10/23/2007 11:00PM

All starters untested on the turf

EmailSAN MATEO, Calif. - The seven 2-year-olds in Friday's Bay Meadows feature have one thing in common. Each will be making his first start on turf in the 7 1/2-furlong optional $40,000 claimer.

Among them are two that won their maiden in stakes races and one stakes-placed runner.

Based on performance, Gallon merits a long look. He actually won two stakes as a maiden, both at Emerald Downs in Auburn, Wash.

After running second in his debut at Emerald on July 1 - the winner, Dat's Dream, recorded the fastest five-furlong clocking (56.60 seconds) in Emerald history - Gallon held off Margo's Gift by a head to finish first in the Premio Esmeralda Stakes on July 21, but was disqualified for causing interference.

Kay Cooper, the assistant to trainer Jim Penney, said the bumping incident "was a 50-50 type deal."

Gallon, a son of Belmont winner Victory Gallop, won his maiden in the WTBA Lads at a mile on Sept. 1, then ran second in the Sept. 29 Gottstein Futurity. The winner of the 1o1/16-mile futurity, the filly Smarty Deb, is running in the Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies on Saturday.

Cooper said that Gallon is running in Friday's race because he needs to go long and she and Penney want to try him on turf.

Leslie Mawing, the gelding's regular rider in Washington, has taken up residence in the local jockey colony and will ride.

"Leslie's ridden the horse very well," Cooper said. "He knows him. That can be important when you're trying something new."

Vadheim won the Harvest Futurity at the Big Fresno Fair in his last start, but is coming back only two weeks later.

Thundering Justice, a half-brother to turf winner Brave Sun, was third in the Bay Meadows Juvenile and has 2 wins and 2 thirds in 4 starts.

Many Rivers, a half-brother to multiple Grade 1 winner Harlan's Holiday and a son of Storm Cat, makes his first start against winners and first try around two turns. Many Rivers's dam won on turf.

Valid Port is the only other runner besides Gallon with a victory - or even experience - at one mile.

Bradford Falls and Fair Ruling round out the field.