11/07/2003 12:00AM

Almuhathir enters stakes debut hot


OZONE PARK, N.Y. - After four good races at Belmont Park, Almuhathir will try to carry his form to Aqueduct in Tuesday's $100,000 Stuyvesant Handicap.

Almuhathir, a 5-year-old owned by Shadwell Stable, is scheduled to make his stakes debut in the Grade 3 Stuyvesant at 1 1/8 miles on the main track.

The majority of Almuhathir's races have been on the turf, but he is better on the dirt. Three of his five career victories have come on dirt and he has twice earned a 104 Beyer Speed Figure this year on dirt.

During the summer, Almuhathir won back-to-back allowance races at Belmont on the main track, including one race where he was 99-1. In Almuhathir's last start, Oct. 5, the graded stakes winner Saarland, who also is running in the Stuyvesant, beat Almuhathir by less than a length.

"Two turns at Aqueduct is not the same kind of race as he has been running at Belmont," said Dan Peitz, Almuhathir's trainer. "This summer, I was going to run him in the Saratoga Breeders' Cup at two turns, but he's had feet problems and I didn't think his feet were that good then. I think [the Stuyvesant] is a good spot to jump in and take a shot."

Almuhathir, who gave four pounds to Saarland in his last race, was assigned 115 pounds for the Stuyvesant. Saarland will carry 116 pounds. Others pointing to the Stuyvesant are Gander (115), Private Lap (115), Regal Sanction (115), Presidentialaffair (114), Thunder Blitz (114), and El Gran Papa (113).

Docent, third in last year's Stuyvesant, is a possible starter.

Snake Mountain to Clark

Snake Mountain, who won the Stuyvesant last year, will run in the $500,000 Clark Handicap at Churchill Downs on Nov. 28.

Snake Mountain won four consecutive stakes at Aqueduct between last November and March. After finishing sixth in the Grade 1 Pimlico Special on May 16, Snake Mountain was given the summer off by trainer Jimmy Jerkens. He recently returned to the races and won Oct. 24 at Belmont, coming from well off the pace to win by a half-length over Justification.

Jerkens said the Grade 2 Clark will give Snake Mountain some needed experience on the road.

"I'd like to get him used to shipping around to see if he can handle that," said Jerkens.

Roman Dancer might return

Roman Dancer, the winner of the Bay Shore Stakes in 2002, will likely make his first start since May in the next two or three weeks, according to trainer James Bond.

Bond, who has had Roman Dancer since the early summer, said he is looking for an allowance race in New York for Roman Dancer. After the Bay Shore, Roman Dancer was laid off for eight months and failed to finish in the money in three consecutive starts in 2003. He was sent to the sidelines again and transferred from trainer Christopher Paasch to Bond.

Bond said on Friday that Roman Dancer "had a little wear and tear" from his 2003 campaign, but no serious injury.

* Bowman's Band, preparing for the Grade 1 Cigar Mile on Nov. 29, worked a half-mile around the dogs in 50.76 seconds over Belmont's muddy main track Friday.

* Jockey Joe Hampshire Jr. took off his Friday mounts because he was not feeling well.

* With the start of the new condition book on Nov. 13, jockey Herberto Castillo Jr. will be represented by agent John Kolb.

- additional reporting by Matt Hegarty