03/21/2005 1:00AM

New starter allowance series begins


SAN MATEO, Calif. - Bay Meadows racing secretary Tom Doutrich is a modern thinker, but he's not afraid to go retro to help create interesting races.

Beginning Wednesday, Doutrich offers the revival of a popular idea - a series of starter allowance races at one mile, 1 1/8 miles, and 1 1/4 miles for horses which have started for a claiming price of $6,250 or less since Jan. 1, 2003. At the end of the three-race series, the winner, based on a point system covering the three races, will receive a $10,000 bonus. There are also prizes of $5,000, $3,000, and $2,000 for second through fourth.

Fifteen horses signed up for the first race, at a mile. The race is split between the third and fourth races on Wednesday's card.

The second race, at 1 1/8 miles, will be April 8 with the 1 1/4-mile finale on April 29.

The winner of each race gets 10 points, the runner-up 7. Five points go to the third-place finisher with 3 points for fourth and 2 for fifth. Each of the other runners receives 1 point, with horses running in all three races getting a bonus point.

"The main thing is we're trying to keep horses at this level in California," Doutrich said. "I would like to build up the bonus money and find a sponsor. We're getting some money from the California Marketing Committee."

Doutrich hopes to run a similar series on the turf in the fall.

"We'll see what the pluses and minuses are," he said.

Doutrich said the series allows horsemen to protect their runners and keep them from being claimed.

One key component of the series is that the horse must have run for a tag of $6,250 or less for the current owner.

"You can't claim [for] eligibility," Doutrich said. "You must establish your own eligibility."

Vencedora Amiga threat off layoff

Eleven older fillies and mares meet in a first-level allowance race at one mile on the turf in the Wednesday feature.

Vencedora Amiga, making her first start since July 29, may be the one to beat despite the layoff and the fact that she has only a maiden victory to her credit.

The 4-year-old Vencedora Amiga was beaten only three lengths in the Grade 3 Miesque as a 2-year-old while still a maiden. She ran in the Grade 1 Santa Anita Oaks and Grade 2 Honeymoon Breeders' Cup Handicap at 3.

She has a nice series of drills for her comeback, including a pair of six-furlongs works this month for trainer Paulo Lobo, who shows a $5.68 flat-bet return on investment with comebackers.

Entrymates Trukndownthe-avenue, coming off a $25,000 claiming win over the turf here, and New Water should provide the primary competition.

Fairplex may get harness meet

The California Horse Racing Board's March meeting will be held Thursday at Bay Meadows with two committee meetings scheduled Wednesday. The Medication Committee will hear discussion on the primary drug testing contract for the 2005-06 fiscal year. The Race Dates Committee will hear discussion on the allocation of harness race dates for 2005 at Cal Expo in Sacramento and Fairplex in Southern California.

Cal Expo has requested a breed switch from Thoroughbred to Standardbred at its State Fair meet, which runs from late August to Labor Day. If it is granted the switch, Cal Expo would lease its Thoroughbred dates to another track.

Capitol Racing, which currently operates the harness meeting at Cal Expo, wants to run a harness meet in Southern California at Fairplex. The meeting would last 69 nights from Oct. 7 to Jan. 28, 2006. Harness racing was last conducted at Fairplex in 1987.

Trickey Trevor tops sprint nominees

Nine older sprinters were nominated for Saturday's $55,000 San Carlos Handicap at six furlongs.

It is the second scheduled sprint stakes of the meeting. The first, the President's Day Sprint, was canceled when only two runners entered.

Jerry Hollendorfer, who won last Saturday's Grade 3 Stanford Breeders' Cup Handicap with Adreamisborn, may have the entry to beat with Trickey Trevor, who has won five straight races, and Smoocher, who dead-heated for first with Smoke Till Dawn in his last start. Smoocher was a Grade 2 winner in Canada as a 2-year-old.

Stakes winners Demon Warlock, Forest Grove, Onebadshark, and Verkade were also nominated, along with Attack Force, Ice Legend, and The Griff.