12/01/2006 1:00AM

Angles in favor of Irresponsible King


SAN MATEO, Calif. - What's not to like - on paper, anyway - about Irresponsible King Sunday at Bay Meadows?

A 4-year-old gelding, Irresponsible King makes his third start in a one-mile maiden race on turf against six rivals.

He has earned Beyers of 80 and 77 in his two starts; none of his rivals has earned a Beyer higher than 75. In his last start Nov. 11, he returned from a 10-month break and finished second by 1 1/4 lengths to his entrymate, and 5 1/2 lengths in front of the third-place finisher.

He is bred for the turf, being by Kingmambo out of a Theatrical mare. And he has the winningest rider in history, Russell Baze, taking a return call.

What's not to like? Maybe the slow 55.80 half-mile drill he put in after his last start.

"He was a little tired after his comeback race," said trainer Angelo Tekos Jr. "We got him doing good, so I told my exercise rider to go easy with him, and he went too easy. If I had it to do all over again, I wouldn't mind, though. I've lost more races by working too fast than too slow. He's on his game and ready."

Owned by Mercedes Stables, Irresponsible King made his debut in January, when he was battling a minor shin problem. Rain caused the one-mile race to be switched from turf to the main track. Irresponsible King finished third, and the shins flared up.

"The first time I probably ran him one race short," Tekos said.

When Tekos was ready to enter Irresponsible King in a maiden turf race at Santa Rosa this summer, Irresponsible King came down with a minor throat infection. Because of his potential, Tekos gave Irresponsible King three months before putting him in for his second start.

"Time was never a problem," he said. "The owners understand. The horse ran well in his comeback. I don't know if my horse got tired or was outrun by a better horse. We'll find that out down the road, but the turf course was a little soft that day."

Eliminator, claimed from Mercedes Stables last summer at Pleasanton, could provide the toughest competition. Last time out, he set the pace before losing by a nose on dirt.