03/19/2003 12:00AM

Mile feature may be glimpse of local derby


ALBANY, Calif. - Friday's feature race at Golden Gate Fields could end up being a prep for next month's California Derby.

Five 3-year-olds are entered in the one-mile allowance race.

Always Remember, who missed by a head to Spensive in the Gold Rush Stakes in December, will make his first start since a fifth-place finish behind Ministers Wild Cat in the Golden State Mile Feb. 9.

Each of the other four runners enters the race coming off a victory.

Uncle Jack, who may be favored, has won two straight in Southern California. He showed good speed in both races. Mr. Elusive steps up off a $25,000 claiming victory. Tiz a Coup and Too Much for T.V. both come off maiden victories.

Tiz a Coup will be making only his third start. He was fourth in his debut sprinting, and won his next start, at a mile.

"We thought all along just by the way he trained that he'd better at a mile or more," Trainer Allen Severinsen said. "That's why we came right back at a mile."

Tiz a Coup is owned by Betty and Bob Irvin and Severinsen. He is a half-brother to Cal Cup winner White Cloud from the Irvins' mare Big Squaw.

Tiz a Coup is young, a late-April foal. But he has always impressed Severinsen.

Severin admits, though, that Tiz a Coup still has much to learn on the track.

"He was rank early last time because he was raring to go," Severinsen said. "He's not nervous like his brother was as a young horse, but he's very anxious.

"Right now, it's all about trying to get him to relax early on. If he can relax early, he could develop into a nice horse, but he still has to show us what he's capable of."

Danville field uncertain but probably slim

Saturday's stakes, the six-furlong, $60,000-added Danville Handicap, has 13 nominees, but the field may not be large. Two of the nominees were in a Wednesday sprint at Santa Anita, and the top two local sprinters, El Dorado Shooter and Halo Cat, may pass despite being nominated.

Trickey Trevor, a winner of two straight, and Big League are nominated to the six-furlong race. Trickey Trevor beat Big League by a nose last out, and was claimed for $50,000 by trainer Chuck Peery.

The most intriguing name on the list of nominees is stakes winner Cappuchino, who has not run since last September. Cappuchino has had three straight bullet drills in preparation for his comeback.