12/02/2002 12:00AM

Wow! Here comes Cavonnier's little sis


ALBANY, Calif. - Few owners take more care in selecting names than Barbara Walter.

Barbara and her husband, Robert, are among northern California's most successful breeders. Cavonnier, whom they bred, won the 1996 Santa Anita Derby and finished second in the Kentucky Derby by a nose to Grindstone after being hit in the head by a whip just as he was beginning his stretch run.

Cavonnier's baby sister, who won her debut, is scheduled to run Wednesday at Golden Gate Fields against five other 2-year-old fillies in the second race on what could be the track's strongest card of the year.

Barbara Walter seemed to know what she was doing when she named Cavonnier's half-sister - she is by Slewvescent out of Direwarning - Watch Out World.

"The acronym for her is 'wow,' " Walter said.

Asked if she had an inkling the name would be a perfect fit for the filly, Walter replied, "You bet."

Trainer Armando Lage was so impressed with Watch Out World after her three-quarter-length victory on Oct. 20 at Bay Meadows that he entered her in the Piedmont Stakes at Golden Gate Fields on Nov. 23.

But the filly flipped in the paddock and was scratched.

"As they were walking around, the filly in front of her took a couple steps back and startled her," Lage said. "She lost her footing as she tried to back up, but she wasn't injured. She only suffered a couple of scrapes."

Lage worked her five days later and was pleased with the work. He has also spent a lot of time schooling her, without mishap.

A parimutuel oddity

Friday's fourth race produced a racing oddity when the trifecta paid $19,763.70 and the superfecta paid $977.20.

The first four finishers were Dancing Spray (18-1), Nita Moon Up (52-1), Gold Crazy (47-1), and Queen Alexis (57-1) in a field of 12 2-year-old maiden fillies.

The disparity in payoffs came because no superfecta ticket correctly had even the first three finishers and superfectas were paid off on the basis of the top two finishers - in effect an exacta. (The exacta payoff was $534.90.)

Bryan Wayte, Golden Gate Fields manager of mutuels, said the payout was made in accordance with California Horse Racing Board Rule 1979.1 dealing with superfectas. That states, "If no ticket selects first, second, and third position, the net pool shall be paid for tickets that select first and second."

Fifty superfecta tickets had the first two finishers, and none of the 50 had Gold Crazy third, thus the superfecta payoff went 10 (Dancing Spray)-12 (Nita Moon Up)-all-all.

There were seven winning trifecta tickets sold, but Wayte said since some were purchased outside of northern California, it was impossible to determine how they were configured and how many winners had "all" in the third spot.

By the time the 10-12-all-all superfecta payoff was announced, several winning tickets had already been discarded causing frantic searches for the suddenly good tickets.