06/25/2008 11:00PM

Alamedan a challenge for bettors


Five evenly matched rivals meet in Saturday's $50,000 Alamedan Handicap at the Alameda County Fair in Pleasanton, Calif. Despite the paucity of entrants, the race is an intriguing one from a handicapping standpoint, with a solid case possible for each runner.

Jerry Hollendorfer sends out three of the five runners in the

1 1/16-mile race for 3-year-olds and up, Amazin Blue, Putmein-yourwill, and Saratoga's Magic. Multiple stakes winner My Creed and Pass the Heat round out the field.

All five have met at various times, with Pass the Heat enjoying the most success.

"Putmeinyourwill and mine have had some pretty good duels," Pass the Heat's trainer Bill Morey Jr. said.

Pass the Heat finished third, a neck in front of Putmeinyour-will in the March Madness Handicap on the turf at Bay Meadows. Pass the Heat also won by a nose on the Bay Meadows turf when the pair met last year, but he might be a little better on turf than dirt.

"He's a little racehorse," Morey said. "He puts it out every time."

Pass the Heat and My Creed have run at Pleasanton before, and this will be the first start here for each of Hollendorfer's entrants.

Pass the Heat was disqualified from a third-place finish in an optional claimer here last year for drifting in through the stretch.

"Down the lane, he got a little silly," Morey said. "I think this track's a little narrower and the crowd's a little closer [than at most tracks], but he ran well on the track, and now he's a year older."

My Creed began a three-race win streak that included the James Lyttle and the Emerald Downs Breeders' Cup Derby with a win here in 2004. He'll make his first start here since a fifth-place finish in the 2005 Alamedan.

Saratoga's Magic could wind up on the lead, with Pass the Heat stalking. Putmeinyourwill should be sitting third in good position in the early going, with My Creed and Amazin Blue factors late.

The Alamedan, scheduled as the fourth race on the card, follows the $10,000 PQHRA Handicap for Quarter Horses and the $10,000 Pleasanton Arabian Handicap to form an all-stakes pick three.