08/10/2006 11:00PM

Logan Avenue Linda tries turf


SAN MATEO, Calif. - Trainer Brian Pitnick is looking forward to Sunday's feature at the San Mateo Fair at Bay Meadows. He sends Logan Avenue Linda against seven older rivals in a $62,500 optional claimer at 1 1/16 miles on the turf - a surface on which he's been wanting to try Logan Avenue Linda.

Logan Avenue Linda has won two straight. She romped in a starter allowance at Pleasanton, then was in a battle all the way at Solano, winning a first-level allowance race by a nose.

"She ran away from them at Pleasanton and got a very high Beyer [86], but had everything go her way," Pitnick said.

"I was more impressed by her last race. In terms of what it took to win, it was a much better effort. She had to knuckle down and show heart at the wire. I think at the wire was the only time the whole race - and galloping out - that she was ahead."

Handicappers may not feel as confident in Logan Avenue Linda as her trainer.

She's meeting much tougher Sunday, including Tight Circle, third in the Luther Burbank in her last start; Mac Rhapsody, who makes her first start since defeating Tight Circle over the turf here in June; and the speedy Mood Route, who lured jockey Chad Schvaneveldt away from Logan Avenue Linda.

Logan Avenue Linda is by the Irish-bred stallion Acecho and out of a General Meeting mare, breeding that Pitnick thinks will make her effective on turf. Logan Avenue Linda is her sire's lone winner from two starters and the first foal to race for her dam, Wee Willy Galpin, a multiple stakes winner in Oregon. The turf start will be the first for an offspring of Acecho, who was 4 for 20 in his career, winning one of three North American turf starts.

Logan Avenue Linda's Tomlinson rating on turf is a below-par 228, but, Pitnick said, "I don't think numbers mean much."

"I'm not concerned switching surfaces," he said. "My concern is meeting older and meeting better runners than she's faced before.

"I don't think she'll get the lead, but I think she'll break well and get over to save ground and track well. She's going to be competitive."