04/26/2006 11:00PM

Montclair part of attractive undercard


ALBANY, Calif. - Saturday's 10-race card at Golden Gate Fields might be the best card offered in northern California in many years.

In addition to the Grade 2, $400,000 San Francisco Mile, the day's feature race, the card includes no claiming races and offers five turf and five dirt races. Racing secretary Sean Greely planned to run three overnight stakes on the undercard, but only the $40,000-added Montclair filled. Greely will bring back the 1 3/8-mile Walnut Creek on the turf on Sunday and try to bring back the six-furlong Glen Ellen for 3-year-old fillies next week.

The Montclair, a 1 1/16-mile turf race, attracted seven 3-year-old fillies and will run as the first race.

Trainer Chuck Jenda sends out Mamita Chula and Squeeze Me Tight, both of whom will be making their turf debuts.

Mamita Chula, second to Bai and Bai in the Telegraph Hill two starts back, has hit the board in all 10 of her starts. She comes back only eight days after running third in a tough allowance race.

"I can't find any reason why not to run," Jenda said. "She hadn't raced in six weeks because of an abscess under her jaw. She came out of the last race good, and you can't keep her head out of the feed tub. She's a hard-trying filly, and, while this is a competitive race, I think she's got a shot."

Squeeze Me Tight won her maiden in her first try around two turns last time.

"She's getting better," said Jenda, who added that he would like to see Squeeze Me Tight get some black type even though the turf may not be her best surface.

Trainer Bill Delia sends out Chati Valley, who has won two straight. He claimed her for $20,000 at Santa Anita two back.

"She looked good on paper," Delia said. "She's got action that indicates she might like the turf, and I like the way this came up timing-wise."

Irish-bred Soothsay will make her second U.S. start after running third down the hill at Santa Anita in her U.S. debut.

Hoping for better luck

Neil Drysdale and Julio Canani, who train the morning-line favorites Aragorn and Charmo for the San Francisco Breeders' Cup Mile, agree on one thing.

Both say luck will be a key ingredient in the one-mile turf race at Golden Gate Fields.

Aragorn and Charmo are both coming out of the Grade 1 Kilroe Handicap at Santa Anita on March 4, and neither had much luck that day. Aragorn finished second by a head to Milk It Mick, and Charmo finished sixth, beaten a length.

"You need Lady Luck on your side," said Drysdale, who trains Aragorn. "No doubt, in a mile race in the United States, you need luck with the tight turns and short stretches. You can't make mistakes."

Aragorn is the 9-5 morning-line favorite in the San Francisco Mile.

Canani, who has won the race four times - with Ladies Din, Tuzla, Colway Rally, and Patchy Groundfog - said, "I just want racing luck" after watching Charmo race very wide the entire way in the Kilroe.

* Five of the eight runners in the San Francisco Mile are Breeders' Cup eligible. Place Cowboy, Romeo Plus, and Sweet Return are not Breeders' Cup eligible.