03/05/2006 1:00AM

Vaca City Flyer wins Mount Tam

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ALBANY, Calif. - Favored Vaca City Flyer ($4), running in her second stakes race in eight days, took the lead early and held off the late charge of Allswellthatnswell to win the $40,350 Mount Tam Overnight Stakes by a nose Sunday at Golden Gate Fields.

The 5-year-old mare scored the first stakes win of her career in the six-furlong race over a sloppy track. Her winning time was 1:09.05.

"It was unusual coming back in eight days," winning trainer Art Sherman said. "You don't get opportunities like this with short fields too often so we entered. She's a big, tough filly, but you won't see her again until May."

Winning jockey Dennis Carr said, "I just wanted to get her clear. Last time (in the Grade 3 Las Flores Handicap at Santa Anita), she got hit by dirt and didn't really like it. She found an extra gear when we turned for home, and I thought it was over until Allswellthatnswell made her run."

Vaca City Flyer earned $22,350 for her 10th victory in 20 starts. Her career earnings are $255,706.

Cause to Believe, Northern California's top Kentucky Derby candidate, is scheduled to run in Saturday's $100,000 California Derby to highlight the week's racing.

Racing resumes Wednesday at Golden Gate Fields.