05/20/2003 11:00PM

Mare looking like a million


SAN MATEO, Calif. - The development of Lindsay Jean has "been fun" for trainer Art Sherman, he said.

A 5-year-old mare, Lindsay Jean has won both her starts this year, the Grade 3 Brown Bess Handicap at Golden Gate Fields on Feb. 1 and the Miss America at Bay Meadows on April 5.

She is unlikely to be favored in Saturday's Grade 3, $150,000 Yerba Buena Breeders' Cup Handicap over Bay Meadows' Longden Turf Course, but she will be tough to beat in the 1 1/8-mile race that may have nine entrants.

Three Grade 2 winners are scheduled to run. Noches de Rosa won the Grade 2 Santa Ana on March 22 at Santa Anita. Turtle Bow was a Group 2 winner in France, while Notting Hill was a Grade 2 winner in her native Brazil.

"It's nice to develop one in Northern California," said Sherman, who got Lindsay Jean, a $250,000 Fasig-Tipton 2-year-old-in-training purchase by Jerome and Ann Moss, after disappointing results early in her career down south.

"Everyone is paying a million dollars for horses like this. She's by Saint Ballado. I've never had a chance to get one of this type of bred horses. I always looked at them at sales in Kentucky, but I never could buy one."

Lindsay Jean has won 6 of 23 starts, earning $310,910.

Lindsay Jean had two months between races for both her Brown Bess and Miss America victories. She has had seven weeks since the Miss America.

"I can train her up to the race and not worry she'll be short," Sherman said. "If you want her to go 1:02, she goes 1:02. If you want her to go 58, she goes 58."

After the Miss America, said Sherman, "I went easy with her for three weeks. I just let her gallop. The last few when she's been asked, she's put more into it."

Lindsay Jean has a pair of bullet six-furlong drills in her past two works, going in 1:11.50 on May 11 and 1:10.80 on May 18.

Exercise rider Rick Privitera "deserves a lot of credit," Sherman said. "He's light, only about 105 pounds, but he's got her under control and has gotten her to relax. I don't put anyone on her but him."

Sherman's lone concern is Saturday's distance, since Lindsay Jean has never raced 1 1/8 miles.

* Alphabetic, an 8 1/2-length winner in his debut at Turf Paradise, will face six rivals in Friday's Bay Meadows feature, a six-furlong allowance sprint. Restrictions Apply, coming off a game victory in a $40,000 starter allowance race, and West Saratoga, second in a troubled trip against similar in his last start, could provide the main competition.