apparent, a $260,000 purchase, set the early pace before tiring and fading to fourth as she, too, debuted in a stakes race.

And it wasn't just the two Bonde-trained fillies basking in the spotlight the first week of the meet.

On opening day, June 28, the filly A.V. Flynn, a 2-year-old first-timer owned by For the Boys Stable and trained by Steve Miyadi, broke the track record of 56.20 seconds for five furlongs, winning a $25,000 maiden claimer by 13 lengths in 55.92 seconds.

Untouched Talent's time for five furlongs was 57.53, while Sharoana clocked 57.43.

Time is purely relative. Untouched Talent won with jockey Roberto Gonzalez spending more time looking back at the rest of the field from under his right arm than looking ahead to the finish line.

Untouched Talent was on the inside of a four-way pace duel down the backstretch, and Gonzalez said that had he drawn outside he would have taken her back. He had to go to maintain position, and she handled the turn perfectly.

As for Sharoana's victory in the Nevin, she was gunned from the gate, getting the jump on favored Zoning In, who coming off a victory in the Malcolm Anderson Stakes. He never had a chance as Sharoana sprinted away.

Bonde tried the filly Devons Smokin in the Nevin last year, but she lost. She came back to win the $125,000 CTBA stakes at Del Mar in her next start. That race is also planned as the next stop for Sharoana.

A.V. Flynn hadn't even had time to cool out from her victory when calls began coming in with offers to buy her. Miyadi and his owners are taking their time to come up with a decision. After all, they were willing to risk her for $25,000 first time out.

Miyadi was not surprised by the California-bred A.V. Flynn until she entered the lane and kept going.

"With her quickness, I thought the fact she was leading by a length down the backstretch was about right," he said. "She'd opened a little by the quarter pole, and I was thinking, 'Hang on.' But she kept on going on. She showed some ability."

Miyadi would like to run A.V. Flynn in the July 23 Solano County Juvenile Filly Stakes at Solano. The $50,000-added 5 1/2-furlong stakes is for California-breds.

Garcia to ride five in return

Apprentice Martin Garcia will ride at Pleasanton on Thursday, competing in races for the first time at the track where he got his start with Thoroughbreds as an exercise rider.

Garcia, who is riding at Hollywood Park, moved his tack to Southern California after winning the Golden Gate Fields spring meet riding title. He tied Russell Baze for the riding title at the Bay Meadows holiday meet.

Garcia has five mounts, each of which seems live. He will ride Startatthetop in the fourth race, Flamin Al in the seventh, Moody Rythum in the eighth, Can I Call You Dad in the ninth, and Excessive Group in the 10th.

Two jockeys injured

David Lopez and the apprentice Chris Landeros were injured in a spill Saturday when Lopez's mount, Paint Me Quick, broke down while battling for the lead just before entering the turn. Landeros's mount, Shytrando, tried to hurdle the fallen horse, stumbled and unseated her rider.

Lopez is expected to miss four to six weeks with a broken collarbone, while Landeros's status is uncertain after suffering ligament damage to a knee.