04/17/2003 11:00PM

Lacie Girl makes her turf debut

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SAN MATEO, Calif. - Sunday's $60,000-added Woodside Handicap at Bay Meadows could be a handicapper's dream or nightmare.

A mixed bag of nine fillies and mares will compete in the five-furlong turf feature.

The field includes a pair of comebackers: defending champion Fancee Bargain, who won this race last year when it was six furlongs on the main track and will be making her first start since Nov. 2, and Ragin T Rex, who has not started since running second in the Torrey Pines Handicap at Del Mar last Sept. 8.

Lacie Girl, the 121-pound highweight, and Fertile will make their turf debuts. Lacie Girl was the Golden Gate Fields horse of the meeting with three stakes victories and a narrow loss by a nose.

Six of the nine entrants are stakes winners: Fertile, Fancee Bargain, Onslaught, Ragin T Rex, Maria's Mirage, and Lacie Girl.

Of the non-stakes winners, Miss New York enters with three straight victories, while Pali Princess won her comeback in her last start.

The ones to beat in the race could be Lacie Girl and Ragin T Rex.

Ragin T Rex is unbeaten on the turf, winning the Manhattan Beach at 5 1/2 furlongs at Hollywood Park last summer and the Finlandia Cup at a mile at Del Mar. She has been off for seven months but scored her maiden victory off an eight-month layoff.

She was an 11-length winner on the main track in her lone start at Bay Meadows.

Lacie Girl's lone loss in northern California came in her last start, the Soviet Problem Handicap, when her closing rally fell just short of the Chilean-bred Ema Bovary, who has been shipped to Seattle to run at Emerald Downs.

Despite her obvious talent, Lacie Girl does not seem to have a strong grass pedigree, and the outside post could be difficult for the closer to overcome.

Miss New York was claimed for $40,000 out of a victory in an optional claiming race in her last start at Santa Anita on Feb. 20.

"I took a nice mare named Boca Dream up north at Golden Gate, and [Miss New York] beat her. That's why we claimed her," trainer Steve Knapp said.

"She can run any distance up to 6 1/2 and on dirt or turf. I'm not sure what's best for her."

Miss New York is 3 for 3 this year after going 0 for 10 last year.

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