12/16/2004 1:00AM

Aggadan will offer slim price


Aggadan has gone off at 9-5 or lower in four of his last six starts, twice as the favorite. A 5-year-old based in New York with trainer Richard Dutrow Jr., Aggadan figures to be a short price again Saturday at Pimlico in the $100,000 Jennings Handicap. The 1 1/8-mile Jennings is restricted to Maryland-breds.

In six races dating back to June 18 at Belmont Park, has 3 victories and 2 seconds, including an easy win in the six-furlong Challedon against statebred sprinters last month at Pimlico. His most impressive accomplishment, however, might have been his runner-up finish to Ghostzapper in the Grade 2 Tom Fool Handicap at seven furlongs.

Aggadan has recorded triple-digit Beyer Speed Figures in six consecutive starts.

The only other entrant in the seven-horse field to reach 100 on the Beyer scale within the past six months is Irish Colony. An off-the-pace runner trained by Ron Cartwright, Irish Colony finished a third, a length behind Aggadan in the Maryland Million Classic at 1 3/16 miles. Most recently, the 4-year-old Irish Colony won the Charles Hadry going 1 1/16 miles.

"I think he'll like the added distance," said jockey Steve Hamilton, who will be riding Irish Colony for the fourth straight race. "It just gives him a chance to do his thing. I think there will be plenty of pace, and hopefully they will stop and we will be plugging along at the wire."

New York Hero posted a career-high Beyer Figure of 111 this year, but that came against allowance runners 10 months ago on the inner track at Aqueduct. He is winless in nine starts since.

The 3-year-old Play Bingo is razor-sharp, having won five consecutive races since July, including a decisive victory going nine furlongs in the Northern Dancer last month. He would have to run substantially faster than he ever has, however, to threaten Aggadan.

Another 3-year-old, Water Cannon, is eligible to move forward while making his second start off a long layoff. In his return, Water Cannon dueled through swift fractions in the Northern Dancer and still hung on to finish second. He, too, needs substantial improvement in his Beyer Figures to be competitive against the best horses in this field.

* Little Matth Man makes his first start since finishing eighth in the Preakness in race 4, an optional claimer at six furlongs. He faces five opponents in the sprint.