06/03/2002 11:00PM

Marcutio finds turf suits him


SAN MATEO, Calif. - Fifteen years ago, Reina Gonzalez was breaking young Thoroughbreds for Dr. John Woolsey in her hometown of Santa Rosa, Calif.

Thursday, she will be trying to win the feature race at Bay Meadows for him.

Gonzalez will start Marcutio in the one-mile starter allowance race on the turf for nonwinners-of-two races. Marcutio, a 3-year-old who will meet older horses in the feature, won his turf debut in a maiden special weight race in his last start.

Marcutio did little in his debut but ran second in his second start when he ran for a $32,000 claiming tag, which makes him eligible for Thursday's race. Both were sprints on the main track, run before Gonzalez stretched him out to a mile on the turf on May 8. The result was a wire-to-wire score as Marcutio battled head and head into the stretch before pulling away for a 1 1/4-length victory.

Gonzalez was not surprised by the victory, even though Marcutio paid $25.60. He has the pedigree for turf. His sire is the Lyphard stallion Falstaff.

Gonzalez does not believe that Marcutio needs the lead to win.

"He's pretty versatile," she said. "I think he could sit off the pace and make a better late run. He only runs as fast as you ride him."

Gonzalez rode for 2 1/2 years in New Jersey and New York, and has been training for six years. She said that Marcutio has improved confidence-wise since his May 8 maiden victory. "They know when they win. When they don't, they get depressed."

Marcutio faces a full field. Five runners in the race won their maidens on the turf, including Scotty Wotty, who has the highest last-race Beyer on the turf. Aly Aly O, Sharp Boi, and Hopso also show maiden turf wins.

Several in the race ran faster fractions than Marcutio so Gonzalez's theory that he can be effective as a stalker will be tested.

Bosque Redondo passes

Bosque Redondo, the 119-pound highweight among the 17 nominees for Saturday's Grade 3, $150,000 All American Handicap will pass the 1 1/16-mile race and run in the $500,000 Californian at Hollywood Park on June 15, according to trainer Paco Gonzalez.

Trainer Richard Mandella, who will send Out of Mind, was waiting for a decision by the owner on whether to run Investor's Dream in the All American or Californian.