06/01/2006 11:00PM

Carthage hot horse in Sprint

Bill Vassar
Carthage comes off a victory over Lost in the Fog at Golden Gate (above).

SAN MATEO, Calif. - Everything seems to favor Carthage going into Sunday's Grade 3, $125,000 Bay Meadows Breeders' Cup Sprint.

He is at the top of his game with four straight wins, including three in stakes - all with Beyers of 105 or higher. He comes off a victory over reigning Eclipse sprint champion Lost in the Fog and gets to run on his home track, where he is 3 for 5 with a second.

also won the battle of the draw in the five-horse field, getting the outside post where he can use his speed to best advantage.

"This horse is coming into this race as good as I've seen him," trainer Art Sherman said. "The timing is just perfect for me."

The six-furlong Bay Meadows Breeders' Cup Sprint appeared early in the week as if it could be a two-horse race between Carthage and Trickey Trevor, winner of the Grade 2 Churchill Downs Handicap in his last start, but three more have been entered: Bonfante, trained by Steve Specht; Areyoutalkintome, trained by Doug O'Neill; and Peak a Bootrando, just claimed for $32,000 from a win.

, normally a front-runner, came from off the pace to win the Churchill Downs Handicap. Trainer Jerry Hollendorfer tried something new with him prior to that race in an attempt to get him to rate, and it worked.

"What I have to do is take a little edge off him on race day," said Hollendorfer. "I took him out and galloped him a little bit in the morning. You do just enough to take the edge off.

"There are a couple definitely sharp horses in here, and our horse is sharp, too."

Trickey Trevor drew the rail for Sunday's race.

won the California Turf Sprint Championship 15 days ago in his first start in eight months.

"It goes against better judgment to come back this quick," Specht said. "He got a little tired, but it wasn't like he was being whipped the final sixteenth. He was tired the next day but bounced back pretty quick.

Bonfante breezed in 46.40 seconds on Monday.

"He probably worked better than he ever had," Specht said.

This will be Areyoutalkintome's third race in five weeks. O'Neill said Areyoutalkintome "thrives" on activity and is holding his weight and doing well despite his busy schedule.

"We're excited," he said. "This is a big pot, and he brings it every time he runs."