04/15/2008 11:00PM

Watch Me Win steps up off claim


SAN MATEO, Calif. – Trainer Gordon Wells isn’t sure just how good Watch Me Win is, but he knows she’s popular. He claimed her for $20,000 in her last start March 20 after trainer Billy Morey had claimed her for the same price in her previous start.

Watch Me Win will not be claimed Friday, when Wells runs her in a $25,000 optional claimer for fillies and mares at one mile, the fourth race Friday at Bay Meadows. She is one of the four runners in the field of seven running for the allowance condition.

Watch Me Win scored by a nose over Home Ice, one of Friday’s rivals, when Wells claimed her from her Bay Meadows debut. She had run second when Morey claimed her at Santa Anita.

“We’re taking a shot here,” said Wells.

Wells does not claim many horses, but he’s 1-for-4 with runners off a claim.

“You try to keep them happy,” Wells said. “You try to keep them in the same element and not get crazy with them.”

Watch Me Win’s strength is her consistency. She has 6 wins in 34 starts, earning $145,770. She’ll need to be at the top of her game Friday.

Rupert’s Promise was sensational two back in her first try around two turns, graduating in wire-to-wire style. She did nothing in her next start, but that came on the turf, and she returns to the main track here.

Royal Sierra, who runs for a tag, and entrymate Afleet’s Desire, who doesn’t, could also pose threats. Royal Sierra has won two straight, including an allowance victory in her last start March 2. Afleet’s Desire ran second in her first start here on March 10 after a Jerry Hollendorfer claim at Santa Anita.

Friday’s fifth race is also a $25,000 optional claimer for fillies and mares, this one at 5 1/2 furlongs.

Another Hollendorfer-trained entry figures in the thick of the battle, with speedster Shawklit Sundae and stalker Sea Topper entered.

Shawklit Sundae won a $32,000 claimer by seven lengths on March 27. The race was her Bay Meadows debut.

Sea Topper has won two straight, moving up from a $10,000 claimer to a $20,000 claimer on March 24.

Other contenders include Carrie With a C, coming off a nine-length allowance victory here March 31; Minimite, a maiden winner the same day; and Francesca Slew, who won a $16,000 claimer March 9 in her last start.