05/24/2002 11:00PM

Morey sad to see 'Fellow' go


SAN MATEO, Calif. - Trainer Bill Morey Jr. had a heavy heart but also a heavier wallet last week when he shipped Mellow Fellow from Bay Meadows to his new home in Southern California.

Mellow Fellow, a 7-year-old gelding, was purchased privately by Sid and Jenny Craig from owners Morey and Ronelle Heller. He will now be trained by Bill Spawr.

Mellow Fellow has won six straight races, including the $198,750 Bay Meadows Breeders' Cup Sprint in his last start on May 11. Earlier this spring, he was named the horse of the meeting at Golden Gate Fields.

Mellow Fellow, claimed for $20,000 out of his winning debut by Morey and the late Bart Heller, has won 11 of 24 starts and earned $417,263.

Morey had a one-third share and hoped to be able to keep Mellow Fellow in his barn. He had nursed him through an attack of equine protozoal myeloencephalitis, a sometimes-fatal disease, and a fractured left ankle that required two screws to repair.

After winning the Bay Meadows Breeders' Cup Sprint - his biggest victory as an owner - Morey pointed out that Mellow Fellow was Breeders' Cup eligible and talked about Bart Heller's dream of running in the Breeders' Cup with one of his horses.

Mellow Fellow was supposed to be offered for sale in the Bart Heller Estate dispersal sale three days after his Bay Meadows Breeders' Cup Sprint victory, but he could not be vanned to the auction, in Pomona, after developing a fever after the race.

Morey would only refer to the Craigs' offer as "a pretty good price" and "a fair price on the horse."

"We're in business, but I hope this situation never happens again," Morey said.

"I would like to have had him. I would have liked to take a run with him this year.

"He's going to a good home. I wish them the best. I'll be watching. I hope they'll be able to accomplish what we wanted to."

Monrow risks local streak

Monrow, unbeaten in five races over the turf here, gets her sternest test Monday at Bay Meadows when she meets eight rivals in the $55,000-added Palo Alto Handicap.

The 1 1/16-mile turf race for older fillies and mares will be Monrow's first local start since she was claimed for $50,000 off a win April 25. She lost by a neck in her first start off the claim in an allowance race at Hollywood Park on May 8.