03/09/2004 12:00AM

Trevanian has work cut out


ALBANY, Calif. - Trainer Dennis Patterson knows Trevanian "won't be 6-5" in Saturday's El Camino Real Derby at Golden Gate Fields, but he said he's going into the Grade 3, $200,000 race at 1 1/16-miles "knowing we have a decent horse."

Trevanian may be the best horse the veteran trainer has ever had.

After running third in his debut, Trevanian won his second start at six furlongs. He returned to win a one-mile allowance race.

Trevanian didn't debut until Jan. 11.

"That was sorta by design," Patterson said.

There were the typical 2-year-old infirmities, but his breeding made Patterson "guess going long was going to be his deal."

The trainer said Trevanian's sire, Conquistador Cielo, won the Belmont, and that "there was no sense rushing him" to race at 4 1/2 or five furlongs.

Patterson said he knows the competition will be tough for his still-inexperienced colt, but was impressed by Trevanian's first race around two turns. He won wire to wire, but went head to head with a rival for six furlongs, then was edging clear late with a 24-and-change final quarter.

According to Patterson, jockey Dennis Carr "said when horses came to him, and he thought the colt was all out, he shifted to another gear.

"He'll have to find fifth gear for this race, but it's going to be fun," Patterson added. "I don't feel any pressure."

Stakes runners prepping

Thursday's Golden Gate Fields feature is a prep for the Miss America Handicap opening weekend at Bay Meadows.

The one-mile allowance race for fillies and mares attracted stakes winners A B Noodle and Lucky Sabre, stakes-placed Hooked on Niners and Hippogator, and Can I Call You Dad, an impressive winner in her comeback on Feb. 29.

The race will be on the main track, while the Miss America is scheduled for the turf.

A B Noodle scored her first main-track win and first win since her 3-year-old year, 2002, in a Jan. 3 race when she went wire to wire to beat Hooked on Niners. Hooked on Niners turned the tables on her in their last start, the Grade 3 Brown Bess Handicap on the turf here Jan. 31 after A B Noodle relaxed nicely behind Just Bill Me and Hippogator and took the lead in the lane. Hooked on Niners couldn't handle Red Rioja that day but did finish well for second.