05/08/2007 11:00PM

Persian Tell gets big weight edge vs. elders

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By CHUCK DYBDAL

ALBANY, Calif. - Persian Tell is a 3-year-old with one victory, which came in a $32,000 maiden claimer. On Friday, he'll be facing the likes of five older runners and one fellow 3-year-old in a $25,000 optional claimer at 1o3/8 miles on the turf.

So why should you give Persian Tell a chance? One reason: turf. Persian Tell couldn't beat $12,500 maiden claimers on the dirt and was beaten 11 lengths when a distant second for $6,250. But on turf, and he's a much better horse, as evidenced by a fourth for a $25,000 claiming tag and a fourth in a starter allowance in his last two starts.

"The fact it's on the turf is why we're running," said Alex Paszkeicz, the trainer of Persian Tell. "He's a better turf horse than he is on the dirt. I've been wanting to stretch him out."

Persian Tell's last two races came at one mile and 1 1/16 miles. The longer distance of Friday's race might work in favor of Persian Tell. The 14-pound weight break he gets against his main rivals as a 3-year-old facing older horses will work in his favor. Apprentice Pedro Flores will ride.

"Three against older is a big jump," said Paszkeicz. "But we do get 14 [pounds]."

The distance might be appealing to Persian Tell, a grandson of Sadler's Wells, but it's something Earnest Storm definitely likes. He has run six times at the distance, winning three of those starts and finishing second twice. He has 18 victories, 17 on the turf, and he has been running in good form, having hit the board in his past seven starts.

Sigfreto also has 18 career, while We Will Prevail has 17 wins, but only two on turf.

We Will Prevail is the lone speed in the race, so Persian Tell and his rivals cannot afford to let him steal the race.