08/11/2003 11:00PM

Mistical Jaz in 'tough spot' on the turf

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SAN MATEO, Calif. - Mistical Jaz makes her first start since making headlines for winning a $25,000 maiden claimer at Del Mar on Aug. 1, when she runs in a $40,000 starter allowance race at the Bay Meadows Fair Thursday.

Mistical Jaz's late rally and neck victory in the final race at Del Mar that day earned five Santa Rosa-area men a state-record $1.5 million pick six.

"She got a lot of PR out of that," trainer Gloria Buckridge said. "When we heard someone from Santa Rosa won the pick six that day, it was pretty exciting."

"We were thrilled. We got the win and had a lot of fun. The whole thing was great, and the owners were ecstatic. Everybody knows I have the filly. Everybody still talks to my husband about it at the golf course."

Mistical Jaz paid $23.20 for her victory, which surprised Buckridge.

Recalling a July 18 veterinarian's scratch, she said, "She was 9-5 at Hollywood Park when they scratched her in the paddock, and at Del Mar, she met the exact same horses."

Regarding Thursday's race, Buckridge said, "We wanted to run in a starter allowance race. This came up a little tougher than we thought, but she's coming into herself."

Mistical Jaz is 0 for 4 on the turf, but Buckridge said, "She's had some things happen to her in her turf races. This is a tough spot, but she's a tough filly."

Only one filly in Thursday's field of six has won on the turf, Magnetic. The likely favorite, she has one win and five seconds in eight starts on the turf, but she has not run since June 5 when she was second in a similar spot. She should be nicely positioned behind Marquet First and Our Game Plan early.

* In a $40,000 optional claimer for fillies and mares at five furlongs on the turf Thursday, 3-year-old stakes winner Viansa Ossidiana will meet older as she runs for the first time since finishing sixth in the California Oaks at Golden Gate Fields on March 15.

"This might have been the only spot for her comeback," said Joe Jacot, assistant to trainer Jerry Hollendorfer. "It might have been either put her in a stakes or find a little easier spot even if it's against older. This is her turf debut so maybe we'll find something out."