08/21/2007 12:00AM

'Funston' must break from rail


SAN MATEO, Calif. - Trainer Greg Gilchrist will send out Fort Funston to make his debut in a maiden race at six furlongs at Bay Meadows on Thursday. Fort Funston drew the rail in the field of seven.

A $110,000 Ocala yearling purchase last August, Fort Funston will be wearing the familiar Harry Aleo colors and will be ridden by Russell Baze, a combination that has made its home in the winner's circle in recent years with a remarkable string of outstanding 2-year-olds, including Lost in the Fog.

While Fort Funston has worked nicely for his debut, Gilchrist is concerned by the draw.

"I don't think he'll run his best race the first time," Gilchrist said. "Drawing the 1-hole compromises your chances. You have to send away from the gate with a first-time starter. You use your horse a little more early than you like."

Three other first-timers are entered: Power Tool, a $220,000 yearling purchase; Ez Dreamer, who has been working very well at Pleasanton; and Moonlit Master, a $75,000 purchase who has a solid six-furlong work for his final drill.

Punch Up, a $90,000 weanling purchase, was runner-up in his debut Aug. 5 at Santa Rosa. He could be the one to beat with a race under his belt.

16 consider Turf Championship

Sixteen runners were nominated for Saturday's $100,000 California Turf Championship at one mile on the turf.

Jerry Hollendorfer nominated the filly Somethin-

aboutlaura, who was assigned 121 pounds. She could meet Now Victory, who just won the Joseph Grace at Santa Rosa on Aug. 4, and Epic Power, runner-up in the California Dreamin' at Del Mar on Aug. 3 after beating Now Victory by a length in the Korbel Handicap at Hollywood Park on June 30. The two males both were assigned 122 pounds.

Somethinaboutlaura has won three straight, including the Work the Crowd and Redondo Beach on turf and the Grade 2 A Gleam on July 6 at Hollywood Park in her last start.

Lucky J.H., third in the California Dreamin' in his first start in more than 13 months, is also nominated and was assigned 118 pounds, the same as Jack's Wild, who lost to him by a head in that race.