12/29/2001 12:00AM

Speedy Quins Return cuts back to sprint


ALBANY, Calif. - It's not unusual to find a horse who sets fast fractions in route races trying a sprint.

Canadian-based trainer Daryl Snow will send out Quins Return in Monday's co-feature at Golden Gate Fields. But Quins Return is not a typical front-running router. She has shown enough early speed to set the pace in sprints as well.

Quins Return will meet five rivals in Monday's second race. Midnight Special and Endearment come off wins. Chilean-bred Anazeha has been second in her last two starts. Fancee Bargain and Margarita Midnight are trying to rebound off disappointing efforts.

Quins Return has run twice at the meeting, both times in one-mile races. She has cut out impressive early fractions in each start before fading late.

"I decided to go back and give her a sprint because she wasn't relaxing as much as she should in those miles," said Snow. "In a sprint, if she's not relaxed it's okay."

In her last race, Quins Return opened a five-length lead at the quarter pole but couldn't hold off fast-finishing Aussie Girl.

"I thought my mare ran her eyeballs out on a day that seemed like it didn't favor front-runners," Snow said. "I couldn't believe the move the winner made."

Quins Return was running for a $15,000 claiming tag earlier this year at Hastings Park in British Columbia, but she proved competitive in allowance company at Golden Gate.

"She hangs on here at a flat mile, but I don't think she wants to go a mile and a sixteenth," Snow said.

The Monday sprint could give her 11 victories in 33 starts. She has earned $107,325 in her career.

Snow said a five-month layoff for Quins Return paid big dividends. She has won 5 of 11 starts with two seconds and two thirds this year.

* Ten horses are entered in the $100,000, one-mile Lafayette Handicap on New Year's Day. Fateful Dream from Bobby Frankel's barn, and Takarian, trained by Beau Greely, are the co-highweights at 118 pounds.

* Fourteen Cal-bred fillies and mares were nominated for Saturday's $100,000 Work the Crowd Handicap at one mile on the turf. Included among the entrants is Lil Sister Stich, winner of three straight, including the Golden Poppy Handicap and the Cal Cup Distaff Starter Handicap.