10/01/2003 11:00PM

Local trio holds edge in sprint


SAN MATEO, Calif. - Saturday's $100,000 California Sprint Championship, a six-furlong race for Cal-breds, often serves as a prep for the Cal Cup at Santa Anita. This year's race has attracted a varied group of seven, ranging from Chataquos' Choice, a moon-shooting 3-year-old who just won his maiden in a claiming event, to 10-year-old millionaire Men's Exclusive.

Men's Exclusive, coming off a nearly five-month layoff, and Ride and Shine, who won a $100,000 optional claimer at Santa Anita last Sunday, are solid contenders, but a trio of local runners could be tough to beat in a race that, surprisingly, has no legitimate front-runner.

Green Team has won two straight races at Del Mar since being claimed for $32,000 at the Solano Fair by Jeff Bonde. He runs from off the pace and has surprised Bonde with his explosive stretch move, which has earned him Beyer Speed Figures of 101 and 100 in his last two starts.

Trapper, a 3-year-old claimed for $32,000 from his debut on April 3, has not been worse than second in six starts for new trainer William E. Morey. Trapper has three straight victories, each against better opponents than the last.

Con Quixote suffered a hairline fracture of a cannon bone last year, but he may be coming into the race best of all.

After being off for more than seven months, Con Quixote did little in his first three starts back, but then won a $32,000 claimer at 4 1/2 furlongs on the turf.

Rounding out the field is stakes winner Hoovergetthekeys, who will try to rally late.