10/03/2005 11:00PM

'Bankruptcy' has speed to dictate pace


ELMONT, N.Y. - The seven older males entered in the main body of Thursday's feature at Belmont Park have come from all over the place.

Scheduled for 1 1/16 miles on the Widener turf course, the $58,000 allowance/optional claimer marks the return of Bankruptcy Court, a 4-year-old who has been idle since winning second- and third-level allowance races in Florida at the turn of the year. Bankruptcy Court, who will break from the outside post under Jerry Bailey, has won 3 of 5 starts on grass and both losses were by a neck, including a runner-up finish in the Grade 3 Hawthorne Derby last October. He is trained by Rick Violette Jr.

In a field without much other early speed, appears quick enough to clear into the backstretch, and may be able to dictate the pace.

The only horse in the field entered for the turf to have run on the New York circuit in his last start is , 7, who returns only eight days after being claimed for $100,000 by trainer Scott Lake. Cottage, who finished a close fourth last Wednesday, will race with blinkers on.

"He's been awful solid his whole life," said Lake, who claimed Cottage for Bruce Golden and Ben Mondello. "Cottage ran a tremendous race the day we took him - he had no pace to run at," said Lake, in reference to the very slow first quarter mile in 26.68 seconds. "And I thought he was in desperate need of wearing blinkers."

It is quite possible that Cottage will show more early speed, as has been the case with a long list of freshly claimed Lake runners in recent years. The addition of blinkers only reinforces that notion, and an early battle between Bankruptcy Court and Cottage could set things up for the late-runners.

Handicappers anticipating that kind of pace scenario can chose from among the following closers:

, who last month won Monmouth Park's Bob Harding Stakes for the second straight year; Proud Man, the 2004 Sunshine Millions Turf winner, who drops out of a third-place finish in the $150,000 John D. Schapiro Memorial at Laurel; American Freedom, winner of the Grade 3 Red Bank Handicap back in May; Blakelock, far back most recently in the $195,000 Play the King Handicap at Woodbine; and the Argentine import Potro Tell, who has not started in 11 months.

Four horses were entered for the main track only, including the entry of half-brothers Evening Attire and Dr. Rockett.