09/01/2003 12:00AM

Morey hopes patience pays off

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SAN MATEO, Calif. - Horses trained by William E. Morey and Chuck Peery face off Wednesday in a tough six-furlong optional $40,000 claimer for 3-year-olds.

Morey will send out Truckee River, who has three firsts, a second, and a third in five starts, and Trapper, who is coming off a victory in a $40,000 starter allowance race at the Bay Meadows Fair.

Peery will start R Pocketsfull, claimed for $40,000 from a victory at Santa Rosa in his last start.

Both Morey starters also came to his barn after being claimed.

Truckee River looks like the speed of the race, although both Azteco de Oro and Yo Yo Man have early foot. Trapper and R Pocketsfull, who have the two outside posts, are both stalkers.

Truckee River was claimed for $25,000 last Oct. 4 and did not make his first start for Morey until Aug. 13. Truckee River didn't run for those 10 months because of an injury. When he returned, he set the pace before tiring in a $40,000 optional claimer at the Bay Meadows Fair

"We treated him with patience, but it tested my patience taking so long with him," Morey said. "I probably played it a tad cautiously with him and he may have been a bit short for his comeback. I'm really excited about running him back. He's got speed, and Trapper can come from off the pace."

Trapper, owned by Joseph P. Morey Jr., was claimed for $32,000 from his April 3 debut.

"I just had vibes on the horse," the trainer Morey said. "He had good works and was running for $32,000. I took a shot because I kind of felt he was a runner, while realizing I could get a $12,500 horse or an allowance horse."

The gamble paid off. Trapper, fourth in his debut, has two victories and two seconds for Morey.

Peery claimed R Pocketsfull for a simple reason. "He was a Cal-bred eligible for the first allowance condition," Peery said.

"It was obvious he could run. He'd met some quality horses, and that was a tough race he came out of. I'm glad he got the outside draw here."