06/26/2008 11:00PM

Pace in Nevin looks to Overland's liking


Trainer Steve Sherman finally gets a pace scenario to his liking when he sends out Overland in Sunday’s $50,000 Everett Nevin Stakes at the Alameda County Fair in Pleasanton, Calif.

“He’s had a lot of bad luck in his races because there’s either been lone speed or no speed,” Sherman said. “He’s never had a good pace scenario.”

That changes Sunday in the mile and 70-yard race for 3-year-olds. The filly Grand Atlantic, unbeaten since stretching out to a mile, and the stakes-placed Summer Haze, who will be trying two turns for the first time, are his main rivals, and both have speed. Recent maiden winner Thiscatsgotcharm has speed to keep the other two engaged in an honest duel.

Overland ran third in a Cal-bred turf allowance race last Sunday on closing day at Golden Gate Fields, and Sherman is worried about the horse coming back so quickly.

“I know there’s a little bit of speed, but we have to come back in a week, and I don’t like that at all,” Sherman said. “He came out of the race fine.”

Overland “ran spotty,” Sherman said, in his last race, which he lost by 1 3/4 lengths. Sherman hopes a blinker adjustment will keep Overland more focused in the Nevin.

“I entered him last week because it was a Cal-bred race and he’d still be eligible for an open allowance spot,” Sherman said. “He’s been running against older so we like the fact he’s running against 3-year-olds here.”

Sherman claimed Overland from a $32,000 maiden claiming win for Bob Bone. He won a starter allowance in his first start for Sherman then ran eighth in the California Derby. He’s had three seconds, a third and a close fifth in the $250,000 Snow Chief for Cal-breds since then.

“The only time he’s had a good pace scenario, he won for us,” Sherman said. “I hope they run away from him early [Sunday] and give him something to run at.”

Grand Atlantic ran third in her lone start as a 2-year-old and was fourth in her first start this year before stretching out. A $135,000 yearling purchase for Jerry Hollendorfer, she has scored two straight wire-to-wire victories at a mile, the first in a maiden race over the Golden Gate Fields Tapeta surface and then over the Golden Gate Fields turf course.

Summer Haze has never been worse than third in four starts, running third in the Golden Bear on May 17 in his last start. This will be his first try around two turns.