07/21/2005 12:00AM

Picking winner is easy part


The biggest handicapping question surrounding Saturday's $40,000-added Fairfield Stakes at the Solano County Fair may be which filly will complete the exacta with Lunachick.

Lunachick appears a prohibitive favorite in the six-furlong race for 3-year-old fillies. Her lowest career Beyer Speed Figure is higher than the highest Beyer of two of her rivals, and her second-lowest Beyer is higher than the highest Beyer of the other four.

Lunachick also comes off a four-length victory in the Vallejo at Golden Gate Fields on May 29, when she recorded a career-best 102 Beyer, her second triple-digit Beyer in three starts. She has the best speed and is well drawn in the No. 6 post.

The proverbial chink in her armor is that she didn't work for more than one month after winning the Vallejo, and her works since then have been steady but very slow. She had a three-furlong drill in 38.80 seconds, which was the fourth best of five works at Golden Gate Fields on July 1. She had half-mile drills of 51.40, 17th best of 20, on July 7 and 51.20, 42nd of 56, on July 17.

Do those workouts mean she is a vulnerable favorite? Probably not.

High-percentage trainer Steve Miyadi has strong stats off short layoffs such as this, winning 38 percent of the time and showing a $2.72 flat-bet profit. And Lunachick obviously doesn't need to hone her speed. Throughout her career, Lunachick has never been a particularly fast work horse, with only two bullets among all her works. Before her 13-length victory April 7, her final half-mile drill in 50.80 was only 25th best out of 32 works that morning.

As far as condition goes, she had four races in a 10-week span before her freshening. She should retain her fitness.

Stakes winner Charming Colleen, making her first start in three months, has plenty of class and set the pace earlier this year in a pair of Southern California Grade 1 races. Tense Wager, a late-running horse, is a stakes winner at the distance.

Word Girl could be an interesting contender, although her best Beyer, 67, is lower than Lunachick's worst. In her most recent start, she finished fourth against older horses in an allowance July 3, when she returned from a nine-month layoff.

"You had to be happy with what she got out of the race," said trainer Casey Doyle. "She was beaten four lengths from the rail on a track that didn't allow you to make up ground."

Last year, Word Girl made her second start here and showed great improvement, increasing her Beyer from a 49 to a 59. If she can show similar improvement Saturday, she could be the one to complete the exacta.