09/06/2005 11:00PM

Long break at an end for 'Hoover'


SAN MATEO, Calif. - The theme of the Friday evening card will be reunions.

, winner of the 2001 Golden Gate Derby and El Camino Real Derby, will make his first start since being claimed on May 27, 2004, by his original owner, RL Stables.

Also entered is Swen, re-claimed in his last start by trainer Steve Specht.

may be the one to beat. Five of his seven victories have come at Bay Meadows, including his past four starts here. He has drawn the outside post in the field of six entered in the $32,000 claimer at six furlongs.

Just to Swen's inside is speedball Twentythreejaybird. Colonel Courtney draws the rail and will have to gun early. He could provide enough pace pressure on Twentythreejaybird to set things up for the stalking Swen. He was second in a mixed-breed stakes at Santa Rosa in his last start after getting away slowly, but has won his last three starts with Thoroughbreds.

seeks his fourth straight victory. He has been freshened since winning on a disqualification on July 20 at Solano.

Good Fella rounds out the field.

Hoovergetthekeys is an intriguing X factor. His best success has come around two turns, and he has not won since capturing the 2002 Alamedan Handicap at Pleasanton.

Trainer Sergio Ledezma said Hoovergetthekeys, a 7-year-old gelding, had no major problems when he was claimed but that he simply "needed some time."

Ledezma claimed Hoover for RL Stables, which lost him for $32,000 in his debut at Bay Meadows.

"They were the first people who owned him and wanted the horse," Ledezma said.

"He's working fine, working steady," said Ledezma.

Ledezma expects a decent try Friday night.

"We'll lay about three or four lengths behind the leaders and try to make one run," he said.

* Monday's attendance of 10,667 was one of the better Bay Meadows crowds in recent years. It topped the 2003 Labor Day crowd of 10,433, though fell 337 short of last year's Memorial Day crowd of 11,004.