04/28/2004 11:00PM

Beulah Park: Floater seeks first win

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GROVE CITY, Ohio - Floater looks for his first victory as a 3-year-old when he starts as the 121-pound highweight in a field of seven Ohio-bred 3-year-olds in the $45,000 Wintergreen Handicap.

The Ohio juvenile of the year in 2003, Floater won four of his five starts as a 2-year-old, including two stakes, and has finished second in both of his starts this year. He made his first start in the Noonan Stakes here, closing strongly to be beaten three-quarters of a length.

In his latest start, Floater set the pace against older allowance foes before finishing 2 1/4 lengths back at Thistledown on April 18. For the Wintergreen, which is run at 1 1/16 miles, Floater will spot his six rivals from 4 to 9 pounds. Huber Villa Gomez has a return call for trainer Tim Girten.

Xtra Jack is an interesting longshot in the Wintergreen, the closing day feature of the winter-spring meeting here. A son of Pleasant Tap, Xtra Jack began his career in Mexico before traveling to Louisiana and most recently Texas. In his last start, which came at Lone Star, Xtra Jack scored a gate-to-wire victory against claiming company in a one-mile event April 18. Trainer Keith Desormeaux has shipped Xtra Jack up for his first start in his home state and named Christian Rojas to ride at 117 pounds.