01/25/2006 12:00AM

Class drop a test for Wild Truce


SAN MATEO, Calif. - Friday's second race, a $25,000 claimer at six furlongs for 3-year-olds, should give trainer Billy Morey a good idea of whether Wild Truce is a claiming horse or something better.

won his first two starts. He was claimed for $12,500 from his winning debut, then won by 13 lengths when he was boosted to the $16,000 level against winners.

Based on those two starts, Morey stretched him out and ran him twice in allowance company. Wild Truce ran third in both of those starts, losing to Sweet Roberto, who was being pointed to Sunday's Grade 3, $250,000 El Camino Real Derby before being injured, and Bold Chieftain, who could be a factor in the El Camino off an allowance victory.

Friday's race may be a bit of racetrack poker by Morey as well as a way to rebuild Wild Truce's confidence, and it should give Morey a better feel for where Wild Truce's future lies.

Four of the six runners in the race - Complicit Swiss, Way to Shine, Fast Feline, and Wild Wes - are moving up the class ladder. Great Issue, who was claimed in November, makes his first start since then, returning for the same price.

won his debut at the bottom $8,000 maiden claiming level. How he runs Friday should also help trainer Art Sherman make future assessments.

Wild Wes is another maiden claiming winner, moving up from the $16,000 level. He will make his third career start for his third barn.

won at this level two back and ships north for trainer Jeff Mullins as he steps up after fading in the slop. Way to Shine steps up after running second for a $10,000 tag last time.

Great Issue has won three of six starts, including a victory when claimed at this level. He has worked nicely for trainer John Martin.

* Older filly and mare maidens will go 5 1/2 furlongs in the third race. Classically Lit, who set the pace before finishing second in her debut, appears the one to beat.

Nipsy's Classic and Yearly Event both step up in class, and She's Funny is 0 or 13 and has never threatened.

Top of the Class and Cherokee Jo make their debuts and may draw attention off their works.