12/14/2006 1:00AM

Money makers, but in a different way


SAN MATEO, Calif. - Moonlite Romance and Bank Emblem bring the biggest bankrolls into Saturday's Bay Meadows feature, a first-level allowance race at six furlongs.

But Moonlite Romance might be considered an underachiever, while Bank Emblem is something of an overachiever.

Both are 3-year-olds, and both started in the claiming ranks.

Moonlite Romance, who has earned $130,710, got his start for trainer Ed Moger Jr. at Hollywood Park, running fourth and then second in a pair of $40,000 maiden claimers. He won his third start in another $40,000 maiden race and then won a starter allowance race.

Runner-up efforts in the Im Smokin at Del Mar and the Cavonnier at Oak Tree followed. Moonlite Romance then finished fourth in the Cal Cup Juvenile but was moved up to third after an incident at the eighth pole.

He lost a photo to the talented Sweet Roberto in his next start. He has gone 0 for 6 with three seconds this year.

"He runs hard all the time," Moger said, adding that Moonlite Romance's seven seconds were not so much frustrating as indicative of the high quality of runners he has faced, such as Show Me Your Money and Vaderator in his two most recent runner-up efforts.

Bank Emblem, claimed for $10,000 by Dennis Ward in his third start after winning a bottom-level $12,500 maiden race, has earned $90,030. He is 5 for 11 this year.

Bank Emblem's victories have all come in claiming races, but Ward's assistant, Jeanne Shand, enters Saturday's race with confidence.

"The 3-year-old and up claimers are really tough," she said. "Sometimes the first condition is easier, although I don't think this one is. He's nice to train, and he likes to run in the mud, so I think this could be a good spot."

The race is tough. Dinner Magic and Another House return after 10-month layoffs. Alex and Me had a two-race win streak snapped with a second in a similar spot in his last start. Momotombo is stakes-placed. Monarcho Polo steps up off a $25,000 claiming win at Hollywood Park, while Pronzini just won a starter allowance. Stacy's Ridge has a first and a third in his past three starts.

Debutante fails to fill

Saturday's scheduled Bay Meadows Debutante for 2-year-old fillies did not fill despite having 12 nominees, but racing secretary Tom Doutrich and Bay Meadows management will try to bring the race back on Monday's closing-day card.

Quite a Rush, who has won two straight since finishing third at 2-5 in her debut, and Glorification, second ahead of Quite a Rush in their debut and the winner of a maiden race since, top the local nominees.