03/22/2007 11:00PM

Turf sprint a proving ground for Calamity Girl

Email

SAN MATEO, Calif. - Owner-trainer Brian Pitnick has an ulterior motive for entering Calamity Girl in Sunday's Bay Meadows feature.

"I hope she can do well enough that she'll be able to run in next month's Monterey so that we can get some black type for her," he said.

Sunday's feature, a $62,500 optional claimer for fillies and mares, is at five furlongs on the turf. And it's not an easy spot.

Calamity Girl has four rivals, and a case can be made for each.

The probable favorite is the John Sadler-trained Stylish Wildcat, to be ridden by leading jockey Russell Baze. A 4-year-old filly, she won her first two starts, both on the turf at Hollywood Park last summer, before finishing second at this level in a turf race at Del Mar.

She set the early pace before fading to last in her main-track debut last Oct. 12 at the Oak Tree meet at Santa Anita and will be making her first start since. Among her works for her return is a sizzling 57.80-second five-furlong bullet work at Hollywood Park on March 6.

For those who like to play trainer angles, Sadler shows a flat-bet profit - winning at 23-percent rate - off long layoffs and also shows a flat-bet profit on the dirt-to-turf switch.

Slick Road, another 4-year-old filly, will be making her turf debut. She has won two straight and placed in the Grade 3 Sorrento at Del Mar as a 2-year-old.

The well-traveled 5-year-old mare Love Ya, returning from a 10-month layoff, scored her only turf victory here last year.

Tucker's Tune won a first-level allowance sprint two back and will also be making her turf debut.

Calamity Girl graduated in a five-furlong turf race last year. She got off to a good start in 2007 with a solid allowance victory at six furlongs on the main track. She was no threat in the slop in her last start, on Feb. 9, but has worked nicely for this.

"She's not as quick as Stylish Wildcat, and I think with Russell riding that one will be favored," Pitnick said. "But her pedigree screams turf all the way through, and she gets the outside. The outside post in a short field plays perfectly to her running style. She really handles turns well."

Calamity Girl ended 2006 with three two-turn starts on turf, but Pitnick said that she is better around one turn on turf.

Now she gets another chance at a turf sprint, and it could springboard her into stakes company.