04/22/2004 11:00PM

Big leap for Known Back Home


Known Back Home, the colt with the least experience in Sunday's $75,000 Star de Naskra Stakes at Pimlico, could also be the one to catch.

An impressive wire-to-wire winner in his career debut last month at Laurel Park, Known Back Home makes the rare class move from maidens to stakes and faces five other 3-year-old Maryland-breds in the six-furlong Star de Naskra.

Owned and trained by John Alecci, Known Back Home earned an 83 Beyer Speed Figure for his maiden victory, a number that compares favorably with his more experienced competitors in Sunday's stakes. If he moves forward at all, which many young horses do in their second start, Known Back Home could prove difficult to beat.

Based on pedigree, Known Back Home, a son of Roy out of the mare Come Back Home, could become a very nice horse. He's a half-brother to 5-year-old horse The Deputy Is Home, a winner of 6 of 16 starts and $144,160. The Deputy Is Home won a six-furlong stakes in Maryland last year, matching his career-best Beyer of 103.

Hands On, who has run well in two previous restricted stakes, is the most dangerous opponent for Known Back Home. Hands On finished first but was disqualified and placed second in the seven-furlong Rollicking last November. He also led for the first six furlongs of the seven-furlong Goss L. Stryker in February before settling for second behind White Mountain Boy.

Trainer Rodney Jenkins has reunited Hands On with jockey Jozbin Santana after two straight lackluster performances. If not for the DQ in the Rollicking, Santana would be 2 for 2 aboard Hands On.

Known Back Home's early speed will likely be tested by Move to Strike, who breaks from the rail under Rick Wilson. In his 3-year-old debut earlier this month, Move to Strike romped to a seven-length victory over first-level allowance horses, earning a career-high 84 Beyer.

Andiamo, a winner of his first two career starts at Tampa Bay Downs, is eligible to improve upon his fourth-place finish in last month's Horatius at Laurel, an open stakes. That was Andiamo's first start in nearly two months, and, although he was never in serious contention, he finished a quarter-length ahead of Hands On.

Red Velvet Cake, winner of the Tri-State Futurity at Charles Town last fall, and Musical Vision, distant runner-up to Polish Rifle in last year's Maryland Million Nursery, complete the field.