06/29/2006 11:00PM

Zoning In back after stakes win


PLEASANTON, Calif. - Trainer Ed Moger Jr. had one set of plans for Zoning In. But the 2-year-old colt, who captured the Malcolm Anderson at Bay Meadows on June 17 for his initial victory, had a different agenda.

Zoning In has been training so well since his victory that Moger has decided to change course and run him in Sunday's $50,000 Everett Nevin Alameda County Futurity, a five-furlong race for 2-year-old Cal-breds at the Alameda County Fair.

He'll meet six rivals, including the filly Sharoana, who was second to the undefeated Richwoman in Hollywood Park's Cinderella Stakes on May 27.

Zoning In inched clear of Youandiatdelmar in the stakes victory. The tenacity he showed in winning was impressive, but it apparently didn't take much out of him. So instead of sending Zoning In to Del Mar as he had planned, Moger decided to bring him back Sunday.

"I really wasn't going to do it," said Moger. "He breezed very well after the race, and he's tearing the barn down. That's the only way I would have done it."

Zoning In seems to have the best speed in the race, and has a perfect outside draw after running pinned to the inside in the Malcolm Anderson.

Sharoana earned a higher Beyer Figure than Zoning In for her race in the Cinderella. Her trainer, Jeff Bonde, had the option of running Sharoana in Saturday's Juan Gonzalez for fillies, but that race came up deeper than the Everett Nevin - thanks in no small part to the three fillies he did enter - and the Nevin has a higher purse.

"The owners are local guys, and we wanted to run her here," said Bonde, who trains Sharoana for Phil Lebherz and George Schmitt. Bonde ran the filly Devons Smokin for the pair in last year's Everett Nevin. She ran fourth but came back to win the $125,000 CTBA Stakes at Del Mar.

Sharoana lost to Youandiatdelmar in her debut, but she was bothered badly at the start in that race.

Palacio de Secreto is a new face on the scene with three starts in Arizona.

"I've known [owner-breeder] Todd Engelson for a number of years, and he sent the horse to me because it's a Cal-bred," trainer Brian Pitnick said. "He left it up to me, so I passed on the Malcolm Anderson and gave him some extra time and another couple works."

The patience could pay off. Palacio de Secreto had a strong five-furlong bullet drill at Bay Meadows on June 25 while wearing blinkers, which the gelding will use for the first time in a race Sunday.