01/01/2004 12:00AM

Pace scenario ideal for Tucked Away


ALBANY, Calif. - Trainer Patrick Gallagher is wary coming into Saturday's $100,000 Work the Crowd Handicap at Golden Gate Fields.

The race is loaded with speed with Super High, Princess V., and Marty's Zee in the lineup. It seems to set up for a closer such as Gallagher's filly .

But Gallagher isn't ready to hoist the trophy yet.

"Sometimes when it looks like that on paper, it's not always the way it turns out," Gallagher said.

Tucked Away is one of six entrants in the one-mile race for Cal-bred fillies and mares.

Super High, who defeated Tucked Away in the Cat's Cradle on Dec. 14 at Hollywood Park, seems back in form after breaking a cannon bone in December 2002. She has speed and proved game in losing a photo to Valentine Dancer in stakes-record time in the Cat's Cradle.

Princess V., second in the $200,000 Melair and third in the Grade 2 Hollywood Breeders' Cup Oaks and Grade 1 Prioress at Belmont last year, is another front-running type. She has a race over the track, having won a six-furlong allowance race in the mud here on Dec. 6.

Marty's Zee has set the pace in her past four starts, all on turf.

Amber Hills, a wire-to-wire winner in the California Oaks here last year, may not be as quick as some of her rivals but will make sure the pace is honest.

Fancee Bargain, primarily a sprinter, should end up a stalker here.

The pace scenario seems to work in Tucked Away's favor.

"She acts like she only wants to make one run," Gallagher said.

The 4-year-old Tucked Away won the $100,000 Fleet Treat at Del Mar last summer, coming from well off the pace.

In her three career victories, she has never been closer than 8 3/4 lengths at the first call, and she may not be that close Saturday.

That doesn't concern Gallagher, but he admits the condition of the track could be a drawback, although it has played well of late to closers in routes.

"That's what I'm not sure of," Gallagher said of what will be an off track after heavy New Year's Day rains. "She ran one time on a deep, drying-out track."

She finished fourth as the odds-on favorite in that maiden race.

Tucked Away breaks from the rail.

Princess V. breaks from the outside, post 6, which could work in her favor with her primary pace rivals, Marty's Zee (post 3) and Super High (post 4), drawn inside her.