10/03/2003 11:00PM

Trapper gives young trainer first stakes victory


SAN MATEO, Calif. - Trapper ($12.60), a 3-year-old meeting older, gave young trainer William E. Morey his first stakes victory, capturing the $100,000 California Sprint Championship by a neck over Green Team at Bay Meadows on Saturday.

Trapper, claimed for $32,000 from his debut, sat well off the brisk pace set by Con Quixote and wore down Green Team late to win the six-furlong race in 1:09.26 for his fourth straight victory. Men's Exclusive, the 10-year-old millionaire who won the inaugural running of the race in 1997, was third 1_ (one one-half) lengths behind Green Team.

The colt broke sharply but didn't contest the pace, dropping back to get a ground-saving trip along the rail. He angled out in the stretch and caught Green Team, who had opened a lead at the 16th pole.

"I was glad to see them set a little bit of pace for us to run at," winning rider Russell Baze said. "It went about like we expected. I was able to drop over to save ground, then came out in the lane."

The 29-year-old Morey is in his third year as a trainer. He assisted his father, William J. Morey Jr., with horses such as millionaire Dixie Dot Com.

"I wasn't concerned where he was because I knew he'd make some run," Morey said. "I wasn't concerned meeting older here as hot as he's going. There's only one Cal-bred sprint for $100,000 in Northern California (in the fall). I wanted to have him ready."

Trapper, making his stakes debut, earned $52,800 for his fifth victory in eight start, lifting his lifetime earnings to $133,960. He will now be pointed to Cal Cup on Nov. 8 in one of the two sprints offered that day.