12/15/2006 1:00AM

Babcock Lake facing tough opponent


SAN MATEO, Calif. - Babcock Lake, a $100,000 Barretts purchase by trainer Jeff Bonde in May, has shown steady improvement throughout his brief career.

The 2-year-old colt has a win and two seconds in five starts as he enters a first-level allowance race at six furlongs Sunday at Bay Meadows. He has been the runner-up in his past two starts at this level.

There's just one thing working against him: Included among his opponents is Another Kris.

Another Kris, trained by Jerry Hollendorfer, defeated Babcock Lake's stablemate Acquire the Fire in their debut. Acquire the Fire came back to win his next start by 3 1/4 lengths.

Those seconds for Babcock Lake both came against Hollendorfer trainees, Candy's Bro and Double Action.

It's too early for Hollendorfer to begin to rate his three 2-year-olds, but he does say of Another Kris, a $47,000 Ocala purchase in March, that jockey Russell Baze "likes him quite well."

Candy's Bro has won two straight since losing to Babcock Lake in his debut. Double Action, a private purchase after winning his maiden race in Florida, won his first start for Hollendorfer.

Another Kris raced a bit greenly down the backstretch as he sat in midpack in his debut, but he seemed to figure things out when he turned for home and unleashed a strong kick to win by a half-length. He has three nice works since.

Babcock Lake, who has the best Beyer Speed Figure in the field with an 81 in his last race against Double Action, has a five-furlong bullet drill since his last start. He will be the one that Another Kris will have to contend with in the lane.

Track deemed safe

Bay Meadows track superintendent Bob Turman and his crew spent Thursday afternoon and night working on the track after racing was cancelled following the second race that day. The jockeys refused to ride after one horse in each of the first two races broke down and was euthanized. Racing resumed on Friday.

Turman and his crew scraped and removed mud from the track and added sand Friday morning. Only three horses actually worked Friday morning, but many horses galloped. No problems were reported, and Hollendorfer, who sent horses out to gallop, said he felt the track was safe.

Sherman, Ward face hearings

Hearings will be scheduled for trainers Art Sherman and Wesley Ward after the California Horse Racing Board filed complaints against both for medication violations.

The complaint against Sherman came after Brahma Bull, second in a Dec. 2 race, exceeded the threshold level for total carbon dioxide.

The board said that a blood test for the Ward-trained Denaesalildevil, winner of the 11th race at the Alameda County Fair on July 1, contained the banned medication phentermine, an amphetamine.