09/07/2007 12:00AM

Morey enters pair on turf


SAN MATEO, Calif. - A field of 12 signed up for Sunday's Bay Meadows feature, a one-mile first-level allowance race on the turf.

The race was written at first for Cal-breds. Although seven Cal-breds were entered, it was opened late to all runners and five additional horses entered.

Trainer Billy Morey has two entered in what he calls a "fair deep race with some quality all the way through it."

Morey entered Lead Stealer and Stephen Bruce, who has won a Cal-bred first-level allowance.

Cal-bred conditions are not counted against a horse in an open race.

Morey said he has wanted to try Lead Stealer at a distance. Lead Stealer has hit the board in 9 of 10 starts, but this will be his first time around two turns.

Lead Stealer has sprinted to two wins and a third for Morey and seems the likely pacesetter.

Morey and owner Lamonte Isom claimed Lead Stealer for $8,000 on June 14 at Hollywood Park. He had been off since January and was coming off a maiden victory for a $22,500 tag

"Lamonte Isom picked him out," Morey said. "It was a bit of a gamble coming off a layoff and getting a big drop. He liked the horse because of his consistency, and he's maintained that consistency since coming back."

Stephen Bruce finished second in his first start for Morey, an Aug. 25 allowance race. Morey claimed him for $40,000 at Del Mar on July 21, specifically to win at this allowance level. Stephen Bruce should be able to stalk and save ground with his rail draw.

Unusual Cold gives bettors an interesting option as he tries three new things. A 3-year-old gelding, he meets older opposition, tries two turns, and tries turf - all for the first time.

Unusual Cold has faced tough challenges before, beating winners in his debut at Pleasanton on July 4. He then finished third in a first-level optional claimer.

Unusual Cold wound up preparations for Sunday's start with a 58.60-second five-furlong bullet work at Pleasanton on Sept. 1.

Trainer Kent Molinaro has been successful stretching runners out, winning 21 percent while showing a positive return in investment. And Unusual Cold, by the Nureyev sire Unusual Heat, does have decent turf breeding.