04/15/2003 11:00PM

Sherman has pair for weekend stakes


SAN MATEO, Calif. - Trainer Art Sherman could have a big weekend at Bay Meadows.

He will saddle the speedy Presidio Heights, the likely favorite in Saturday's $60,000-added Atherton Stakes at six furlongs. On Sunday, he sends the 7-year-old mare Fancee Bargain, who makes her first start of the year in the $60,000-added Woodside Stakes.

Presidio Heights won the Danville Handicap on March 22 at Golden Gate Fields in his last start, opening a daylight lead on the very fast El Dorado Shooter down the backstretch. He held off El Dorado Shooter by a neck in the six-furlong race after setting fractions of 21.08, 42.89, and 54.91 seconds en route to a 1:08.11 final time and a Beyer Speed Figure of 105.

In his previous start, in a $32,000 claimer, Presidio Heights won by four lengths in 1:07.99.

Trainer Cliff Delima said that El Dorado Shooter, voted Golden Gate Fields sprinter of the meeting, would not run Saturday.

"We're going to skip this one and run in the next one," Delima said in reference to the May 11 Saratoga Handicap. "I don't want to run him too many times."

Sherman likes the possible pace scenario of the Atherton, but he isn't ready to head to the winner's circle yet. "Sometimes there can be a burner you weren't sure of," he said.

But he believes Presidio Heights has a better chance to win Saturday than Fancee Bargain on Sunday.

"I know he's going to go plenty fast" Sherman said. "With El Dorado Shooter not going, something I don't have to worry about is going 21 flat early. I'd like to see him going 21 and 3. If he ran 44 and change, I'd be happy."

Fancee Bargain holds a special place in Sherman's heart. Fancee Bargain, who had 1 win and 6 seconds in 10 starts in 2001, turned things around last year with 3 wins, 2 seconds, and 2 thirds in nine starts.

Fancee Bargain's only stakes victory last year came in the Woodside Stakes, when it was run at six furlongs on dirt. This year it has been switched to five furlongs on the turf.

"I wish it were on dirt, and five furlongs isn't her best distance," Sherman said. "We've got no place to go because she's got no conditions. This will give us an idea if she can run on the turf."

* Trickey Trevor guns for his fourth straight victory when he meets four rivals in Friday's feature, a $50,000 optional claimer at six furlongs. Trickey Trevor has won three straight races at this level, including his last start, on March 26, off a claim by trainer Chuck Peery.