08/30/2005 11:00PM

Molinaro has mare to beat


SAN MATEO, Calif. - Racing resumes at Bay Meadows on Friday with a solid card that starts off a big holiday weekend.

Seven fillies and mares meet in the day's feature, a one-mile first-level allowance race.

Also on the card is a 5 1/2-furlong starter allowance race for 2-year-old fillies and a 1 1/16-mile turf race for maidens.

Sun Valley Anna appears the one to beat in the feature. A 5-year-old mare, she has won 8 of 29 starts and is 4 for 7 over the Bay Meadows track, including a victory in a $25,000 claimer at the Bay Meadows Fair in her last start.

"She has been a tough competitor," said trainer Kent Molinaro, who has won 3 of 5 races with Sun Valley Anna since claiming her for $12,500 on June 10, 2004.

likes the front end and gets a masterful speed rider, Roberto Gonzalez, who guided her to victory in her last start.

Sun Valley Anna is making only her third start of the year. She was off for seven months following a sixth-place finish in allowance company on the turf last November.

"I don't think she liked the surface, but she lost a shoe in the race and tore her foot up," Molinaro said. "It took a while to get her right."

Sun Valley Anna ran third in her comeback at Pleasanton before winning at the fair here.

"She was hooked all the way and actually held on well," Molinaro said of her comeback. "Last time, the pace situation was better, and she'd had a race under her belt."

The race will be the U.S. debut of , who is trained by Paulo Lobo. A Brazilian-bred mare, Fast Navy was 1-10 when she won a handicap by eight lengths in her last start in her native country on March 19.

She has worked steadily at Santa Anita and is the one who concerns Molinaro the most.

"The race doesn't look overly tough, but you don't know what she's worth," Molinaro said.

Depending upon Fast Navy's style, Sun Valley Anna's lone pace rival could be 3-year-old , who gets a 12-pound weight advantage under apprentice Adan Landeros. but Sun Valley Anna appears to have more speed than the younger filly.

Three stakes are scheduled for the holiday weekend.

On Saturday, fillies and mares will run in the $60,000 Hillsborough Handicap at one mile on the turf.

Three-year-olds will meet in Sunday's $70,000 Earlene McCabe Derby at six furlongs.

On Monday, the $100,000 California Turf Championship for California-breds will be run at one mile.