01/03/2007 1:00AM

Victorina might like two turns after all

Email

ALBANY, Calif. - Immediately after Victorina ran second in the 1 1/16-mile Noe Valley at Golden Gate Fields last fall in her first race around two turns, trainer Greg Gilchrist expressed extreme disappointment. He questioned whether she would be able to negotiate two turns successfully following her three-length loss to Secret Scheme, even though Victorina was 14 lengths in front of the third-place finisher.

Upon reflection, Gilchrist softened his stance, and on Saturday, Victorina, who actually earned a career-best Beyer of 98 in the Noe Valley, will try the 1 1/16-mile distance for a second time when the 4-year-old filly meets five rivals in the $50,000-added Muir Woods.

"The whole thing we wanted to find out was if she could handle two turns," Gilchrist said the day after the Noe Valley. "I think she passed the test and can do it. That being said, I'm more impressed with her one-turn races and will probably look for them."

Since the race, Gilchrist has become even more impressed with Victorina's effort in the Noe Valley.

"When I looked at the race the next day, I realized the winner was lone speed on a day with a heavy speed bias," he said. "On top of that, Secret Scheme's a very nice horse. I'm looking forward to stretching my filly out."

Victorina has run only once since the Noe Valley, winning the six-furlong Ahwatukee Express at Turf Paradise on Oct. 28.

Victorina has never left the track but did get a one-month break following her Turf Paradise race. She has five works over the past five weeks, three at five furlongs and two at a half-mile.

"She's been off quite a while, but she stays awfully fit," Gilchrist said.

Multiple stakes winner Bai and Bai and stakes-placed Beautiful Dixie and Loyal Bounty are among those signed up to face Victorina.

Mr Charlypotatoes in off big effort

Six 3-year-old maidens meet in Friday's feature, a $32,000 claimer at one mile.

Mr Charlypotatoes comes off his best race, a runner-up finish in his first start at a mile. Quigley Sure Shot, who finished third, three-quarters of a length behind Mr Charlypotatoes, last time, is also entered.

Knockout Artist, making his first start since Oct. 29, stretches out to a mile and drops into the claiming ranks for the first time. He had a bullet 1:13 six-furlong drill in his final work for his comeback.