01/11/2005 1:00AM

'Booming' will not face Texcess

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ALBANY, Calif. - Trainer Efrain Miranda had considered Saturday's Golden Gate Derby for Booming Along, but decided to enter him in Thursday's feature, a starter allowance at one mile.

If Miranda were having second thoughts, they likely evaporated Tuesday after trainer Paul Aguirre told Golden Gate officials that Texcess, the winner of the $1 million Delta Jackpot, will run in the $100,000 Golden Gate Derby.

A Cal-bred gelding, Texcess lost by a head to Beat the Chalk in the $100,000 Barretts Juvenile in his debut but has won his last three starts: the Cal Cup Juvenile, an allowance race, and the Delta Jackpot. All three of his victories have come at 1 1/16 miles, the Golden Gate Derby distance.

Aguirre decided not to run Texcess in Saturday's one-mile, $150,000 San Rafael at Santa Anita.

As for Booming Along, Miranda is opting to go slowly with him because of his talent.

"He may not be a really good horse, but he's the best horse in my barn," Miranda said.

There are 80,000 reasons as to why Booming Along, a Cal-bred son of Boomerang out of the Mickey McGuire mare El Pepina, should run Saturday. The derby purse is $100,000, while the purse for Thursday's feature is only $20,000.

"I'd like to run in the big race with the bigger purse," Miranda said. "I believe he's a nice horse. He's feeling good."

ran well in three $32,000 maiden-claiming sprints to begin his career, finishing third in his debut and second in the next two. Although they were claiming races, all three were productive heats that included next-race winners.

Booming Along graduated in a one-mile straight maiden race on the turf and came back with a career-best effort when he finished second in the one-mile Gold Rush Stakes to Dover Dere, a confirmed derby entrant.

Miranda said he believes Booming Along is the best horse he has trained, but he has successfully fought the temptation to ask too much too soon.

Booming Along meets a field he should be able to handle Thursday. His primary competition is , stretching out for the first time after winning a sprint at this level. The two figure to be in front of their four rivals early, and Booming Along should have an edge with a pair of strong efforts at the distance.

* Dover Dere, Buzzards Bay, and Sharp Writer are also confirmed for Saturday's Golden Gate Derby.

* Jockey Roberto Gonzalez begins a five-day suspension Thursday for his ride aboard Makalapua in Friday's opening race. Makalapua was involved in a bumping incident in the lane with Mr. Fondue.