01/31/2007 12:00AM

Thisonesforbart attempts turnaround


ALBANY, Calif. - One racing superstition is that horses should not be named after friends, but trainer Bill Morey Jr. thought it nice when breeder Martin Bach named a filly after his longtime friend, the late Bart Heller.

Thisonesforbart meets five rivals in Friday's Golden Gate Fields feature, a $40,000 starter allowance at 1o1/16 miles.

Thisonesforbart drew the rail in the race for fillies and mares. She has lost to three of her rivals, Awesome Girl, Skip's Gal, and Marathon Mom in her past two starts, but the 4-year-old filly has three works, including a five-furlong bullet drill, since finishing fourth as the favorite behind Awesome Girl and Skip's Gal in her last start.

"She's just a big filly," said Morey, who turned Thisonesforbart's sire Dixie Dot Com into a multiple-stakes-winning millionaire. "She has some of her sire's conformation problems, but she's nice."

Heller and his late wife Ronelle ran Dixie Dot Com, with co-owners Carole and Don Chaiken.

"I've had two named after Bart, and they both were winners," said Morey, who also trains My Friend Bart for the Chaikens.

Heller, who owned jewelry stores, was one of northern California's premier owners and breeders, and Morey, who trains many of Dixie Dot Com's offspring, has fond memories of Heller.

"We were in business together over 17 years," Morey said. "We were close friends and our families were close. I remember after the first year we'd been together we went out to dinner. Bart told me the three things that were important to him were his family, his stores, and his horses.

"He didn't buy fancy cars or go on vacations, and he told me don't be so darn conservative when I claimed horses for him. After that, we had two claimers of the year, Quick Twist and Big Chill."

Morey expects an improved try over Thisonesforbart's fourth-place finish last time. She was hustled early last time and faded late.

Lesson learned.

"She's a plodder-type," Morey said. "She waits to get in gear."

There are no early speed-types signed up for Friday's race, but Morey learned his lesson last time and said that Thisonesforbart won't be pushed early.

She had the early lead over Awesome Girl and Skip's Gal last time. She may end up close to the lead, given the lack of speed in the race, and she should get a ground-saving trip from the rail.