11/19/2005 12:00AM

Barbaro's futurity win bodes well for 2006

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Jim McCue/Maryland Jockey Club
Barbaro, with Jose Caraballo riding, wins the Laurel Futurity to go 2 for 2 on the turf.

LAUREL, Md. - Michael Matz had a big smile on his face after his 2-year-old colt Barbaro crushed 12 rivals in Saturday's $125,000 Laurel Futurity to remain unbeaten in two career starts. The Laurel Futurity was one of six stakes on the De Francis Memorial Dash undercard.

Barbaro ($7.60), a son of Dynaformer out of the mare La Ville Rouge, won impressively for the second time in a row on grass, finishing eight lengths in front of Diabolical, a colt who had most recently finished third in the Grade 3 Nashua at Belmont Park. The winning time for the 1 1/16 miles was 1:40.17.

Although Barbaro has proved that he loves turf, Matz said in the winner's circle that he would consider trying Barbaro on dirt this winter in Florida. If Barbaro can successfully switch to the main track, it could put him in line to try some of Gulfstream's lucrative 3-year-old stakes.

"I think we have to try him on dirt sometime," said Matz, pointing to his assistant, Peter Britt, a former jockey in Dubai. "Peter has told me all along this is one of the best horses he's ever sat on. This horse makes me shiver when I see him work on dirt.

"He really does have a lot of talent, and I would be tempted to see if it transfers from turf to dirt. I will talk it over with the owners, but I know his mother won on both surfaces.

The only flaw Barbaro has shown so far was some bad manners at the gate in his career debut at Delaware.

"That came as a big surprise to us," Matz said. "All of a sudden we looked up and he wouldn't go in the gate. He never had a problem going into the gate before or since then."

Barbaro was the third winner on the card for jockey Jose Caraballo.

"The horse was a little nervous behind the gate but he broke well and he was no problem at all," Caraballo said. "You will be hearing a lot about this horse."

J'ray adds Selima to stakes scores

J'ray, unbeaten in three races since she was switched to the turf, scored her second consecutive stakes victory in the $125,000 Selima for 2-year-old fillies.

Ridden patiently by Jerry Bailey, J'ray ($4.40) made a quick move to go from eighth to fourth with 2 1/2 furlongs remaining in the 1 1/16-mile race, took command at the top of the stretch, and pulled away to a 3 3/4-length victory over Nice Nelly. She was timed in 1:41.87.

"She's a little horse with a big heart," said Virginia Dipasquale, assistant to trainer Todd Pletcher. "She absolutely does everything you ask of her and now she's developing a real determination to win."

* Smart N Classy ($31.40), a New Jersey-bred who had lost five in a row on firm turf after winning the Grade 3 Eatontown at Monmouth over soft going, apparently relished the firm surface at Laurel as she ran down Art Fan by a neck in the $75,000 April Run Stakes for fillies and mares.

Ridden by Jose Velez Jr. for trainer John Tammaro III, Smart N Classy got nine furlongs in 1:47.96.

* Trickle of Gold ($3.40), making a rare start beyond six furlongs, extended her winning streak to six races with a wire-to-wire, two-length triumph in the $100,000 Anne Arundel Stakes for 3-year-old fillies.

Ridden by her regular jockey, Jeremy Rose, Trickle of Gold ran one mile in 1:37.01. Based at Delaware Park with trainer Mike Gorham, Trickle of Gold had won the Grade 3 Safely Kept Stakes at Laurel two starts ago.

* Dreadnaught ($8.20), returning one week after finishing third in the Grade 2 Red Smith Handicap at Belmont, nailed Major Rhythm by a head at the wire in the $75,000 Laurel Turf Cup. Bailey picked up the mount on the 5-year-old Dreadnaught when the horse's regular rider, Jean Luc Samyn, did not make the trip from New York.

Winning for the first time in seven starts this season, Dreadnaught covered 1 1/8 miles in 1:47.50.

* Princess Pelona ($35.60), the longest shot in a field of five fillies and mares, surged through an opening on the rail at the eighth pole en route to a three-length win in the $75,000 Stefanita Stakes.

It was the first win for the 5-year-old Princess Pelona since May. Both came under jockey Ramon Dominguez. In between she lost six in a row while ridden by other jockeys.

Sensibly Chic, the 4-5 favorite whose connections opted to run in this spot rather than challenge males in the De Francis Dash later on the card, finished third, a length behind runner-up Traci Girl.

* Sum Marvel ($48.60), badly beaten on Maryland Million Day last month and winless in seven starts this season, drew off to a 1 3/4-length victory in the $50,000 Maryland Million Starter Handicap. A 4-year-old colt ridden by Todd Glasser for trainer Martin Ciresa, Sum Marvel covered the mile in 1:38.82.