10/24/2004 11:00PM

Please Lord looking to break out


SAN MATEO, Calif. - Two interesting races should get Breeders' Cup week off to a good start at Bay Meadows on Wednesday.

A first-level allowance sprint for fillies and mares and a five-furlong turf dash for $32,000 claimers both offer quality and quantity for bettors, an all-too-rare occurrence of late.

Please Lord, a $140,000 2-year-old purchase last year, and Vaca City Flyer, who was claimed for $8,000 from her maiden victory this year at Solano, are the ones to beat in the six-furlong allowance sprint, which goes as the sixth on Wednesday.

Please Lord has been a bit of a disappointment, trainer Brian Koriner said, but notes that he uses the term "disappointment" only because she has been so close in every race, yet has won only once. She has 3 seconds in 4 starts, with a combined margin of defeat of 1 1/2 lengths in the three losses.

Please Lord debuted in an allowance race at Golden Gate Fields on April 3, losing by a head to the talented Madrone, who ran third in a stakes in her next start.

"A race like that can make you feel that she could be a monster," Koriner said.

Please Lord was bet down to 3-10 as part of an entry in her second start and suffered her worst defeat, losing by three-quarters of a length after a hard-fought duel with the debuting Capitola, who already has three victories in her career.

Please Lord graduated in her next start after a nearly five-month layoff, then ran second to My Charmian, beaten a half-length, in her last start.

"You thought she'd run through her conditions," Koriner said, and she still despite some nagging problems that Koriner must constantly address.

"Others she has run against have come back and run well," Koriner said. "Hopefully, there's some money to be made."

Trainer John Martin has made money and exceeded expectations with Vaca City Flyer, who is owned by Robert Bone.

She won a $12,500 claimer after he claimed her from a maiden victory. She then won for a $30,000 tag; ran third in an optional claimer behind undefeated Factual Lady and My Charmian, losing a narrow photo for second; and then won a Cal-bred allowance race at Santa Anita.

"The owner noticed she ran a good race when she ran second and told me to look at her," Martin said. "She's progressively gotten better and proven to be a nice claim.

"I ran her back for $12,500, and she won so easy, I raised her. She kept winning, so we tried allowance company and ran third. I wanted to do the right thing and go in a Cal-bred allowance, and she ran really good."

Martin said he has had several other runners by her sire, Michael's Flyer, and they were "okay horses."

"If you look at her, you like her," he said. "It was a gamble that paid off."

Some in turf sprint better suited to mud

Nine also signed up for the turf sprint, but with only one race run on the turf last week and more rain scheduled before Wednesday, it's no surprise that several mud lovers entered the race, which could be switched to the main track.

Trickey Trevor, part of a competitive pace in his comeback from an absence of nearly a year, is 2 for 2 on wet tracks, while Waki American is 3 for 3. Colonel Courtney, who has won four straight while moving up the class ladder, seems far better suited for mud than turf.

Souvenir's Lad has turned out to be a turf monster. But his breeding indicates he should love a wet surface. He makes his third start following a brief freshener.

Schvaneveldt plans to return in December

Jockey Chad Schvaneveldt, who has missed the entire meeting with a severe case of pancreatitis, hopes to be riding again by December.

He was hospitalized in early September. After being released, he suffered a recurrence and was hospitalized again.

Schvaneveldt finally got an appointment with a leading authority on the pancreas at the University of California-San Francisco and is on the road to recovery, although he is still weakened.

"I plan to be back at Golden Gate by Dec. 1," Schvaneveldt said. "It's been nice to get to go to my kids' soccer games, but I really miss riding."

* Northern California breeders Sheila and Larry Ullmann (SLU Inc.), from nearby Pleasanton, have been selected as California's top breeders for 2003 by the Thoroughbred Owners and Breeders Association.