08/09/2004 11:00PM

Martin duo both in it to win it


SAN MATEO, Calif. - For several weeks, trainer R.L. Martin has tried unsuccessfully to enter Credentialed in a race.

So Thursday at the Bay Meadows Fair, he did what many trainers do to make a race go, but with a twist.

He entered not only Credentialed in the day's feature, a $20,000 claimer at six furlongs, but also Spectacular Milli. That brought the total of entrants in the race for 3-year-old fillies to five, and it was carded.

The twist comes from Martin's intentions with Spectacular Milli. While many trainers have been known to enter two horses to make a race go while intending to scratch one horse all along, Martin said, "I'm going to run both."

The two stablemates, both coming off wins against easier company at Pleasanton, look tough in the race, although Naughty Laura, who ran third in a $25,000 claimer at Solano in her first start of the year, may be the one to beat.

Martin likes both of his runners. He claimed each in April, paying $20,000 for Spectacular Milli on April 17 and $16,000 for Credentialed on April 21. He claimed both off trainer John F. Martin, who is no relation.

"They're both young and haven't run a heck of a lot," R.L. Martin said.

Credentialed has run four times for her new barn and comes off a victory in a $12,500 claimer at Pleasanton on July 7.

Spectacular Milli has also run four times for Martin and has a third, a second, and most recently a victory in a $12,500 claimer at Pleasanton on July 3.

"You probably wouldn't want to run them both together, but both are ready, and both need to run," Martin said.

Martin says he finds it difficult to separate the two.

"Credentialed beat older, if that means anything," he said.

Spectacular Milli has a better record - three wins, three seconds, and a pair of thirds in nine starts. Credentialed has two wins, a second, and a third in seven starts.

Spectacular Milli has better early speed and looks the one to catch in the race.

Naughty Laura will be last early, but she showed in her start at Solano that she can be a factor in the lane and may get up in time.