09/27/2007 12:00AM

Three try to rebound in derby

EmailSAN MATEO, Calif. - Ten a Penny, Zoning In, and Knockout Artist have two things in common heading into Saturday's $75,000 Bay Meadows Derby at 1 1/16 miles on the turf: They all are stakes winners, and none ran his race last time out.

Ten a Penny, who has won 5 of 7 starts, including stakes in Britain and the United States, has not raced since Aug. 11, when he finished fourth in the Grade 2 La Jolla, 1 1/2 lengths behind eventual Del Mar Derby winner Medici Code.

"He didn't have enough earnings to make the Del Mar Derby, so we've been sitting around since then," said his trainer, Craig Dollase.

"Circumstances troubled him in the La Jolla. He's better tracking horses and wound up on the lead. That took him out of his style.

"We hope to use this as a nice springboard to the Oak Tree Derby," Dollase said.

Knockout Artist ran eighth in the Sept. 2 Del Mar Derby after his victory in the other division of the Oceanside.

"He didn't run his race, but we're not sure why," said trainer Steve Sherman, who will be saddling for his father, Art. "Maybe he was a little closer early, and maybe the other horses were just too good."

Knockout Artist won his first two turf starts before his Del Mar Derby effort.

"I'm not saying he's better on the turf," Sherman said. "We wouldn't have minded running here on the dirt, but he's adapted to the turf quite well."

Zoning In won for the first time in the Malcolm Anderson Stakes here as a 2-year-old and won the Captain Squire at six furlongs on the turf at Hollywood Park on June 29. He followed that up with a second in the Aug. 10 Real Good Deal at Del Mar before running eighth in the Aug. 31 El Cajon.

"You hardly ever see early stakes winners at 2 continuing to do well at 3, but he has kept on going," trainer Ed Moger Jr. said. "He actually could have won a couple other stakes had things worked out just a little different. He's solid. He runs well turf, dirt, short, long."

The trio will be joined by I'm a Soft Touch, making his stakes debut, and the stakes-placed Unusual Suspect, who trailed Ten a Penny twice in Del Mar stakes before turning in a strong effort to be fourth, beaten less than two lengths, in the Del Mar Derby.