02/09/2005 1:00AM

Hard spot for debut winners


SAN MATEO, Calif. - Impressive debut winners are frequently overbet in their second starts.

Bettors at Bay Meadows on Friday will have to weigh the merits of recent debut winners Marsh Creek and High Standards carefully in the six-furlong allowance feature for 3-year-olds that headlines the day's card.

Marsh Creek won by a nose over A.P. Dixie in his debut at Golden Gate Fields on Jan. 17, earning an 81 Beyer that is the third-highest in Friday's field. High Standards was a 3 1/2-length wire-to-wire winner in a $50,000 maiden claimer in his debut Nov. 25 at Hollywood Park.

Both should attract more wagering interest Friday than they did in their debuts.

was nearly 7-1 against the odds-on A.P. Dixie. He took advantage of an outside bias to beat the favorite, who was on the deep inside the whole trip.

was 13-1 in his debut. The second- and third-place finishers came back to win next out.

There are reasons to like both runners, but they will be facing much tougher competition this time around.

In his first start since a five-length maiden victory, Point Luck ran second in a Jan. 20 allowance race won by Stellar Magic, who is a contender in Saturday's $100,000 San Mateo Stakes.

ran second against tougher in a $62,500 optional claimer in his last start. He has 4 victories in 10 starts, with 3 coming in $25,000 claimers. All other runners in the first-level allowance race have only a maiden victory on their resumes, except Indian Weaver, whose lone win came in a statebred stakes race in Washington.

Mr. Fondue recorded an 83 Beyer, the highest in the field, in his last start as he improved for the third straight start. Indian Weaver, returning from a three-month freshener, was last as the favorite.

Flying Elvis, beaten four lengths by Point Luck in his last start, when he finished third, rounds out the field. He earned the second-best Beyer in the race, an 82, in his lone start over this track last October.

The race is competitive, but Point Luck, a stablemate of the talented Lost in the Fog, looks like the way to go. He should be able to sit just off High Standards, who drew the outside. Point Luck has met the best competition in the field and should offer a fair price, even if favored.

Although he has only won against easier, Mr. Fondue is sharp and improving and should be a factor from off the pace.