12/24/2002 1:00AM

Turf fillies try the dirt


ALBANY, Calif. - Six fillies who seem more at home on turf than dirt run in Friday's feature at Golden Gate Fields, a $40,000 starter allowance at 1 1/16 miles on the main track.

The fillies all made their last starts on the turf course, which has not been used since Dec. 12 because of rains.

The race is for nonwinners-of-two, a condition that often leads handicappers to seek lightly raced horses. Litigator will be making only her third start and second start around two turns after attempting 1 1/16 miles on the turf last time. She showed some speed from the outside in the race but had little left at the finish.

She won her debut in a $12,500 maiden claimer. She broke slowly in her second start, a $40,000 optional claimer, and had no chance against the talented Devil Dancing.

Shirazberry is the one to beat. She finished second while beating two of Friday's rivals, Litigator and Satin Dolly, in her last start. She has also defeated Ciribiribin Queen when she won a maiden race.

Shirazberry has made eight starts with one win and four seconds. Since running fourth in her turf debut on Sept. 14 at Bay Meadows, she has a win and three seconds, all on the turf. She ran second in her last main-track start, on Jan. 26 at Santa Anita.

She has never run on an off track, but has the second-highest Tomlinson rating in the field behind Litigator, and her sire, Afternoon Deelites, wins with 29 percent of his runners on off tracks.

Missy Krissy and Ciribiribin Queen, the only 4-year-old running against 3-year-olds, are both coming off maiden victories. Satin Dolly and Darling Barbie round out the field.

Ciribiribin Queen, second in a maiden race at Hastings on a good track in 2001, and Litigator are the only runners to have run on wet tracks.

More turf

The Alameda County Fair at Pleasanton may join the Sonoma County Fair at Santa Rosa in considering adding a turf course.

Alameda County Fair general manager Rick Pickering said, "The Alameda County Fair is exploring the opportunity to install a turf track inside our existing oval and making that track available for Thoroughbred training one day a week."

The Sonoma County Fair will appear before the Sonoma County Board of Supervisors on Jan. 7 seeking money to build a turf course.

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