06/06/2002 12:00AM

San Carlos rematch

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SAN MATEO, Calif. - When last they met, Boss Ego edged Out of Mind by a head to win the San Carlos Handicap at Bay Meadows on April 28.

That was strictly the prelim. On Saturday, the two meet in the main event - the Grade 3, $150,000 All American Handicap at Bay Meadows, the meeting's final graded stakes race of the spring season.

Boss Ego stalked the pace of I'madrifter in the San Carlos, taking over in the lane. He had enough to hold off the fast-finishing Out of Mind, who broke in a tangle but put on a strong rally from the good outside part of the track.

It was one of the meet's most exciting races, but the two trainers involved don't view Saturday's race as a rematch.

"I'm not looking at one horse. I'm looking to beat everybody," Boss Ego's trainer, Jerry Hollendorfer, said.

"We haven't won a race with this guy in quite a while," Out of Mind's trainer, Richard Mandella, said. "We wanted to try to find something he could win."

That's why Mandella is looking to the All American rather than next weekend's Californian at Hollywood Park. Out of Mind hasn't won since the 2000 Mervin LeRoy Handicap, a Grade 2 at Hollywood Park, although he did finish second in the Massachusetts Handicap before finishing fourth behind Early Pioneer in the 2000 Hollywood Gold Cup.

Boss Ego was the 3-2 favorite in the San Carlos, which was for Out of Mind the first start since a fourth-place finish in the Bel Air Handicap the previous July. The Bel Air was the only start in 2001 for Out of Mind, who had not run since the Hollywood Gold Cup one year before that.

Since the San Carlos, Out of Mind ran third in a May 24 allowance race at Hollywood Park.

"He did run well," Mandella said. "There wasn't much pace for him, but maybe he could have bounced."

Mandella believes Out of Mind will be at his best for Saturday's race.

"He's doing super. This is the best he's been," he said after Out of Mind blew out with a 34.20-second three-furlong work Tuesday at Hollywood.

"He's really sharp," said Mandella, noting that although track clockers recorded the workout at three furlongs, "I had him going four in 46. It's the best he's ever worked."

Boss Ego has not run since winning the San Carlos but seems to have maintained his sharpness. He worked five furlongs at Bay Meadows in 59.20 seconds Tuesday.

"Horses tell you how they're doing," said Hollendorfer, who saw Boss Ego fail to win a race in 2001. "He's been doing well. That's why we're running here."

The 6-year-old horse has won two and finished second twice this year.

"Horses are like athletes," Hollendorfer said of Boss Ego. "Sometimes they're having problems, and they just come out of it."

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