02/05/2009 12:00AM

Victorina in tough but still looks best


The $75,000 Campanile at Golden Gate Fields on Saturday runs through Victorina. But Victorina, who has won nine stakes races during her career, faces several other stakes winners in the 1 1/16-mile race for fillies and mares.

Among them are her stablemate Sky Mystic, who is making her first start since winning the California Oaks here one year ago; Lady Railrider, who just ran second in the Sunshine Millions Distaff; and Gadget Queen, who won the Belle Roberts at Emerald Downs last summer.

Trainer Greg Gilchrist had planned to run Victorina in the Sunshine Millions Distaff on Jan.o24 after she won the Paseana at Santa Anita on Jan. 2. But she came down with a mild case of colic and had to miss the Sunshine Millions, and Gilchrist kept her at her home base and run her in the Campanile.

"We felt it was best to stay here," Gilchrist said. "If you think you're not going to do well, why run?"

Victorina primarily sprinted early in her career, but she has routed in her past three starts, including a win in the Marina Stakes at a mile at Golden Gate in October and a second in an allowance race in November.

"We did not route her early because there were a lot of good route mares here," Gilchrist said. "Sprints didn't seem as tough as routes, where you had Hystericalady, who is a Grade 1 winner; Bai and Bai, who was at the top of her game; Secret Scheme and Somethinaboutlaura."

The Campanile marks the return to racing for Sky Mystic, who suffered a broken pastern in a hind leg while winning the California Oaks on Feb. 2, 2008.

"It was never career-threatening but took a long time to heal," Gilchrist said. "We entered her in a sprint or two that didn't go, but she gets so much out of her works, I don't think she would have gotten much out of a sprint. This won't be her best race, and this is a tough race."

Lady Railrider is coming back in two weeks from her second in the Sunshine Millions Distaff. In My Glory comes off a runner-up effort in the Grade 2 Dahlia on the grass at Hollywood Park, but she seems better on turf. Ransom Captive is stakes-placed in Great Britain and the United States. Royal Heraldry, coming off two straight allowance victories, makes her stakes debut.