04/17/2007 12:00AM

Running Rich gets new test


SAN MATEO, Calif. - Thursday's Bay Meadows feature sets up nicely for the late-running Running Rich, but not so well for the speedy Coalinga Kid. Nevertheless, neither horse will be asked to change his style for the race, a $40,000 starter allowance for 3-year-olds at 1 1/16 miles.

Coalinga Kid has set the pace in all three of his route tries, including the Grade 3 El Camino Real Derby. But he'll face plenty of pace pressure Thursday from Global Riot, who just went wire to wire to win his maiden, and Knockout Artist, who led to the stretch against similar opposition in his last start.

"I'm old-fashioned," said Armando Lage, trainer of Coalinga Kid. "My horse has got speed. I'm going for the lead. If I get compromised, tough luck. Horses have their own styles, and people force them into changing their styles too often.

"My horse has got ability. I wish he would be tactical, but he's very comfortable when he gets on the lead. I hate to try to compromise my horse's ability."

That's music to the ears of Bill Delia, who trains Running Rich. Running Rich will be trying two turns for the first time, but he has made up ground in the stretch in each of his five races, all sprints. By the sprinter-miler Richly Blended, Running Rich has a pedigree that hints he's a sprinter, but his running style has Delia thinking he can handle two turns.

"We've been wanting to stretch him out," Delia said. "I'm anxious to try him. A race like this with a lot of speed is what I've looked for. He's not a bad little horse, and when he won his debut at Santa Rosa looked like he could be any kind. He's had a few excuses."

In his last race, Running Rich rallied for third in a six-furlong starter allowance.

"Last time, he was boxed from the five-sixteenths to the quarter pole," Delia said. "He might not have won, but he should have been second."

There's one other runner who will come from off the pace, Golden Capote, who rallied from last to win his only start.

Also on the card is another $40,000 starter allowance on the turf and the third two-furlong 2-year-old race of the year.

In the 2-year-old race, trainer Jeff Bonde sends out the filly Sharrene, a $55,000 yearling purchase, to meet colts. Her half-sister Sharoana beat colts in the Everett Nevin Alameda County Futurity last summer and her other sibling, Honest Wager, also won at age 2. She has bullet drills at both two and three furlongs.