03/28/2007 12:00AM

Turf claim turns into dirt threat

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SAN MATEO, Calif. - When Ed Moger Jr. claimed Franklin's Tower, he thought he was getting a pretty good turf runner.

He was right, but he got more than he bargained for.

Franklin's Tower, who had only one second-place finish in three main-track starts, has won 3 of 4 starts on the main track for Moger, running third in the other start.

He's back on the main track in Friday's Bay Meadows feature as he takes on six rivals in his bid for a second straight victory at one mile in a $62,500 optional claimer.

The race appears wide open, with only one of the runners having finished worse than second in his last start.

Franklin's Tower, a $12,500 claim on Nov. 23, ran third for $16,000 on the turf in his first start for Moger.

"He was in good shape when we got him," said Moger.

His first two main-track victories came in a $20,000 claimer and a $25,000 optional claimer. He then ran third behind Friday rivals Me My Mine and Attack Force in a $40,000 claimer before stepping up last time. Franklin's Tower won by a length in a $62,500 optional claimer here in his last start.

"We tried him on the main track because there were no turf races available," Moger said. "But we thought he was a nice horse and would run all right. He won, and we tried him on dirt again."

He didn't run for a tag in his last start, but he will Friday night.

He has a stalking style that has proven effective. There should be a legitimate pace for him to run at, with Gaddingabout, Prince of Gold, Me My Mine, Shadow Raider, and Passive Income each willing to go for the lead or sit close to the front.

Me My Mine, who won the Claiming Crown Jewel and Phil D. Shepherd last year, was a $62,500 claim last November. He enters Friday's race with consecutive wins in $40,000 claimers, numbering Attack Force, Franklin's Tower, and Prince of Gold among his victims.

Attack Force has been the runner-up in his past five starts, with four photo losses and a fifth by three-quarters of a length.

Prince of Gold, claimed for $40,000 in a neck victory over Attack Force two back, was second most recently, beaten a length by Franklin's Tower.