05/08/2002 11:00PM

Look for two to be moving at the end


SAN MATEO, Calif. - Saturday's $250,000 Bay Meadows Breeders' Cup Sprint could turn into a match race even though six horses are entered.

But it would be an unusual match race, because the two main contestants will find themselves at the back of the pack early instead of blistering one another through fast fractions up front.

Swept Overboard, who was unlucky to lose the Breeders' Cup Sprint at Belmont last fall and even unluckier when he lost the Grade 3 Bay Meadows BC Sprint last year to a lone front-runner, and Mellow Fellow, the winner of five straight races in northern California, could be the ones to beat Saturday. Also entered is Explicit, who has won stakes at Fair Grounds and Oaklawn Park.

Dollase gave Swept Overboard a five-month break after winning the Hollywood Turf Express in his first start after finishing a fast-closing fourth in the Breeders' Cup. Swept Overboard finished fifth in the Grade 3 San Simeon down the Santa Anita hillside turf course on April 21.

"Obviously, we'd like to get back to the Breeders' Cup with him," Dollase said. "We gave him a little break, and coming down the hill he was a little too fresh and a little closer than usual. I think he'll benefit from the race. He's rounding back into form."

Mellow Fellow is at the top of his game. He was named horse of the meeting at Golden Gate Fields after he won four straight races there, including the Montclair and Danville handicaps.

"It's hard to explain," said his trainer, Bill Morey, who claimed the 7-year-old gelding for $20,000 from his winning debut Oct. 18, 1998, and missed more than a year with him because a variety of problems. Morey said Mellow Fellow "just got better" the latter part of the Bay Meadows meet last fall and at Golden Gate.

"We were tipped off just the way he was galloping. He worked good Monday, but I don't know whether he can handle these.

"This horse did keep some pretty fancy company two years ago."

As good as they are and as fast as they can run six furlongs, Swept Overboard and Mellow Fellow are still at the mercy of the pace set in front of them.

"Hopefully, there's no lone speed up there," Morey said.

"We need some pace for his late kick," Dollase said. They will get that with speedy Sempai, who was just claimed for $40,000, Explicit and Alyzig in the field. That could set up the match race down the stretch.

"Swept Overboard's definitely got a class jump on us," Morey said, "but we might be making the first move into the stretch."

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