06/07/2005 12:00AM

Are we talking football or racing?


OCEANPORT, N.J. - Strap on the shoulder pads Thursday as Hurricane Shockey takes on Belichick in the allowance feature at Monmouth Park.

They square off in a $38,000 race at a mile and 70 yards for horses who have never won two races.

Trainer Jim Ryerson had high hopes for Hurricane Shockey, named for the New York Giants tight end, following a 2-year-old season in which the New Jersey-bred colt showed talent in open company by winning his maiden and finishing third in the Dover Stakes at Delaware Park.

Unfortunately, took after his often-sidelined namesake. He missed all of 2004 with a tendon injury suffered before the start of the Monmouth meet.

"We're happy with where he is overall," Ryerson said. "We're happy that he made it back, but it was very disappointing to lose him last year."

Now 4, Hurricane Shockey launched his comeback in a pair of statebred sprints, where he finished fourth and fifth. This marks a return to two turns, where he has been most effective.

"Shockey just needs racing," Ryerson said. "We're hopeful that if he stays sound we can have a nice year. I think he really benefited from that second sprint, but he could need another one."

Belichick carries the name of the Super Bowl-winning coach of the New England Patriots. Belichick, the horse, hasn't lived up to his namesake - he is 1 for 17. The return to Monmouth, where he is 1-1-0 in 4 starts, could improve the 5-year-old's chances.

"He's run his best over this racetrack," said trainer Bill Perry.

Last summer, Belichick sprinted at Monmouth. Perry doesn't feel the horse can still compete going short.

"He's lost some of his speed," Perry said. "I hope, with the longer races, he can attend the pace a little better. You don't want to be laying way back and trying to make a run on this racetrack. He doesn't have to be in front, but we would like to see him have better position."

looks like the probable pacesetter. A 3-year-old, Quadrant makes his third career start and first beyond six furlongs.

Trained by Michael Matz, Quadrant was a runaway winner last time at Delaware Park. He won his maiden by 10 lengths and posted a sensational 102 Beyer Speed Figure.

, Assert N Advantage, Amenable, Who's First, Irenes' Song, and Fire Path complete the field.

* The New Jersey Thoroughbred Horsemen's Association will hold a general membership meeting Friday evening in the Monmouth clubhouse following live racing. The chief order of business is the nomination of candidates to run for president and the board of directors.