06/01/2003 11:00PM

Jets Fan a 'doofus' no more


SAN MATEO, Calif. - When Jets Fan first appeared in trainer Brent Sumja's barn, he was a "big doofus," according to assistant trainer Aggie Ordonez.

The 3-year-old gelding has turned into quite a racehorse and seeks his fourth straight victory in Wednesday's Bay Meadows feature, a $50,000 optional claimer at six furlongs.

Jets Fan has never finished worse than second in five career starts.

"He's learned something every time he's stepped on the track," Ordonez said. "You can see it in the mornings. He gets more from his gallops."

Jets Fan has speed but can stalk. Since his three-length maiden victory, he has won a $40,000 starter allowance race by a half-length and an allowance race by a half-length.

"We didn't know what to expect before his first race," Ordonez said. "He stayed with horses whether he was working with a maiden $8,000 claimer or an allowance horse. He'd stay with them, but there was never anything flashy."

Jets Fan, who had a bullet 59-second five-furlong drill in his last work one week ago, has not run since April 30, when he defeated West Saratoga and Grandpa Chin, who dead-heated for second.

"He was very tired after that race," Ordonez said. "If we ran him back in two or three weeks, he might have gone in the other direction, but after five weeks, he's raring to go again."

Jets Fan will have to beat a talented duo from trainer Greg Gilchrist. Post Pattern, who returns quickly after winning a May 23 allowance race, defeated Jets Fan in a maiden race but was fourth to him April 30. Gray Jag, the lone member of the field running for the $50,000 tag, makes his first start since setting the pace in the Nov. 24 Golden Bear Stakes at Golden Gate Fields, which was won by Buddy Gil.

Sprint may be locals-only

Saturday's $150,000 Bay Meadows Breeders' Cup Sprint could be an all-local cast, although trainer John Sadler says Taste of Paradise is "probable" for the race.

Echo Eddie is scheduled to run Wednesday at Hollywood Park. Giovannetti, who was being considered for the True North in New York, is battling a quarter crack and will not go. He is "possible" for the Bay Meadows BC, said trainer Frank Monteleone. Captain Squire, who has a minor illness, is called "doubtful" by trainer Jeff Mullins.

Five locally based horses are definite for the six-furlong sprint. Speedsters El Dorado Shooter and Presidio Heights are the two highweights at 120 and 119. Halo Cat (118), Radar Contact (115), and the comebacking How Bout Jose (114) are also scheduled to run.

Russell Baze, who has been riding both El Dorado Shooter and Halo Cat, will be aboard Halo Cat on Saturday.

Cliff Delima, who trains El Dorado Shooter, said the decision was a result of "handicapping" by Baze's agent, Ray Harris. Halo Cat should be sitting just behind Presidio Heights and El Dorado Shooter, who will likely duel for the lead.

Delima will use Chad Schvaneveldt on El Dorado Shooter.

* Jockey Frank Alvarado has dropped his appeals for two suspensions from earlier in the meet and will serve eight days, June 4-8 and 11-13.

* Horsemen and fans can meet with directors of the Thoroughbred Owners of California on Thursday from 9:30 to 10:15 a.m. in the executive offices at Bay Meadows.