07/28/2004 11:00PM

Abderian will need his class


Nearly all successful turf sprinters possess high early speed. But not Abderian.

Contrary to how most winners in five-furlong sprints run, Abderian prefers to lag far back early and come charging late. His style has worked well enough to win nine races and $347,423.

Abderian's proven class could enable him to overcome his usual slow start and top weight of 122 pounds in Saturday night's 32nd running of the $50,000 Pennsylvania Governor's Cup Handicap at Penn National. The five-furlong turf sprint will be run as race 3 on a live card that begins earlier than usual, at 6:15 p.m.

Although he has kept good company, finishing third by a neck in the 2003 running of the Grade 3 Shakertown at Keeneland, Abderian's only victory in

16 races the past two seasons came in the $100,000 Turf Monster Handicap at Philadelphia Park on May 31.

For those who fear backing a deep closer at a short price, viable alternatives include the horses who ran two-three in last year's Governor's Cup - Take Achance on Me and Hawkwatch - plus Manofglory, a back-class 7-year-old who ships in from Monmouth Park.

Manofglory was third by a neck in the 2002 Governor's Cup, in which Bop missed equaling a world record by one-hundredth of a second, covering five furlongs in 54.61 seconds. Winless in eight starts since taking the Nureyev at Keeneland in October 2002, Manofglory could be primed for a peak effort making his third start of his current form cycle.