02/01/2008 12:00AM

Full Power Ahead stretches out


ALBANY, Calif. - The six runners in the Golden Gate Fields closing-day feature Sunday are a pretty accomplished lot.

Two are stakes winners. Two others are stakes placed. All but one has at least $100,000 in earnings.

Yet there are still questions for each in the $80,000 optional claimer at one mile.

The biggest question is probably being asked of Full Power Ahead, who comes out of the best race of any of his rivals.

Full Power Ahead won his first two starts of the meet before hooking up with track-record holder Tribesman and returning stakes winner Vicarino in his last start on Jan. 13. He closed nicely to be second behind the runaway winner Tribesman, edging Vicarino in the final strides of the six-furlong allowance.

Trainer Frank Lucarelli wants to test Full Power Ahead, a late-running sprinter, around two turns.

"He's run very well at this track," Lucarelli said. "There were two races offered, this one and the same race he just ran in. I think I'm happy this one went because we've been wanting to try him around two turns again."

Prior to his arrival in Northern California this fall, Full Power Ahead turned in a dismal performance at a mile at Emerald Downs, going to the sidelines for three months after that race.

"He didn't get a good trip," Lucarelli said. "As a 2-year-old, he ran third in a stakes at a mile."

Lucarelli wants to find out if Full Power Ahead can be effective around two turns.

"This track is kind to his kind of style, so we'll try," he said.

Pass the Heat won 5 of his first 6 starts, including the Bull Dog Stakes at Fresno last October. The question for him is, can he get back in the win column? He's lost three straight, but two of the losses were to Now Victory and the third came down the hill on the Santa Anita turf course, when he ran into a traffic jam in the lane.

Taco Willy will be making his first start since July 2, 2006.

Trick of the North, who has placed in eight stakes, is stepping up off two strong victories here, and the question for him is whether he can handle this caliber of competition.

Stablemates Amazin Blue, winner of the Alberta Derby last year, and Sweet Roberto, who showed great promise as a 2-year-old before going to the sidelines for 20 months, are both talented but need to show improvement to get back to the winners' circle.