04/07/2004 11:00PM

Bay Shore big test for Forest Danger


OZONE PARK, N.Y. - Forest Danger is not headed to the Kentucky Derby, but don't be surprised if he ends up being one of trainer Todd Pletcher's most accomplished 3-year-olds by year's end.

After winning his first two starts, both at Gulfstream Park, Forest Danger will make his stakes debut in Saturday's Grade 3, $150,000 Bay Shore Stakes at Aqueduct. Forest Danger will face seven rivals, including the Canadian champion 2-year-old Judiths Wild Rush in the seven-furlong Bay Shore.

Forest Danger, a son of Forestry, overcame a troubled start to win his maiden by 1 1/2 lengths on Feb. 13. Facing winners for the first time, Forest Danger survived a protracted speed duel with the Allen Jerkens-trained Medallist to take an entry-level seven-furlong allowance race by 2 1/2 lengths March 13.

"He had every reason to lose his first start after breaking a half a step slow and getting bounced around,'' Pletcher said. "A lot of first-time starters would not have recovered from that. In his second start he survived a very long speed duel with, I thought, a very impressive horse from the Jerkens barn.''

Forest Danger will break from post 2 under John Velazquez.

Judiths Wild Rush, who won the Display Stakes by 10 lengths, has not run since finishing ninth as the favorite in the Delta Jackpot last Dec. 5. Trainer Scott Fairlie said the horse came out of that race with sore feet. Fairlie, who has strings at Woodbine and Fort Erie, had Judiths Wild Rush training all winter in New York, where he fired several bullet works over the Belmont training track.

"Definitely, it's a good class test,'' Fairlie said. "We're hoping he's going to run really well and we can think about the Preakness. If we don't think he's quite good enough we can take him back to Canada.''

Last Minute Detail ships in from California and cuts back to seven furlongs after finishing fifth behind Preachinatthebar in the Grade 2 San Felipe at 1 1/16 miles on March 14. Last Minute Detail earned a career-best Beyer Speed Figure of 93 winning a seven-furlong optional claimer at Santa Anita in January.

Snake Mountain suffers fractured sesamoid

The multiple graded stakes winner Snake Mountain suffered a fracture to the top of the sesamoid bone in his right foreleg and will be sidelined until at least the fall, trainer Jimmy Jerkens said.

Snake Mountain underwent surgery on Monday at the New Jersey Equine Clinic to have the fracture repaired. Jerkens said Dr. Patty Hogan told him the surgery went well.

"They said if you're going to fracture a sesamoid, it was a good place to have it,'' Jerkens said. "It's right at the top.''

Jerkens said the prognosis for Snake Mountain's return to the races is good. The fractured sesamoid is the latest in a long list of setbacks for Snake Mountain, who won three consecutive graded stakes in 2002-03, but who has only run twice since May.

"He was the soundest horse I ever had last year, now nothing goes right with him,'' Jerkens said. "Unbelievable.''

Lewis weighs options with Kissin Saint

Trainer Lisa Lewis will likely be scouring condition books from tracks up and down the mid-Atlantic looking for a two-turn stakes for Kissin Saint, who won a third-level allowance race here on Wednesday.

Kissin Saint, who finished third in last year's Wood Memorial, took advantage of a speed duel between Rogue Agent and Epoxy to win Wednesday's nine-furlong race by three-quarters of a length under Javier Castellano. It was Kissin Saint's first win in eight starts dating back 13 months.

"I was real happy with his race obviously,'' Lewis said. "His last two races he's run really well. Javier [Castellano] suits the horse really well, he keeps him a little closer early.''

Kissin Saint has run his last two races in blinkers. Lewis had tried blinkers on Kissin Saint last summer, but they didn't seem to make much difference. In hindsight, Lewis thinks there were other factors why Kissin Saint didn't run well in those races.

"One was one on the grass; the second time was against Newfoundland in a one-turn mile and they outran him early,'' Lewis said.

Lewis said she wouldn't want to cut Kissin Saint back to a one-turn mile in the Westchester Handicap at Belmont on May 5. One possible option for Kissin Saint is the Grade 3, $100,000 William Donald Schaefer Handicap at nine furlongs at Pimlico on May 15.

Baby racing begins

Two-year-old racing in New York got under way Thursday with a 4 1/2-furlong race. Chocolate Brown, one of two fillies in the seven-horse field, powered away to a 5 3/4-length win over Gold Joy.

Ridden by Javier Castellano, Chocolate Brown, the favorite, set the pace through fractions of 22.53 seconds for the opening quarter-mile and 46.34 for the half-mile. The final time was 53.01 over a fast track.

Chocolate Brown ($4.50) is trained by Jason Servis and owned by her breeder, Dennis Drazin.

Turf course not yet ready

The first turf race of the year was in the condition book for Saturday, but management decided against carding the race. Jerry Porcelli, the track superintendent, said it is "50-50" that the course would be ready for the next turf race in the condition book on April 14.

"The course is soft and still very sparse in some spots," Porcelli said. "Now we have rain on Sunday into next week and it will get soft again. But things can happen in a hurry with grass, and if the ground is safe, we will run on it. We only use it for three weeks, so it's not like we have to save it."

- additional reporting by Karen M. Johnson