06/08/2003 11:00PM

Works say Excess Star fit, fast


SAN MATEO, Calif. - A maiden race with six 3-year-old fillies running six furlongs gets Wednesday's Bay Meadows card off to an interesting start.

Mango Escapade and Summer Star ran well in their debuts. Midnight Rhapsody showed promise in her last start when shipped north. Excess Star and Grace of Windsor each ran once as 2-year-olds in Southern California and are making their 3-year-old debuts, while A Queens Tale runs for the first time in her career.

Excess Star, now trained by Art Sherman after being trained last year by Mike Machowsky, may be the one to beat after a sizzling 1:10.40 six-furlong bullet work. She opened a big lead in her debut at Del Mar last year before fading badly in the lane.

Excess Star shows six solid works, including three at the distance, a bullet 58.20 five-furlong work, and a 46.80 gate drill at a half-mile.

Sherman has mixed emotions about the 1:10.40 work, which came in company with Con Quixote, a speedy 4-year-old.

"I don't work horses that fast. That's not my M.O.," he said. "She acts like she has some talent."

Multiple turf winners head Oaks probables

Can I Call You Dad, Fudge Fatale, and Mac Melody, each of whom has two turf victories, are expected to run in Saturday's $75,000 Bay Meadows Oaks. Can I Call You Dad just beat Italian stakes winner Mac Melody in a May 22 prep, her second straight turf win. Fudge Fatale comes off an allowance victory at Hollywood Park.

Stakes winners Amber Hills and Mavoreen, plus Cherokee's Disco, China Princess, and Sanibel Sunset are also expected for the 1 1/16-mile turf race.

Delima gets the last laugh

Trainer Cliff Delima's first words after El Dorado Shooter won Saturday's Bay Meadows Breeders' Cup Sprint over Halo Cat were: "Ray Harris, you don't know how to handicap."

Harris, the agent for Russell Baze, had Baze ride Halo Cat instead of El Dorado Shooter for the race because he anticipated a speed duel between El Dorado Shooter and Presidio Heights.

"He told me the speed would kill each other off, and Halo Cat would win," Delima said.

El Dorado Shooter went wire to wire, and Presidio Heights was fifth after missing the break.

Retiring couple honored

Bay Meadows will honor the retiring John and Sonya Nommsen in a post-race celebration Thursday in the Turf Club.

John Nommsen, the assistant clerk of scales at Golden Gate Fields and Bay Meadows, has worked at Bay Meadows since 1957. Sonya Nommsen has done a variety of jobs at the fairs, Bay Meadows, and Golden Gate Fields since 1963.