08/14/2001 11:00PM

Sanich Lady or Sunatra?

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SAN MATEO, Calif. - Sanich Lady, who ran third as a 4-5 favorite in her last start at Vallejo, may deserve a slight edge over eight other fillies and mares in the feature at Bay Meadows Friday night.

The nine are entered for claiming prices of $22,500 to $25,000 in the six-furlong race, and will be running for a $26,000 purse. There will be only eight races, as none of the three scheduled races for emerging breeds attracted sufficient entries.

Sanich Lady, a 5-year-old mare, has only run three times this year, following a 9 1/2-month vacation. In her comebacker on May 31 at Bay Meadows, she was dropped in for a $12,500 tag, won the race, and was claimed by trainer Brian Koriner.

Koriner jumped her into a restricted $25,000 race at Stockton, and she won again. Brought back for a $20,000 tag at Vallejo, she forced the pace and finished third to Sunatra with no apparent excuse.

Sunatra is back in Friday night, but Sanich Lady was heavily favored over that rival last time and seems to have an excellent chance to reverse the outcome. The fact they are meeting on a different track this time is one reason to think a different outcome might occur. Also, it is encouraging that Koriner is moving Sanich Lady up a notch in price despite the loss.

Sunatra, however, rates as the main threat to the top choice.

She was nearly 7-1 in a four-horse field last time, as her recent form had been poor except for one good race at an abbreviated distance on the grass. However, Sunatra has plenty of back class, and there is no reason to think her victory was a fluke. Clifford Delima trains Sunatra.

Another who must be strongly considered is Paranoide N Pink, who showed considerable promise in four starts last year, but will be making her first start in a little more than a year.

She has been working well for trainer Chuck Jenda and seems poised for a strong effort the first time back.

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