03/09/2005 1:00AM

Palmeiro ready off layoff


SAN MATEO, Calif. - Palmeiro, a graded stakes winner over the track, returns from a 13-month layoff to face four tough rivals in Friday's Bay Meadows co-feature, a $40,000 claimer at one mile on turf.

A 7-year-old gelding, won the Grade 3 All American here in 2002. He has not raced since finishing third as the favorite in a $32,000 claimer on Jan. 29, 2004, at Golden Gate Fields.

"He's a war horse," said trainer William E. Morey. "This is the third time he's come back from an extended layoff. He's as ready as he can be off a long layoff."

Palmeiro has good works for his return, including a pair of six-furlong bullet drills and a one-mile work. He will receive stiff challenges from the sharp Easy Million, who has won 2 of his past 3 starts, and Ghost Actor, who returns from a two-month break with a three-race win streak.

Stakes-placed Booming Along is the one to beat in the other co-feature, a $40,000 starter allowance at one mile on the turf that has a field of five.

Booming Along won his maiden in a one-mile turf race at Golden Gate Fields Nov. 27 and most recently ran second as the favorite at this level here Feb. 10.

Uncle Denny joins Camino cast

Saturday's Grade 3, $200,000 El Camino Real Derby will have a full field of 12 runners for the 1 1/16-mile race.

Stakes winner Uncle Denny is the latest to join the list of horses who are definite for the race. With Uncle Denny's regular rider Rene Douglas committed to riding at Santa Anita on Saturday, trainer Rafael Becerra said leading rider Russell Baze will be aboard.

Uncle Denny defeated Lucky J.H. and Stellar Magic in the California Breeders' Championship and finished fourth in the Sham Stakes at Santa Anita, his first try around two turns. Uncle Denny is the only member of the prospective field to top the $100,000 mark in earnings, with $134,913.

* Trickey Trevor won his fifth straight race Wednesday, capturing a six-furlong allowance race by three lengths over Onebadshark in 1:08.81.