07/25/2005 11:00PM

Sequidilla owns best turf form


SANTA ROSA, Calif. - Day two of the Sonoma County Fair dawns Thursday with handicappers, trainers, and jockeys still trying to figure out the quirks of the newly installed turf course.

Racing secretary Greg Brent has carded two turf races Thursday, including the feature, a $40,000 starter allowance at one mile for fillies and mares.

Early in the meet will be a feeling-out process for everyone. What role will speed play? Will there be a course bias to the inside or outside? How will the length and type of grass and the rail position affect runners?

It will take time to determine what strategy is best on the course, so the best handicapping advice early in the meet is to rely on the basic fundamentals.

The field in Thursday's feature ranges from Moderation, who won her debut for a $12,500 maiden claiming tag and is 0 for 16 since, to Boginskaia and Flying Heart, both of whom won straight maiden races but have also run for tags.

The most consistent horse is Sequidilla, a runner-up in each of her three starts since winning a maiden turf race on April 25 at Turf Paradise. She moved to California following her maiden victory, running second twice in allowance races and then missing by a nose against a similar starter allowance field.

Sequidilla has the highest career Beyer in the field with a pair of 79's and a 78 in her past three starts.

Sequidilla has the tactical speed to stalk but rallied from farther off the pace in her most recent start, losing by a head as she drifted out a bit late.

Nonetheless, she beat two horses in that June 19 race at Golden Gate Fields whom she faces again Thursday. Sequidilla finished 1 1/2 lengths ahead of Muddy Woman and nearly three lengths in front of a troubled Travel Postcard, who had nowhere to run turning for home.

Six of the nine entrants Thursday come out of that race, and there's no reason to think Sequidilla can't finish in front of them again

- Storminbayoubabe, who turned in a strong performance dueling on the lead to midstretch before fading a bit in the Vacaville Handicap at Solano, will be the one to beat as she drops into a $12,500 starter allowance sprint.