09/17/2003 11:00PM

Lindsay Jean on familiar turf


SAN MATEO, Calif. - Trainer Art Sherman spent the early part of the week reloading his barn, buying 12 yearlings at the Keeneland September sale.

On Saturday, he'll send out his current star, Lindsay Jean, in what will likely be her final northern California appearance. She is entered in the $60,000-added Hillsborough Handicap for older fillies and mares at 1 1/16 miles on the turf.

Lindsay Jean, a 5-year-old mare who won the Grade 3 Brown Bess earlier this year at Golden Gate Fields, has won two of her past three starts on the Bay Meadows turf, capturing the $75,000 Miss America last spring and the $60,000 Autumn Leaves in her last start, on Aug. 30. She also finished third after leading in the stretch of the Grade 3 Yerba Buena over the course last spring.

Lindsay Jean will be pointed for a final race in the Sunshine Millions in January, after which plans are for her to be retired to become a broodmare.

"She looked good today," Sherman said Thursday morning after entering her against nine rivals.

His biggest concern going into Saturday's race is not that Lindsay Jean drew post 10, but that the race comes only three weeks since her last start, a half-length victory over Marty's Zee and Pheiffer, who dead-heated for second in the one-mile Autumn Leaves.

"I do like to give her a little more time," Sherman said.

Lindsay Jean had nine weeks off before the Autumn Leaves. With the Hillsborough also penciled in on her dance card, Lindsay Jean was not asked for much before that start.

"She probably needed the race," Sherman said. "She came out of the race better than she went into it. She comes into this race a little sharper. She was a little quiet going into that one."

Sherman was worried early in the Autumn Leaves when Lindsay Jean, ridden by Chad Schvaneveldt, took well back off pacesetting Marty's Zee.

"I didn't think she'd be back like that, but Chad said she was very comfortable," Sherman said.

Plenty of speed is present in Saturday's race, so that style should play well again.

As much as Sherman is looking ahead to Saturday, he's also looking forward to next year with his new yearlings. He has had good luck in the past at Keeneland, where he has purchased stakes winners Lykatill Hil and Presidio Heights, and good-looking 2-year-old Don'tcallmefrisco, a winner in his debut last month.

And his future shopping plans could include one of Lindsay Jean's foals.

"She's going to be a great broodmare," he said. "She's a real sweetheart. I'd love to train one of her babies."