09/20/2004 11:00PM

Turf feature looks totally up for grabs


SAN MATEO, Calif. - A full field of 12 will be running 1 1/16 miles on the turf in the Bay Meadows feature, a $32,000 starter allowance for fillies and mares who have never won two races.

A wide-open race, it demands an opinion, and for those who are right, the payoff should be healthy.

If speed figures are your bag, Vale of Wings has the highest career Beyer Speed Figure (88) and also the highest last-race Beyer Figure (78), but she also has the highest number of career starts, 28, with only one win.

River Ella has the second-highest career Beyer (82), got a needed sprint prep under her belt after taking the summer off, and returns to her preferred turf. But she is only 1 for 23. That victory, however, came against winners in an allowance, and she was disqualified from another victory.

Quebelick was second when favored against similar in her last start and appears the likely favorite here. The blinkers come off for the first time in this race, and the blinkers-off move has proven profitable for Quebelick's trainer, Art Sherman.

Quintara was third behind Quebelick in her last start. Tavern on Rush was second after setting the pace in her turf debut. Vee Vroom has improved steadily in her turf races since arriving from her native New Zealand.

Then there is Writer's Jule, whose career-best Beyer is the lowest top Beyer in the field and who is coming off a seventh-place finish behind Quebelick and Quintara. She is also a 3-year-old meeting older.

But Writer's Jule is deserving of a second look.

She broke slowly in her turf debut and moved up entering the stretch, far behind the leaders. She had momentum along the rail but was blocked and had nowhere to go, losing momentum and then tiring.

Will she need to improve to win here? Will she need some luck and a better trip? Yes, but a right call on Writer's Jule could lead to big profits.