06/23/2011 10:57AM

Pleasanton: Alameda County Fillies and Mares Stakes draws top field


Northern California’s first open filly and mare stakes of the year could be one of the best races run at the Alameda County Fair in Pleasanton, Calif., this year. Eight runners entered Saturday’s $50,000 Alameda County Fillies and Mares Stakes at 1 1/16 miles.

The field is a who’s who of Northern California females, including Lady Railrider, Victoryasecret, City to City, Sky High Hatty, Bleach Blonde, Sweetly Peppered, and Catch Lorriane. Pure Class ships in from Southern California to complete the field.

Victoryasecret may be the sharpest horse in the field. She comes off a front-running six-length victory in an allowance race on the Golden Gate turf.

The dirt surface at Pleasanton should be no problem for Victoryasecret. Victoryasecret set the pace in last year’s Alameda County Fillies and Mares before Southern California invader Miss Pleasant caiught her in the final 100 yards.

Victoryasecret faces a tough challenge Saturday, but trainer Chuck Jenda is not shying away from the task.

“She’s training good, and she’s proven she likes the track,” he said.

Victoryasecret could face a pace battle on Saturday, with the speedy Pure Class and Sweetly Peppered in the field as well as stalker types such as Sky High Hatty, Bleach Blonde, and Catch Lorraine.

Victoryasecret is drawn outside her pace rivals, and Jenda thinks she doesn’t necessarilly have to go wire to wire.

“I think she’ll rate if the pace is quick enough,” he said. “She’ll be outside and could relax.”

But there’s still the presence of Lady Railrider, who has run second in a pair of California-bred stakes at Hollywood Park – The B. Thoughtful and Fran’s Valentine – since winning two allowance races earlier this year at Golden Gate.

City to City won last year’s Grade 2 Providencia at Santa Anita. She ran fourth to Victoryasecret in the turf allowance, but that was her first start of the year and she should be fitter Saturday.