09/18/2008 11:00PM

Trevor's Clever regains good groove


POMONA, Calif. - It took a different training approach to prepare Trevor's Clever for racing at Fairplex Park this month.

"He's a lazy guy that takes a long time to get into stride," trainer Ted H. West said. "We gave him some shorter, faster works."

So far, it has worked. Trevor's Clever rallied from last in a field of seven to win the Jim Kostoff Stakes at 1 1/16 miles here on Sept. 5. Saturday, Trevor's Clever will attempt to sweep the Los Angeles County Fair meeting's stakes for 3-year-olds in the $100,000 Pomona Derby.

Owned by Oak West Farm, Trevor's Clever will be favored in the Pomona Derby, which is run at about 1 1/8 miles. The added distance should help Trevor's Clever, who won the Alydar Stakes at 1 1/8 miles at Hollywood Park last May.

"It's kind of quick back, but it shouldn't be a problem," West said of Saturday's race.

Trevor's Clever's recent training has left West encouraged, which is a change from his summer campaign. In July, Trevor's Clever was scheduled to make his graded stakes debut in the Grade 2 Swaps at Hollywood Park, but was withdrawn on the morning of the race because of an illness.

"He was entered and he came up with a bad leg infection," West said. "We never figured out the cause. I think he's over all that stuff.

"Now that he seems like he's in a zone, I think he'll show it in the next couple of races. I expect him to run well. If he does well, then we can try some tougher races."

First, Trevor's Clever must beat six rivals in the Pomona Derby, the 12th race on a 13-race program. Trevor's Clever is the lone stakes winner in the field, but four of the other runners won their last starts. Bingham and Dakota Phone won allowance races at Del Mar, Quarter Moon won a $50,000 claimer at Del Mar, and Dreamed Day won a maiden race here last Saturday. Cee Bargara and Pistol Pete Afleet are the other starters.

Bingham and Dakota Phone will attract support. Bingham was fourth in the Alydar Stakes and Grade 3 Affirmed Handicap earlier this year. Trained by Jeff Mullins, Bingham led throughout a one-mile turf race at Del Mar and is likely to be on the lead in the Pomona Derby.

Dakota Phone needed seven races to beat maidens, but won an allowance race in his following start. Trained by Jerry Hollendorfer, Dakota Phone is making his stakes debut.