08/30/2005 12:00AM

Bachelor's Gulch a switch hitter


OCEANPORT, N.J. - Bachelor's Gulch is a handy horse to have around the Mark Hennig barn at Monmouth Park.

Owned by Lee Lewis, the 3-year-old Bachelor's Gulch has proved himself equally adept on turf or on the main track in four races on the Jersey Shore this summer.

"Every time he wins, the owner asks, 'What are going to do with him now?' " said assistant trainer Rob Rader. "Does he like the dirt or the grass better? I have no idea."

With the Monmouth turf season ending on Labor Day, Bachelor's Gulch figures to get a steady diet of dirt races, starting with the $41,000 second-level allowance feature at 1 1/16 miles on Thursday. He won on grass last time out to improve his Monmouth record to 2-0-1 in four starts this summer.

"I know this is going to be a little tougher race," Rader said. "He's going to have to step it up on the path to getting better."

His only out-of-the-money race at the meet came on the turf on June 17, when Bachelor's Gulch was badly blocked.

"He was in bad shape from the five-eighths pole to the eighth pole," Rader said. "He got out too late and couldn't get running fast enough."

is one of those consistent runners who have helped the Hennig barn enjoy a successful meet, with 16 wins from 44 starters.

Rajiv Maragh, who has been aboard for the last five races, has a return call on Bachelor's Gulch.

has two wins in last four starts, all in New York. Trained by Todd Pletcher, he most recently won an allowance at Saratoga.

Chris DeCarlo, who rides first call for Pletcher at Monmouth, will be up.

bids for a second straight Monmouth allowance win. In his last start, Derby Fever stretched out to two turns for the first time on the main track and responded with a 2 3/4-length win. DeCarlo was aboard last out, but his commitment to Desert Breeze opened the door for Jose Lezcano to get the mount on Derby Fever, who is trained by Bobby Frankel.

My Husband and Hurricane Shockey both come off strong efforts in New Jersey-bred races.

My Husband, from the Richard Dutrow Jr. barn, will stretch out after winning a second-level allowance sprint. Because that victory came against statebreds, My Husband gets the opportunity to test the same level in open company.

Hurricane Shockey missed by a nose to Trueamericanspirit in the Lincroft Handicap on Aug. 7. That race looks even better after Trueamericanspirit came back on Saturday to capture Monmouth's Bill Wheeler Handicap.