08/12/2001 11:00PM

White Cloud's advantage is a win over the course


SAN MATEO, Calif. - White Cloud, second in the Alamedan Handicap at Pleasanton in his last start, may rate a narrow edge over five evenly-matched foes in the $34,000 allowance feature at a mile on the turf at Bay Meadows Wednesday.

The main question is whether White Cloud can repeat his big effort at Pleasanton while switching to a completely different type of surface. He was 34-1 in that race yet finished a clear second despite stumbling at the start.

The main reason he seems to rate the edge in this wide-open event is that he won the last time he raced over the Bay Meadows turf, going wire to wire for a $40,000 claiming price in August of 2000. A 5-year-old trained by Allen-Severinsen, he had a sharp five-furlong work here recently and seems primed for another good effort.

It is hard to say who is the main danger, as all the others have credentials. One of the more interesting entrants is Sideburn, a 4-year-old son of Catrall who will be making his first start in more than 15 months. Sideburn showed considerable promise while winning two of his six starts at 3 but apparently was injured when finishing seventh in the Will Rogers Handicap at Hollywood Park May 6. He has been working fairly well for his return for trainer Jeff Bonde and should not be taken lightly.

The others are Johnny Show, who finished second in a similar spot at Solano most recently and has won over this turf course; Greek Authority, who finished behind Johnny Show at Solano but was close to much tougher the only time he raced on this turf course; The Candi Kid, who won an allowance at Vallejo with a big Beyer but will be trying turf for the first time, and Expresso Bay. Expresso Bay ran fourth versus softer in his most recent start but is capable of better and won his only start over this turf course.