08/11/2005 11:00PM

Wimbledon makes turf debut in 2nd start of comeback


It's not often the Bay Meadows Fair sees a horse who would have been among the favorites for a Kentucky Derby. Wimbledon, injured just days prior to the 2004 Kentucky Derby, runs in Sunday's fourth race, an optional $50,000 claiming event at a mile on the turf.

Despite being a graded stakes winner, Wimbledon probably won't impress the bettors at Bay Meadows. He figures no better than second or third choice in the wagering in the $32,000 feature, which lured a field of seven. Unlike Wimbledon, who makes his turf debut, several in the field are proven commodities on this surface.

A one-time Bob Baffert trainee, looked like a real comer in 2004 as he won the Grade 2 Louisiana Derby before finishing fifth in the Santa Anita Derby. Those races made him one of the early favorites for the Kentucky Derby.

He was gone for 15 months and resurfaced July 17 in an optional claimer at Solano for owner Jim McIngvale and new trainer Tom Roberts. He made a brief bid on the far turn but couldn't sustain his run and finished third, beaten 13-plus lengths by the winner, Bells Fool.

That race should do Wimbledon, a son of Wild Rush, a world of good, but he remains a big question mark. Chad Schvaneveldt rides.

Bettors figure to target . Owned by his trainer, Armando Lage, and James Perry, First Rate Event comes into this off three straight wins, all at a mile in northern California. He hasn't run since he wired entry-level allowance foes on the Golden Gate turf May 22, but has worked well in the interim. Regular rider Frank Alvarado keeps the call.

Another who figures to attract money is . Owned by his trainer, Jerry Hollendorfer, and John Turner, Shadow Raider looked super blasting a similar group over this course May 4. He failed to threaten in a tougher spot June 3 at Golden Gate, and has been on the bench since. He has worked steadily, and lures Russell Baze.