04/05/2006 12:00AM

Stone Rain attempts two turns


ALBANY, Calif. - Billy Morey, like most trainers, is a man with a plan. So, too, is Angelo Tekos Jr.

Their plans collide in Friday's Golden Gate Fields feature when the Morey-trained Stone Rain and the Tekos-trained Megabyte meet in an $80,000 optional claimer at 1 1/16 miles.

Coming out of sprints, Stone Rain will likely be on the lead, but Shadow Raider and Cinematic are also front-runners. That could help to set up things for Megabyte, who is quite content to sit close to the pace and fire late.

Morey just claimed Stone Rain for $80,000, but he runs without a tag here. Morey claimed Stone Rain with the idea of stretching him out.

"When you spend $80,000, you need to have a plan," he said.

has routed once in his career, winning a one mile and 70-yard entry-level allowance at Hawthorne in 2003.

"I knew he'd won at a distance," Morey said. "I'd like to think he'd be competitive up here in the overnight stakes and fair stakes, both long and short. We'll find out about that Friday. If it doesn't work, we've still got a solid sprinter."

Stone Rain set the pace before tiring and finishing fourth behind Spanish Chestnut, Jeffries Bay, and Halo Cat on March 10, when Morey claimed him.

That's pretty tough company, but something that has become commonplace for Stone Rain.

"When you look down his page, you see he's run against Rock Hard Ten, Lava Man, Saint Afleet and Areyoutalkintome, and now Spanish Chestnut," Morey said.

There are no runners like that in Friday's field, but there is , who has two wins and a third since coming north to Tekos's barn from Richard Mandella's.

"He needed a confidence builder," Tekos said of Megabyte. "The whole game plan was to find a spot where he could win."

Tekos got lucky in a way for Megabyte's first start for him. He had only three rivals after a turf race was switched to the main track. Megabyte sat second early and wound up winning by 10.

He had traffic problems in the lane when third in his next start, then outbattled Shadow Raider through the stretch to win his last start.

"You just have to let him run his own race and relax," Tekos said. "You don't have to take a strong hold early. He's not a runoff. I'm proud he's improved his position in the stretch in each race up here.

"We were lucky to get him a confidence-building race, and, with that confidence, he did show some fight last time. He's a handy horse up here."