07/19/2007 11:00PM

Path for North Beach leads to mile on turf


SANTA ROSA, Calif. - Long-range planning is a key for trainers who have good horses.

Trainer O.J. Jauregui brings North Beach into Sunday's Sonoma County Fair feature as if he were planning a stakes campaign for the 4-year-old filly. She has eight rivals in a first-level allowance race at one mile on the turf.

North Beach was third in her debut at Pleasanton last year, moved to Jauregui's barn, and won her maiden six weeks later in a 7 1/2-furlong turf race.

A minor shin problem sent her to the sidelines until she returned nine months later in a May 28 sprint at Golden Gate Fields.

"With someone as nice as I think she'll be, I had no problem giving her extra time," Jauregui said.

North Beach was fourth in her sprint comeback and then ran second to the sharp Ivy League Genius in a $25,000 optional claimer at one mile and 70 yards at Pleasanton on June 30.

But that race was strictly a prep, and Jauregui said he was pointing her to Sunday's turf race.

"She's better on turf," he said. "She needed that last race. She was ready to go two turns. She should improve, and I think she'll continue to improve as she goes on."

Patranzi, one of North Beach's key rivals, has similar credentials, although she ran in claiming races early in her career. She showed improvement when she was switched to the turf and got a nice break before returning for her 4-year-old debut this year in a July 8 sprint at Pleasanton. She ran third and now stretches out on what seems her preferred surface.

The fact that North Beach has a route under her belt as she makes her third start of the year could be one of the factors that gives her an edge over Patranzi.

"I wanted to run her on turf because she's bred for it," Jauregui said of the filly, whose grandsires are Kris S. and Dynaformer.

"Everything seems to be going in the right direction now. She's training really well. I even brought her up here a couple days early. She's relaxed and likes her surroundings."

And Sunday, she should like the lush turf course at Santa Rosa.

Maiden sprint has history

Earlier on Sunday's card is a five-furlong race for 2-year-old maidens. A similar race the past two years has seen the debuts of stakes winners Frisco Star and Vicarino. Kentucky Derby runners-up Casual Lies and Cavonnier both won maiden races at this meet.

Jeff Bonde is sending out a pair of first-timers who have been working quite well, Bradford Falls and Fair Ruling, to meet You Is What You Is, who has hooked the top 2-year-olds in Northern California in his two starts.