09/28/2003 11:00PM

Look for Vallarta late


SAN MATEO, Calif. - Trainer Donna Elordi was being more than a good Samaritan when she entered Vallarta in Wednesday's Bay Meadows feature, a $50,000 optional claimer at six furlongs.

Despite the presence of stakes-placed Trickey Trevor and stakes winners Sempai and Rio's Chase, Elordi believes her 5-year-old Vallarta has a chance to record his third straight victory.

"I think he's a very nice horse," she said. "He's very talented. He's proved it already."

Elordi got Vallarta this year from owners Paul Girdner and Reginald Jones after a 19-month layoff. She's unsure of all the reasons for the long layoff, but, in his last three starts, Vallarta has run second and then first in a pair of $25,000 claiming sprints and won a 1 1/16-mile allowance race on the turf.

"If I had to choose, I'd say he's a better route horse," Elordi said. "A long race doesn't come up for a while. Not that I don't think he has a chance, but this will be like a work for him, and hopefully I'll get paid for it."

Vallarta needs to beat only one of his five rivals to pick up a paycheck.

There is so much speed in the race, Elordi believes the race sets up nicely for Vallarta, who comes from off the pace.

"It would be my hope with all the speed that he'll get a perfect trip," Elordi said.

Trickey Trevor will be gunning from the rail, and Sempai breaks from the outside.

"I'd rather be on the outside," Trickey Trevor's trainer, William E. Morey, said.

Sempai is fast but has been unable to make the lead in two meetings with Trickey Trevor. Southern California invader Revello also has good speed, but he might sit just off Trickey Trevor and try to rally late.

While Revello is sharp, Trickey Trevor may be even sharper and is the horse to beat.

Little sibling wins debut

Wildwood Flower, a 2-year-old half-sister to stakes winner Eye of the Tiger, won her debut Saturday just as her brother did last fall at Golden Gate Fields.

Unlike Eye of the Tiger, who rallied wide from off the pace, Wildwood Flower was a wire-to-wire winner, running six furlongs faster than Sunday's 2-year-old stakes. She is owned and was bred by John Gunther.

"She's been showing a lot, but Mr. Gunther said to take all the time I wanted with her," said Jerry Hollendorfer, who also trains Eye of the Tiger. "I entered her once at Del Mar, but she drew a bad post. I didn't want her break from the one hole and scratched her."

Short field for Sprint

Only five or six horses may run in Saturday's $100,000 California Sprint Championship. Because of recent injuries to Echo Eddie and Full Moon Madness, who both ran in the Big Jag here as a prep for the Sprint, there were only eight nominees to the six-furlong race for Cal-breds.

Ten-year-old millionaire Men's Exclusive and 3-year-old Trapper, who has won three straight, are ready to go as are Con Quixote and Green Team. Menacing Dennis is likely with Hoovergetthekeys listed as possible.