07/06/2005 12:00AM

It's potential vs. experience


PLEASANTON, Calif. - An old pro and an up-and-comer head the field for Friday's feature at the Alameda County Fair.

Palmeiro, a 7-year-old stakes winner, has seen better days. But he's going in good form right now as he runs for a tag in the $25,000 optional claimer at one mile and 70 yards.

Callfire, 4, seeks his second career victory as he runs without a tag under the first-level allowance conditions of the race.

They drew the two outside posts in the 12-horse field but have enough speed to be in good position early. Palmeiro, drawn just inside Callfire, may be able to force his primary rival to be wide in the first turn.

, trained by Billy Morey, has a win and a second in his past two starts for this tag.

"He's a nice old horse," Morey said. "He's obviously had a serious recurring injury, so you only get a few out of him each time he comes back."

Morey has been careful where he has spotted Palmeiro.

"You can still tell he has a touch of his old class, but he's lost a step or two," Morey said. "Unfortunately, you see that class when he drops down, but he seems to have found his level."

is still looking for his proper level, and Friday's race could simply be another step up the ladder.

After winning a maiden race by 10, he was favored at the first allowance level in his first start against winners. He ran second all the way to speedster Bells Fool, who came back to win here over the weekend.

"It was a good effort," said Callfire's trainer, Aggie Ordonez. "I probably should have told Dennis [Carr] to take on that horse earlier. He put in a big effort and came out of it great."

Callfire has 1 win and 4 seconds in 6 starts in a career that started in Florida before a private sale.

"We learn more about this horse every time," Ordonez said. "I still think he's a good horse that will win a lot of races."

, who just went wire-to-wire to win for a $16,000 tag, could be a factor as well. He is 0 for 16 on the turf but 3 for 8 on the main track.

* Morey said that Don Jaun Con, winner of Sunday's Everett Nevin Alameda County Futurity, came out of the race in good shape and will be pointed to the Graduation Stakes for Cal-breds at Del Mar later this month.