11/22/2005 12:00AM

Like father, like son

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Benoit & Associates
Ace Blue, winner of the Mervyn LeRoy, adds to a deep Forty Niner field.

ALBANY, Calif. - Trainer Bob Hess likes the look of Friday's $100,000 Forty Niner Handicap at Golden Gate Fields. So does his son, Bob Hess Jr.

Each Hess runs a horse that can take advantage of what will likely be a fast pace in the 1 1/16-mile Forty Niner. Hess saddles My Creed, Hess Jr. sends out Easy Million.

"There's a lot of speed in the race, with , and most of the others have some speed, too," said Hess Sr. "That should help My Creed."

As much as Hess likes the pace scenario for My Creed, the race also should set up nicely for his son and Easy Million. Easy Million was second in the Grade 3 Berkeley Handicap here in June and won the Bull Dog at the Big Fresno Fair in his last start, siting back early after breaking slowly and unleashing a strong stretch kick.

Hess Jr. claimed Easy Million for $50,000 at Del Mar. He was a troubled second at Fairplex before winning the Bull Dog.

"My son says he's doing well and that he's going to beat me," Hess Sr. said. "I think they'll both do well, but, who knows, we could end up seventh and eighth."

Third behind Easy Million in the Bull Dog was Traffic Update, who defeated My Creed here on Nov. 9.

But that was My Creed's first start in two months and it was also a prep for the Forty Niner, which has been on the radar for Hess and co-owners Seven Star Racing Stable for some time.

A 4-year-old gelding, was third in the Forty Niner last year after racing wide on the first turn and steadying into the second turn. He will likely drop back to last early and get a ground-saving trip.

There's plenty of other talent in the race.

won the Grade 2 Mervyn LeRoy earlier this year, and his stablemate, Trickey Trevor, won the San Carlos at Bay Meadows. Bilo was beaten 3 1/2 lengths in both the Sunshine Millions Sprint and Grade 1 Ancient Title. Saint Buddy comes off an allowance victory.

* Thursday's Thanksgiving card starts at 11:15 a.m. and figures to be completed by 2:45 p.m.

Thursday's feature is a $25,000 claimer at six furlongs. Barron H, who has won three straight starts and finished off the board only once in eight starts at Golden Gate, is the one to beat. He was claimed two starts back for $20,000 and won a $25,000 optional claimer in his last start.