11/16/2005 1:00AM

Shorter turf race may suit Sauxsoe


ALBANY, Calif. - Trainer Lloyd Mason sends out a potent entry in Friday's Golden Gate Fields feature, a $32,000 claimer at one mile on the turf.

Mason's one-two punch consists of Proud Chief, who won his last start, and Sauxsoe, who has run second or third in his past three starts, including the race won by Proud Chief.

Friday's race, which is restricted to 3-year-olds, attracted 10 horses, but only eight will be permitted to start.

"He ran against older last time, and this looked like the right spot," Mason said of Sauxsoe, who has led in the lane in each of his last three starts before faltering late.

Mason, who claimed out of his second start for $12,500 Jan. 17 on behalf of Robert Jones, appreciates the gelding's consistency. He has won three times, finished second three times, and picked up checks in nine of his 11 starts while earning more than $50,000.

Mason wishes, of course, that Sauxsoe had been able to pick up another victory or two, but he said neither he nor Jones is frustrated.

"As far as the owner is concerned, we claimed him cheap enough," Mason said. "Every time he brings in a check, he's happy."

Friday's one-mile distance may work more in Sauxsoe's favor after he faded late at 1 1/16 miles in his past two starts. He will get another good stalking trip behind such horses as , who steps up off a wire-to-wire turf score here, Sir Toasty, and Katoclysmic Wave, who will be making his turf debut.

His primary rival may be stablemate , who has only one work after missing some time with the outbreak of cold-like symptoms that have struck many horses in the Golden Gate stable area.

"He missed four or five days," Mason said. "It starts with a little cough, a temperature, and a runny nose, but he has been galloping two miles and he's 100 percent right now. It's hard to tell if the time off will affect him."

When Proud Chief beat Sauxsoe, Sauxsoe wound up on the lead. Proud Chief will likely be in midpack behind his stalking stablemate here, and both should be making their moves into the lane.

* Kevin Krigger begins a three-day suspension Friday after being disqualified from first to fourth in a bumping incident in the second race on Nov. 11. Krigger, aboard Bossa Rio, bumped C.J. Hawk at the top of the lane as he rallied for the win. Stewards ruled the incident may have cost C.J. Hawk a better placing.