07/02/2007 11:00PM

Morey cautiously optimistic

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PLEASANTON, Calif. - Go Malabar Gold surprised trainer Billy Morey in the past.

He hopes she will provide another surprise in Thursday's Alameda County Fair feature, a $25,000 optional claimer at six furlongs. Seven 3-year-old fillies entered the race, all running without a tag and seeking a first-level allowance victory.

"I think she's probably a fringe player here, but I'd love to see her win the first [allowance] condition," Morey said.

Go Malabar Gold was a $120,000 purchase as a 2-year-old at the Barretts May sale last year. She didn't make the races until she was 3 and then surfaced in a $12,500 maiden claimer.

She ran second the whole trip, losing to Wicket Wager, who then repeated against winners.

Go Malabar Gold ran for a $12,500 tag again, showing improvement and winning a 5o1/2-furlong race as the favorite. She was favored in her first start against winners and won a $40,000 starter allowance.

Go Malabar Gold ran evenly, finishing fourth in allowance company, in her last start on May 6.

"I think this is a good spot for her because there doesn't seem to be a lot of speed in the race," Morey said.

AP Charlie, who won a $62,500 maiden claimer at Hollywood Park after a five-month layoff, could prove to be the speed. Go Malabar Gold, drawn just outside her, would be able to draft off AP Charlie, and, should something happen early, could find herself on the lead.

Up Your Wager, who lost to Go Malabar Gold on April 7, has a pair of strong races since, winning a starter allowance and then finishing second in an allowance race.

Starter series continues

Earlier on the card, the second round of the starter allowance series that carries $60,000 in bonus money to owners and trainers will be conducted. Just as at Stockton, the race was split into two divisions.

Turko Spirit and We Will Prevail, first-round winners at Stockton, drew into different heats. Sylvan Hill and Wisenheimer, runners-up at Stockton, and Affair's Over and Cool Red, third in the Stockton events, are also entered in the races, which are open to runners who started for a $4,000 claiming tag or less in 2006 or 2007.