10/17/2002 11:00PM

BC-less Lido Palace surprise allowance entrant

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ELMONT, N.Y. - Lido Palace, who would have run in Saturday's $4 million Breeders' Cup Classic if not for an $800,000 supplemental fee, unexpectedly showed up in Sunday's entries at Belmont Park.

Lido Palace, who won the Grade 1 Woodward and finished second in the Jockey Club Gold Cup at this meet, will be a short-priced favorite going against seven others in the $58,000 money allowance. The race is the feature of the closing-day card.

Trainer Bobby Frankel is using the 1 1/8-mile dirt race as a stepping-stone to the $400,000 Clark Handicap at Churchill Downs on Nov. 29. The Grade 2 Clark will be run at 1 1/8 miles.

"This way we break up the time in between races," Frankel said on Friday after the entries were drawn. "He's doing fine."

Shortly after the Jockey Club Gold Cup on Sept. 28, Lido Palace's owner, John Amerman, decided against supplementing the 5-year-old Chilean-bred to the Breeders' Cup because the risk was not worth the reward.

Frankel is "fully behind [Amerman's] decision not to go. I recommended it," he said.

Jorge Chavez will ride Lido Palace.

Among those entered to face Lido Palace is graded stakes winner Ground Storm, who hasn't won since taking the Grade 3 Stymie Handicap in March at Aqueduct. In his last start, Ground Storm finished a well-beaten second as the favorite in an allowance race on Sept. 15.

Country Be Gold, who was no match for Lido Palace in the Grade 2 Suburban in July, also has been entered. Country Be Gold finished sixth in the Suburban, nearly 13 lengths behind second-place finisher Lido Palace.

Impressive Saint Marden seeks stakes win

After a powerful performance in an allowance race at Belmont Park last month, Saint Marden will seek his first stakes win in Wednesday's $100,000-added Discovery Handicap on opening day at Aqueduct. The Grade 3 Discovery is a 1 1/8-mile race for 3-year-olds.

In his last start on Sept. 19, Saint Marden won a second-level allowance race by 8 1/2 lengths. He covered the 1 1/16 miles in a swift 1:41.32 and earned a Beyer Speed Figure of 112.

That wasn't the first good-looking performance by Saint Marden, a son of Saint Ballado who is owned by Martin Schwartz and Dennis Drazin. In June at Delaware Park, the colt won a maiden race by 7 3/4 lengths and followed with a 7 1/2-length victory in a first-level allowance race at Saratoga. Those efforts prompted his connections to take a shot in the Grade 1 Travers.

The result was disappointing but Saint Marden, who finished eighth over a sloppy track, probably had an excuse.

"Mike [Smith] said he wasn't getting a hold of the track and he didn't want to abuse him," Michael Matz, Saint Marden's trainer, said. "I was thankful the horse came back fine. I was happy to see him return and run as well as he did in his last start."

Jerry Bailey, aboard Saint Marden for his last two wins, has the mount.

Saint Marden has been assigned 117 pounds. Matz said Saint Marden will ship from his barn at Fair Hill, Md., the morning of the Discovery.

The Discovery is shaping up to be a competitive race. Among the expected starters are Grade 2 Pegasus winner Regal Sanction (118) and runner-up No Parole (117). Other probables are A.P. Five Hundred (118), Strive (117), Regency Park (115), Father Steve (114), Full (114), This Guns for Hire (114), and Babson (112).

Bowman's Band goes back to sprinting

Matz also will run stakes winner Bowman's Band in the first week of the Aqueduct meet in Saturday's $100,000-added Sport Page Handicap.

The seven-furlong Sport Page will be the first race in which Bowman's Band has run in a sprint since January when he was second in an optional claimer at Gulfstream Park.

This year, Bowman's Band has earned $311,520 while running primarily in 1 1/8-mile graded races. Bowman's Band didn't win any of those starts, so Matz is keen on getting a graded win with the 4-year-old before the end of the season.

"He's short about two lengths each time he runs at a mile and an eighth," Matz said. "There aren't a lot of mile or mile and a sixteenth races around for him, so we are going to drop him back to seven-eighths. He's run well at that distance before."

Others pointing to the Grade 3 Sport Page are Esteemed Friend, Fetch Dinner, Folkestone Park, and Voodoo. Several others are on the fence. Weights are due Sunday.

Season finale for Raging Fever

Grade 1 winner Raging Fever, who has earned nearly $578,660 this year, will run next in Saturday's $150,000 First Flight before getting a rest, trainer Mark Hennig said.

Raging Fever, a 4-year-old owned and bred by Edward P. Evans, will race next year, according to Hennig.

On Friday, Raging Fever and Shine Again, who won the First Flight last year, were the only definites the racing office had listed for the Grade 2 race. Judge's Song, Redhead Riot, and Saskya are considered possible.

Hennig also nominated Gold Mover to the First Flight, but said the filly would run instead in the $100,000 Safely Kept Handicap, an undercard stakes on Breeders' Cup Day at Arlington Park.

Critical Eye nearing $1 million mark

New York-bred Critical Eye took another step closer to becoming a millionaire by coming from off the pace to win Friday's featured allowance race. The win boosted the 5-year-old's career earnings to $979,711.

Critical Eye, a Grade 1 winner trained by Scott Schwartz, is expected to make only a couple more starts before heading to the breeding shed at the end of the year.

Roar Emotion, a 2-year-old bought by owner Joe Allen for an undisclosed price after winning her career debut by 10 1/2 lengths, finished second as the 1-9 favorite in Friday's third race.

Xtra Heart, who was 13-1, blew by Roar Emotion in the final furlong of the mile allowance race and finished 3 1/2 lengths in front of the favorite.

Nearly $500,000 was wagered to show on Roar Emotion, who was ridden by John Velazquez.

* Boston Bull, a four-length winner of last Sunday's Grade 3 Cowdin, will run next in the $100,000-added Nashua at Aqueduct on Nov. 2, according to a press release from his owner, Dogwood Stable.