06/20/2005 11:00PM

Bad Rep's name no longer fits

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The unbeaten Bad Rep has flown under the radar screen, even in his own barn.

That will change if the 3-year-old gelding keeps winning. He makes his third start Thursday at Monmouth Park in the featured $51,000 allowance race for New Jersey-breds going six furlongs.

went off at 21-1 in his debut, a 3 1/2-length win on May 22 in which he earned an unimpressive 52 Beyer Figure.

The next race, on June 8, was an eye-opener.

Bad Rep drew off to a 6 1/4-length victory at 12-1, and the Beyer soared to 87.

"I would have to say he has exceeded expectations," said trainer Jim Ryerson. "He's not a great work horse, so coming to the races we had no idea he was capable of that. He's a good-looking, solid horse, but he hadn't given an indication in the morning that he could run that fast."

The trio of 3-year-olds in the field look like the keys to the race.

looms as the prime pace factor. The winner of the New Jersey Futurity last season, he tired in his lone start this season. Trained by Eddie Broome, he should be sharper and fitter in this spot.

is the most intriguing horse in the race. Like Bad Rep, Hammered is making his third start.

He debuted at Aqueduct on March 26 in open company and rallied for third. He crushed statebred maidens on opening day at Monmouth by 13 3/4 lengths for an 89 Beyer.

Hammered takes a double class hike, jumping right into the two-other-than allowance level.

"We really like this horse," said trainer Todd Beattie, who is based at Penn National. "He was a little bit of a tough customer to get him going, as far as mannerisms around the racetrack. He's really developed into a good student."

A sharp work - four furlongs in 47.20 seconds on June 15 - convinced Beattie to skip last weekend's one-other-than allowance and plunge into this spot.

"I'm not really keen about skipping the condition, but the work was little bit too fast for me to run him in that race," Beattie said. "If I've ever had one that can go ahead and jump a level and I can feel confident about it, he's sure the one."

Beattie believes Hammered will eventually go on to excel in open company.

"He can really run," Beattie said. "I also think a route of ground will be in his future. He sure acts like he's manageable with his speed. We're going to be looking to try that with him real soon."