09/03/2002 11:00PM

Stablemates duel for lack of options

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SAN MATEO, Calif. - Trainer Art Sherman will take two shots in the co-feature at Bay Meadows on Friday.

Sherman has entered Etoile and Princessconcuervo in the race, a six-furlong allowance for fillies and mares. The Sherman stablemates will face four rivals.

With northern California's decreased horse population, trainers are often forced to run stablemates against each other because of a lack of options.

"They're both eligible for this condition," Sherman said.

That's his reasoning for running Etoile and Princessconcuervo in the same race.

"You gotta go when the whistle blows," he said.

Sherman is hard pressed to choose which filly is the better one.

"They're both okay fillies," he said.

"I took Etoile down south [to Del Mar]. She got creamed leaving the gate and had no chance. She's training good enough to be a factor here.

"Princessconcuervo needed her race the other day."

Etoile, a 4-year-old Batonnier filly, ran twice last summer at Del Mar, and won her 4-year-old debut on June 16 at Bay Meadows with a strong performance against a good field.

In her July 27 start this year at Del Mar, she was eliminated at the start, as Sherman said, and made up a little ground late while finishing eighth in a field of 10.

Given a brief freshener to recover from her bumps and bruises, Etoile has turned in two good works, a 47.60-second half-mile drill that was second best of 11 on Aug. 22 and a five-furlong bullet in a minute flat on Aug. 30, which is the best of 17 moves at the distance that morning.

Princessconcuervo, a 4-year-old Lazaz filly, joined Sherman's barn last winter after finishing fifth in three maiden races at Hollywood Park the previous spring.

She dropped from straight maiden company into a bottom-level $8,000 maiden claimer and won by seven lengths. She finished second and then won in $32,000 starter allowance company.

In her next start, on May 24, she finished second in allowance company, but got shuffled back and never really fired, prompting Sherman to give her a break.

She returned on Aug. 19 and was unable to catch Rich Domino on a speed-favoring track while finishing evenly.

The Sherman pair will be facing a tough field that includes Double Shot Latte and Miz Kool, both veterans and each with three victories this year. Double Shot Latte has been claimed three times in her past four starts, including her last on Aug. 15 at Del Mar when she was claimed for $25,000 by Jerry Hollendorfer while losing by a length to Miz Kool.

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