01/29/2003 12:00AM

Sherman looking forward to rain


ALBANY, Calif. - Trainer Art Sherman said he is "sitting in pretty good shape" as he awaits Saturday's Grade 3, $100,000 Brown Bess Handicap at Golden Gate Fields.

Sherman will enter the Lindsay Jean in the 1 1/16-mile turf race.

One reason for Sherman's optimism is the weather forecast.

"There's a prediction of rain Saturday, and that wouldn't hurt if they moved the race to the main track," Sherman said. "She'll run well on a hard, wet-fast track."

Since moving to Sherman's barn in the fall of 2001, the 5-year-old Lindsay Jean has won two stakes and finished second in four others, including one defeat by a nose and another by a head.

Her first stakes victory was in the December 2001 Moment to Buy Handicap, when she went wire to wire on a wet-fast track. She won the Palo Alto Handicap on the turf at Bay Meadows and has two wins and two seconds in five starts on the turf.

"I'd prefer her to run on the dirt. I think her best races were on the dirt," Sherman said. "If she gets a bouncy-type turf, she'll run better than on a yielding turf."

The turf will likely be yielding. Only one race will have been run on it this racing week before Saturday: Friday's feature, a 1 1/16-mile allowance race that drew seven entrants. A turf sprint scheduled for Friday failed to fill.

Sherman says he hopes the course is in good shape for Saturday's race, but said that no matter what the turf is like he'll get a good effort from Lindsay Jean.

"She's a trier," Sherman said. "She has to run every time. She's gotten beat in some toughies, too."

Lindsay Jean's last start, when she beat the Brown Bess highweight, Crazy Ensign, on the dirt in the Star Ball Handicap on Nov. 30, epitomizes her style and her luck.

She sat just off the pace of Erica's Smile in the 1 1/16-mile Star Ball, took command inside the eighth pole, but then was nipped in the final stride by Lacie Girl.

"She ran her eyeballs out, put away two horses and really dug in," Sherman said. "I was exhausted just watching her."

According to Sherman, Ron Warren Jr., her jockey in the Star Ball, "said she did everything he asked."

In addition to Crazy Ensign and Lindsay Jean, five others were set for the race.

Double Cat, a stakes winner who ran third in the Grade 2 San Gorgonio at Santa Anita on Jan. 11, could be the favorite. Trainer Bobby Frankel sends up L'Emeraude, with Bush Triumph, Naturally Wild and Neon Queen also set to run.