04/12/2004 12:00AM

After further review, it's not a record


HALLANDALE BEACH, Fla. - For 16 hours, True Love's Secret was credited with not only a course record but a world record for his neck victory over Take Achance on Me in Sunday's $50,000 Yankee Affair Stakes going five furlongs on the turf. Then common sense finally prevailed.

According to the track teletimer, True Love's Secret covered the distance in 53.85 seconds, following an opening half-mile split in an astounding 42.58. If it had been correct, True Love's Secret's final time would have eclipsed the existing track record of 55 by more than a full second and the world record of 54.60 by nearly 0.80 of a second.

Track announcer Vic Stauffer fell all over himself when he informed the crowd that a world record had been set at Gulfstream Park, and the track publicity department wasted little time cranking out a press release to announce the news.

But skeptics, who had seen the track's teletimer system fail on numerous occasions during both turf and dirt races throughout the meeting, immediately questioned the times posted on the toteboard. Had the final time been correct, it would have meant not only that True Love's Secret smashed the world mark, but that each of the first five horses across the wire had bettered the old world record. Callthesheriff, who finished fifth, was beaten less than three lengths, or approximately .60 seconds by the winner.

But early the following morning, officials from Teleview Teletimer Co. admitted a mistake had been made. They informed Equibase, the industry's official chartkeepers for all races run in the U.S., that they had re-timed the race by hand and found the original clocking to be off by almost three seconds. The corrected internal fractions were changed to 22.71 and 44.89, and the final time will be listed in the chart of the Yankee Affair as 56.16 - far from a track record, let alone the world record.

The controversy surrounding the final time, however, should not overshadow an outstanding performance by True Love's Secret in the Yankee Affair. True Love's Secret was pressed on the lead from the outset by Ghostly Numbers, but was able to shake off that challenge and still withstand a final bid from Take Achance on Me, who was the runner-up in the Yankee Affair for the second straight year.

"This horse is a warrior," said Ross Wolfendale, who trains True Love's Secret for owner-breeder Robert Bakerman. "He's had chips taken out of his knee, and he always comes back running. I'm so proud of him."

The Yankee Affair was the 17th career victory for True Love's Secret; all but one of those wins have come on the grass.

Summer Note looks to snap streak

Wednesday's main event brings together a small but solid field of older sprinters under allowance conditions for a $46,000 purse. The field includes Summer Note, who dead-heated with More Than Ready for victory in the Grade 2 Hutcheson Stakes here in January 2002.

Summer Note won his first four career starts, but has started just four times and is winless since May 17, 2002. Trained by Tim Ritvo, Summer Note gets in under 106 pounds with 10-pound apprentice Rajiv Maragh aboard.

Twilight Road, scratched out of the Yankee Affair, may be the horse to beat coming off a much-needed race against stronger competition here March 10. Twilight Road, a Grade 3 stakes winner in 2002, was turned over to David Fawkes when his regular trainer, Paul McGee, returned to Kentucky last month.

Lord Abounding, who posted a pair of triple-digit Beyer Speed Figures over this track last season, and Royal Lad both make their second starts off lengthy layoffs and should improve. Built Up and R. Associate round out the lineup.

Two stakes for female sprinters

There are two stakes races for female sprinters this week. On Friday, 3-year-old fillies will go seven furlongs in the $50,000-added Charon Stakes. The next afternoon, older fillies and mares will battle five furlongs over the turf in the $50,000 Bob Slater Stakes.

Graded-stakes winner Feline Story and Marina De Chavon are among the 11 nominees to the Charon, although Feline Story is not expected to start.

Trainer Tim Hills goes into the Slater with Desirable Moment and Melody of Colors, who are among the 13 nominees. Desirable Moment set an about five-furlong course record in her last start.