04/21/2002 11:00PM

Longshot trainer runs pair


SAN MATEO, Calif. - Low-profile trainer Alex Paszkeicz has the ability to light up the tote board, especially in turf races.

He has two chances - with Califo and Sweet Bimbo - to do his thing Wednesday at Bay Meadows, which switches to a 1 p.m. first post.

Califo will run in the day's co-feature, a 1 1/16-mile $25,000 claimer for older horses on the turf. Long-time maiden Sweet Bimbo will run in a one-mile $32,000 maiden claimer for fillies and mares on the turf.

Paszkeicz (prounced PASS-ke-witz), a high school track and cross country coach for 27 years, began training in 1992, while he was still coaching.

"I only had one or two [horses] for the first four or five years," he said. For the first year and a half, I was still teaching."

Paszkeicz, who bred and owns both Califo and Sweet Bimbo, shows an average return on a $2 bet of $5.28 for his turf starters.

Califo has helped account for that figure. He has won twice on the turf, returning $92.90 last summer at the Bay Meadows Fair and $23.80 in a race three back at Golden Gate Fields.

"He just goes out and gives his best," Paszkeicz said. "He tries to take as much as he can get."

Sweet Bimbo is an enigma to Paszkeicz. She's 0 for 27 in her career and 0 for 17 on the turf, where she has four seconds and two thirds. She has earned $59,390.

"She's bringing in the checks," Paszkeicz said. "I've had maidens like her who put out and work hard and not break their maidens."

Sweet Bimbo has earned $45,820 on the turf. "I just wanted to try her on the turf," Paszkeicz said. "She wasn't doing anything on the dirt. I had to step her up, and it raised some eyebrows, but it worked.

"My theory about turf is a little different. A lot of people talk breeding, but horses are reared in pastures. That's all they know early in their life. They get used to that."

Strong field for Grade 2 Mile

Defending champion Redattore and stablemate The Tin Man, Group 1 winner Suances, and Designed for Luck are to run in Saturday's $250,000, Grade 2 San Francisco Breeders' Cup Mile.

In addition, trainer Neil Drysdale said he will run either Irish Prize or Sarafan. Trainer Bobby Frankel is waiting to see weight assignments before deciding whether to run Decarchy, who is 2 for 2 in 2002. Decarchy and Irish Prize are listed as co-highweights at 121 pounds among the race's 19 nominees.

Seven-year itch

Rick Privitera, who retired as a jockey in 1995 and is working as a pharmacy technician, scored his first victory in seven years when he rode Lost Maid to victory in an $8,000 maiden race Saturday. Privitera began galloping horses a year ago, and didn't plan to ride - until trainer Dennis Ward asked him to ride Lost Maid. Privitera guided her to a fourth on April 6 before her victory.

Privitera does not plan to resume riding full-time, but said he would "ride the odd horse here and there."