06/23/2010 11:00PM

Victoryasecret won't be easy to catch


Christmas Ship was part of a favored entry with Glacier Peak when she won last year's Alameda County Fillies and Mares Handicap, and she could be favored again in the $50,000 race Saturday at the Alameda County Fair in Pleasanton, Calif.

There's plenty to like about Christmas Ship, a 5-year-old Jerry Hollendorfer-trained mare, who faces six rivals in the 1 1/16-mile dirt stakes for fillies and mares. She's 2 for 2 in her career at Pleasanton, having won an allowance race at 1 1/16 miles in 2008 before last year's stakes win. She has leading rider Russell Baze to pilot her on Saturday, is in sharp form with a second in a Golden Gate turf allowance June 12 and a 13 1/2-length stakes score at Portland Meadows before that, and there is plenty of speed to set up her late run.

But that could be the rub because the speed of the speed, Victoryasecret, is at the top of her game for her stakes debut. She has won 3 of 4 starts this year and led in the stretch in her lone defeat, which came on the turf at Santa Anita.

"We're hoping to get some black type for her," said trainer Chuck Jenda.

Jenda won't have any instructions for jockey Luis Martinez in the paddock. Martinez is Victoryasecret's regular rider and has guided her to all five of her victories, including wins in her past two starts. Two starts back she went wire to wire in a Golden Gate allowance that was taken off the turf and run on the Tapeta, and last out she wired an allowance field by nine lengths on the turf there.

Martinez has no secret plan for Victoryasecret. They'll go for the lead and make everyone try to catch them.

Victoryasecret leaves from post 3, with two speed horses Miss Pleasant and Little Bug, to her inside. She has won rating in second early.

"Maybe she could draft off somebody if they really wanted the lead," said Jenda.

"She has that early lick. It depends on how fast the pace is, but she has some stick, too."

Miss Pleasant has two straight wire-to-wire wins. Little Bug has been sprinting. Markmelauras set the pace in a win and a second-place finish in a pair of Turf Paradise turf stakes in the winter, and comes off a fifth behind runner-up Christmas Ship in the June 12 allowance.