05/14/2002 11:00PM

All the Gears has the potential


INGLEWOOD, Calif. - All the Gears has tested the patience of trainer John Sherriffs in the last 18 months.

At times, All the Gears has been a project, requiring extensive training at the racetrack and a local farm to stay race fit. At other times, he appears on the verge of developing into a stakes-caliber horse.

On Friday at Hollywood Park, the 5-year-old All the Gears starts in a one-mile allowance race on turf. A win would end a five-race losing streak and move him closer to a start in a stakes.

"I still think he can be that kind of horse," Sherriffs said.

All the Gears has won 2 of 15 starts and been second or third in eight races.

Most recently, All the Gears was second by a head in an allowance race on the hillside turf course at Santa Anita on April 7. The narrow loss was All the Gears's second race of the year, following a 2001 campaign that included one win in four starts and a ninth in the Grade 1 Shoemaker Breeders' Cup Mile at Hollywood, his lone stakes appearance in this country.

Owned by the Thoroughbred Corp., All the Gears started his career in England and joined Sherriffs in late 2000.

In between his promising races, All the Gears has sometimes been a problem student for Sherriffs. The horse sometimes trains at a local farm to avoid the commotion of the racetrack.

"He's one of those horses that starts out kind, but the longer the race the tougher they get," Sherriffs said. "When he gets on the track, he gets so wound up."

The one-mile distance on Friday should work for All the Gears, who will wear blinkers for the first time. Even though he ran well in a sprint, both of his victories have come over 1 1/8 miles on turf - a maiden win by nine lengths in November 2000 and an allowance race in February 2001.

All the Gears faces eight others, including the European import Amicable, who is trained by Neil Drysdale. A 4-year-old, Amicable was a well-beaten 10th in the Irish 2000 Guineas last May, but rebounded to finish second in a seven-furlong stakes at Epsom last June. He has not raced since October.

Other leading contenders are Ben Saw San, the winner of an allowance race at Santa Anita on April 21, and Irish Warrior, who was second in an allowance race on turf on March 29.

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