02/28/2007 12:00AM

Four of five want the lead


SAN MATEO, Calif. - Papoos Dream has won back-to-back races coming into Friday's Bay Meadows feature, a first-level allowance race for 3-year-old fillies at six furlongs.

Three of the five in the field are multiple winners, having each won a maiden claimer and a starter allowance race. One steps up off a maiden victory, while the fifth has had three tries in allowance company since winning her debut as a 2-year-old.

Papoos Dream has raced three times, all at Golden Gate. She flashed speed for a half-mile in a a $32,000 maiden claimer in her debut, which came in December, before fading badly.

"She wasn't quite ready the first time," trainer Bill McLean said. "She was outside horses and watching them. She was a little green and getting out."

Papoos Dream has scored wire-to-wire wins in her past two starts, another $32,000 maiden claimer in January followed by a starter allowance race Feb. 9.

"I was surprised she took the lead in her second start," McLean said of her four-length maiden victory. "I thought she'd sit off the pace, but she went head-to-head and then pulled away."

Her starter allowance victory was even easier as she opened up immediately and breezed by 7 1/2 lengths.

Papoos Dream won't be in front so easily on Friday, and McLean said he thinks she may end up with a stalking trip.

McLean has given her only one work since her starter allowance victory, sending her six furlongs in 1:14.80.

Three of Papoos Dream's rivals also have speed. Girl Show stalked the pace when she finished second in her debut, and she sat just inside the pacesetter before edging away on the turn in her second start, a six-length maiden win.

Gold Chant showed good speed in back-to-back victories last summer and ran a sub-45-second opening half in her comeback on Feb. 1.

Forest Huntress has shown speed in all four of her starts. She comes off a fourth-place finish in a Feb. 9 allowance sprint at Golden Gate after setting fractions of 21.31 and 44.

Cat Runner, coming off a starter allowance victory following a two-month layoff, is the lone member of the field that does not want the lead.