11/27/2003 12:00AM

Lindsay Jean vs. Lacie Girl in Star Ball


ALBANY, Calif. - Lindsay Jean and Lacie Girl, northern California's top two female runners for the past year, head Saturday's Star Ball Handicap at Golden Gate Fields.

The two tower over their seven rivals in the $60,000-added, 1 1/16-mile race that contains seven stakes winners.

Lindsay Jean and Lacie Girl will sit close to a hot pace to likely be set by Watch Out World, Pheiffer, and A B Noodle.

Lindsay Jean, 5, is likely making her last start in northern California before running in the Sunshine Millions at Santa Anita on Jan. 24 and then moving to the breeding shed. She is the highweight at 120 pounds on the strength of three stakes victories this year, including the Grade 3 Brown Bess on the turf here in February.

Lacie Girl, 4, carries 119 pounds. She has 4 victories and 6 seconds in 10 stakes races this year.

Although primarily a sprinter, Lacie Girl did win the Star Ball by a nose over Lindsay Jean last year in her first race around two turns. She has tried two turns only one other time, finishing second in the one-mile Santa Clara Handicap at Bay Meadows in May.

"There's so long between sprint races, we want to try her here," said Lacie Girl's trainer, Jerry Hollendorfer.

By Editor's Note out of the Vice Regent mare Dream Regally, Lacie Girl is bred for two turns, but she has been so successful sprinting that Hollendorfer has kept her doing that.

Leading rider Russell Baze has ridden her 14 times, finishing no worse than second on her, though she's not the easiest filly to ride.

"I have to get her in the right spot and niggle at her to keep her mind on running," Baze said. "I don't mind keeping after her. It's not like you work your butt off for nothing."

If some question Lacie Girl stretching out, others may question Lindsay Jean running on the dirt. Although considered primarily a turf runner, Lindsay Jean won the Moment to Buy Handicap on the dirt here.

"She's such a class act," said trainer Art Sherman. "She's trained a lot better here than she was at Bay Meadows. She's been training outstanding."

"She always brings her 'A' game," said jockey Chad Schvaneveldt, who has ridden Lindsay Jean to all five of her stakes victories. "She can handle the dirt, and it won't hurt if it rains a little. We won her first stakes on a wet track."