02/18/2005 12:00AM

Aly Bubba can win despite long layoff

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SAN MATEO, Calif. - Aly Bubba has been gone the longest, but he might still be the one to beat when five older horses - only one of whom has run this year - meet in Sunday's Bay Meadows feature.

Although the field is short, it should be an interesting betting race.

is the lone member of this field to have raced this year, placing seventh on Feb. 3 in an $80,000 optional claimer on the turf at Santa Anita. He is in the same conditions Sunday, but the one-mile race is on the main track, and all 10 of his career starts have come on the turf.

The main track could play against Aly Bubba as well. His best efforts and all three of his career victories have come on the turf. But he does have some decent main-track efforts, including a second at this level and distance at Golden Gate Fields in November 2003.

has not run since April 24, when he was fourth in the $150,000 Khaled Handicap at Hollywood Park while earning a career-best 100 Beyer Speed Figure. He has a solid series of drills for his comeback, including a pair of one-mile works.

Stablemates Starspell and Allwood figure as contenders. Starspell has not run since a turf victory here Nov. 7, but he did win at a mile on the main track at Santa Rosa last summer. Allwood ran only three times last year, all in sprints, but he is a stakes winner around two turns.

Attack Force, primarily a sprinter, opted for this race for his comeback rather than Monday's scheduled $55,000 President's Day Sprint, whose status is shaky.

Morris out four to six weeks after spill

Jockey Ryan Morris is expected to miss four to six weeks after suffering a compression fracture of the transverse process in his back in a spill Thursday. X-rays at San Mateo Medical Center revealed the fracture, but Morris suffered no internal injuries.

He was hurt riding Colors of the Wind when the horse stumbled badly near the three-eighth pole and unseated him.

Wayte, Pleasanton superintendent, dies

Paul Wayte, 67, the track superintendent at the Alameda County Fair in Pleasanton since 1998, died Monday after a long illness. No services are planned for the former trainer. The family requests remembrances to a local hospice or the American Cancer Society.

* The San Mateo Planning Commission will hold its first public hearing on proposed Bay Meadows development plans on Wednesday at 7:30 p.m. at 330 W. 20th Ave. in San Mateo.