07/06/2006 11:00PM

After Market worthy of step up in Lexington

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Adam Coglianese / NYRA
The well-bred After Market wins a first-level allowance race in his second lifetime start.

ELMONT, N.Y. - With his graded stakes winners Shakespeare and Gun Salute still on the shelf, trainer Bill Mott could use some reinforcements in his male turf division. The regally bred could be ready to heed the call.

After winning a maiden race last November and an allowance race last month, After Market makes his stakes debut in Sunday's Grade 3, $100,000 Lexington Stakes at Belmont Park. The Lexington, run at 1 1/8 miles, drew a modest field of six, including a pair from Sheikh Mohammed al Maktoum's Darley Stable.

As a son of Storm Cat out of the multiple graded stakes-winning mare Tranquility Lake, After Market certainly had the breeding to be special. But he didn't show Mott much in his morning training as a 2-year-old. That may explain why he paid $20 when he won a maiden race last Nov. 4 at Aqueduct.

"He was a little bit of a pleasant surprise when he ran because he didn't give himself away in the morning,'' said Mott, who trains After Market for owner-breeders Marty and Pam Wygod. "Yet when he ran, the pedigree came through.''

After Market needed minor surgery to take a chip off the top of a sesamoid bone. He returned to the races on June 15 with a strong first-level allowance win going 1 1/8 miles at Belmont.

"I think he's a horse that has improvement in him; he still raced greenly last time,'' Mott said.

After Market will break from post 3 under Cornelio Velasquez.

, a son of Old Trieste, could be the controlling speed in the Lexington. After winning two straight races in front-running fashion, Carnera stumbled and was last in the early going of the Grade 3 Hill Prince, a race in which he finished third on June 9.

"It cost him second for sure,'' trainer Kiaran McLaughlin said of the stumble. "He really did have a good trip after that, but he's forwardly placed normally.''

Carnera has not run beyond 1 1/16 miles, but McLaughlin said he doesn't see the extra distance as a problem. Eibar Coa will ride Carnera from post 2.

After Market will be coupled with , another son of Old Trieste, who comes off a neck win in a seven-furlong maiden dirt race.

won the Pasadena Stakes in March at Santa Anita, but has run two subpar races since. Crossword, a late-running son of A.P. Indy, ships in for Neil Howard. Cool Cassanova, an allowance winner at Delaware Park, completes the field.