10/24/2008 12:00AM

Wavy Lass streaks into Marina Stakes


Timing in racing is as important as location in real estate, and the timing couldn't be better for Wavy Lass to make her local stakes debut in Sunday's $50,000 Marina Stakes at Golden Gate Fields.

The one-mile race for fillies and mares drew nine entrants, including multiple stakes winner Victorina, who was originally scheduled to run in last week's Albany Stakes, which was canceled. Also in the field are the stakes winners Rockella, Gadget Queen, Vanguarda, Unspoken Word, and She's Sensational.

None, though, can match Wavy Lass's four-race win streak coming into the Marina. All four, starting with a $16,000 claimer and working up to an allowance victory on Sept. 27, have come on turf. She has won three times on dirt tracks, one of them wet, but she faded to fifth in a $50,000 optional claimer in her lone start on the Tapeta surface she goes on Sunday in the Marina.

"She couldn't be training any better," trainer and co-owner Chuck Jenda said.

There are concerns about the surface switch, but the 4-year-old Helmsman filly is based at Golden Gate Fields and works over the Tapeta surface regularly.

"She works good over it and trains every day on it," said Jenda.

Jenda and breeder Tom Bachman lost Wavy Lass to a claim the day she won her maiden but - along with Karen and Paul Eggertre - reclaimed her on March 20. Maturity, Jenda's patient handling, and the move to the turf after the claim have helped turn the filly around. She's improved as she's met tougher and tougher competition.

"I especially think when fillies and mares get on a roll, they just get very good," said Jenda.

The question is whether or not she's good enough to compete with this tough field.

Victorina looms the one to beat with her 11 career victories and $543,125 in earnings. She has not won around two turns, though, finishing second in the Muir Woods and Noe Valley at 1 1/16 miles and third in the Grade 3 Dogwood at Churchill Downs at Sunday's one-mile distance.

Unspoken Word won the Hillsborough at a mile on the turf earlier this year and was second in the Grade 1 La Brea at Santa Anita on Dec. 29, 2007.

She's Sensational got her act together on the turf earlier this year before winning the Alameda County Filly and Mare Handicap on the dirt at Pleasanton on July 5.