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Bear Fan Returns Today


Bear Fan, who was among the better 3-year-old fillies on the local circuit last year, is scheduled to make her first start of 2003 today in the second race at Bay Meadows.

Co-owned by trainer Wesley Ward, the California-bred daughter of Pine Bluff hasn't run since winning the Fleet Treat Stakes by 7 1/2 lengths July 28 at Del Mar.

Bred by Ward, a former jockey, Bear Fan won her first two starts at Hollywood Park by a combined nine lengths and she is expected to be a big favorite in her comeback.

Russell Baze will ride the bay filly, who completed her preparation for the six-furlong $36,000 optional claimer with a 59 3/5 workout Sunday at Santa Anita. Lacrystal Classic, Summer Lite, Rosanda and That's Our Tricky round out the field.

A race later, Sunday Stroll, winner of the 1998 California Cup Juvenile as a 23-1 longshot under jockey Laffit Pincay Jr., will make his first start in more than two years in a $6,250 claimer at six furlongs.

Claimed for $32,000 on March 11, 2001, the 7-year-old General Meeting gelding was taken off by van that day when he pulled up as the 17-10 favorite. He is now owned by Gary Crusberg and trained by Art Sherman.

Race of the day: An interesting group of 2-year-old maiden fillies will run 4 1/2 furlongs in the second at Hollywood Park. The field includes two first-time-out entries for leading trainer Doug O'Neill -- Hot Weekend and Cherish Destiny.

One for the road: Native Heartbeat steps up and moves to the turf for the first time after a claim by trainer Chuck Jenda. The consistent daughter of Native Regent should get a good trip close to the pace under jockey Frank Alvarado in the opener at Bay Meadows.

Exotically speaking: A pick three singling Pickled Bay in the first, using Haleakala Sunrise and Hot Weekend in the second and Devote, Golden Score, First Class Trip and Strong Stage in the third.

Winners: Previous day/meet total: 3/39. Money: Previous day/meet total: $18.40/$215.60. Total money bet: $276.

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