04/08/2004 11:00PM

New York or Hollywood next for Ema Bovary


SAN MATEO, Calif. - Ema Bovary, voted the horse of the meeting at Golden Gate Fields, carried the banner for northern California in winning the seven-furlong Vinery Madison at Keeneland on Wednesday.

Her success made up for fourth- and sixth-place finishes by O.K. Mikie and Kilgowan in the Illinois Derby at Hawthorne the previous Saturday.

All three came out of their races well, but only O.K. Mikie has returned to northern California.

Ema Bovary may run next in New York or at Hollywood Park, according to trainer Larry Ross. Ross originally considered the Grade 1 Humana Distaff on May 1 at Churchill Downs, but said, "We're not going to Churchill Downs, because it comes up too quick.

"She came out of the race real good, but she was pretty tired," he said. "Those tracks are deep. They take something out of you."

Ema Bovary's win in the $175,000 Madison was her ninth straight victory.

O.K. Mikie returned to Golden Gate Fields on Wednesday.

"He came out of the race in excellent shape, but he didn't like the surface back there. It was sandy and deep," said trainer Jerry McArthur.

McArthur was disappointed that O.K. Mikie dropped back so far early, but liked the way he closed late.

"It was a good experience for everyone," said McArthur. "It was like a stepping-stone for him, shipping and running on a different racetrack."

McArthur said in hindsight he probably should have run in the Santa Anita Derby.

"We just tried to do the right thing at the time," he said.

McArthur will point O.K. Mikie, a Cal-bred colt, to the Snow Chief at Hollywood Park on April 24. Further down the line, he might consider going to Canterbury Downs in Minnesota for the Claiming Crown on July 17.

Trainer Lonnie Arterburn said Kilgowan "came out perfect" from the Illinois Derby but has been sent to Kentucky instead of returning to California.

* Sunday's Bay Meadows feature finds 10 older sprints competing at six furlongs in a first-level allowance race.

Attack Force, second in his past three starts at three different distances, looks tough in a stalking role. Oh So Sultry, winner of two straight, and Smoke Till Dawn, who set the six-furlong record at Golden Gate Fields, will offer the main opposition.