12/12/2006 1:00AM

Rain could wash out turf mile


SAN MATEO, Calif. - Handicappers will probably have to do last-minute calculations for Thursday's Bay Meadows feature.

The $25,000 claimer for fillies and mares at one mile on the turf drew five entrants. But with heavy rain Monday night and calls for continued rain Tuesday, the status of the turf course may not be determined until Thursday morning.

A switch in surface could bring scratches, as might a soft turf course.

Dancing Rose, who has won two straight over the turf here, is strictly a turf runner, with 16 of her 17 starts and all four career victories coming on the grass. She just won for $20,000 in her first start for leading trainer Jerry Hollendorfer.

Cayerless and Hot returned from a two-month layoff to be second at this level in her Nov. 1 comeback. She then took a big step up into a $62,500 optional claimer but did little against Loyal Bounty, who nearly pulled off an upset in Saturday's California Distaff Turf Championship when second to Royal Kleven.

La Balladar will be making her second start following an eight-month layoff and takes a big class drop off a turf try against much better competition. If the race is switched to the main track, she is proven on dirt, having finished first and second in two main-track starts last spring.

Missile Tone would probably prefer dirt, while Slews in Demand seems equally adept on either surface.

A restricted $25,000 claimer serves as a secondary feature. The one-mile race for 2-year-olds is restricted to nonwinners-of-two, and is part of racing secretary Tom Doutrich's plan to offer options to maiden winners who may not quite be suited to the $40,000 starter-allowance level but are better than the low-level $12,500 nonwinners-of-two typically offered 2-year-olds.

Four of the seven runners have multiple failures in the starter-allowance races, while two, Persian Tell and Skippyjon Jones, just won their maidens.

The field also includes Saygnitetodabadguy, who will be making his first U.S. start after winning a $32,000 maiden claimer in his debut at Woodbine. In his second start, he showed little in a high-grade allowance race before coming to California. He has a pair of Southern California works in preparation for this.

Uartaphoneme and Trato, second and third in an open $16,000 claimer on Dec. 1, and Absolutly a Tizzy, who missed by a nose in a $40,000 starter allowance, seem in good form.