01/03/2003 12:00AM

More than just purse involved


ALBANY, Calif. - Something perhaps even more important than purse money is on the line for five of the six older California-bred fillies and mares entered in Sunday's $100,000 Work the Crowd Handicap at Golden Gate Fields.

Each could earn the first black type (victory or placing in a stakes race) of their careers.

Bob's Lady, the 116-pound highweight in the one-mile race, is the only member of the field with black type, acquired by winning the CTBA Marian Stakes at Fairplex last fall.

The victory will mean more than money and black type to John Harris, the owner and breeder of Bright Sunny Day. There's sentimental value attached to this race, because it is named for his outstanding turf mare of the mid-1990's.

Harris won the race last year with Super Tuesday, who has since been retired because of a knee injury and will likely be bred to Event of the Year this spring.

"That gave me a little push to enter it," Harris said. "Black type is important, but the purse money is pretty attractive, too, when you're running for $100,000.

Bright Sunny Day's trainer, Carla Gaines, believes her lightly raced filly will be a factor in the race.

"She had little nagging problems, nothing major," Gaines said. "She showed so much ability we wanted to take our time with her."

Bright Sunny Day, who has two wins and a third in three sprint starts, will make her stakes and route debut Sunday.

"We gave a bit of a test in a two-turn breeze," Gaines said. "She negotiated the turns well and finished well. I feel she'll be able to handle the distance."

Bob's Lady is an experienced router, as is Beaux Arts. Demo Memo has won twice at a mile, and Power to Burn, although winless in four starts at a mile, has three seconds and a third at the distance.

But Bright Sunny Day's toughest rival could be Broke in Blairsden, who also comes into the race off a pair of sprint victories. A 5-year-old mare, she finished seventh, beaten 16 lengths, in her lone try around two turns.

Bright Sunny Day has natural speed and will likely be contesting the lead with Demo Memo. Broke in Blairsden will come from off the pace. She's 2 for 2 for trainer Armando Lage, who believes he has found the secret to make her run better.

"Mainly, I use lots of patience," he said. "She's very determined. She doesn't hold anything back. I waited a whole month for her second start, and she ran huge.

for Golden Gate entries.

Subscribers: to purchase past performances for Golden Gate.

Non-subscribers: to purchase past performances for Golden Gate.