05/10/2004 12:00AM

'Stocks' takes drop in class

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SAN MATEO, Calif. - A pair of $25,000 claimers, a six-furlong sprint for older horses, and a one-mile turf test for 3-year-olds top the Wednesday card at Bay Meadows.

Stocks are Rising looks tough in the sprint, as he drops a notch for his third start following a two-month freshener. Stocks are Rising is equally adept on the lead or as a stalker and is drawn well outside his primary pace rival, Relentless Seller, who breaks from the rail.

Aza, claimed for $25,000 when he was second in a similar spot last month, will use his speed from the rail and should be tough to beat in the route race.

Lots of trouble but worth it

As good a job as trainer Chuck Jenda did with Brown Bess, an Eclipse Award winner in 1989, he may be doing even better with A B Noodle, who scored her first graded-stakes victory Saturday in the Grade 3 Yerba Buena Handicap.

"Brown Bess, anybody could have trained," Jenda said. "Good horses don't require a lot of work. There's not a lot of tweaking to do."

A B Noodle is very talented, but she's also a handful and has needed more than a gentle tweak. She's made countless morning visits to the paddock, as Jenda and his crew have tried to calm her down.

After her victory Saturday, A B Noodle has won 3 of 5 starts this year, finishing third in the other two races, including the Grade 3 Brown Bess at Golden Gate Fields.