10/19/2006 12:00AM

Chief's Lake, 'Bad Boy' shaky at short prices


ELMONT, N.Y. - When the connections of I'm a Numbers Guy elected to run their colt in last Saturday's Grade 1 Champagne, that gave any number of New York-bred juvenile colts and geldings an opportunity to win a stakes in this Saturday's $100,000 Sleepy Hollow at Belmont Park.

Surprisingly, only six statebred 2-year-olds answered the call for the one-mile race.

Chief's Lake and Bad Boy Rising appear to be the major players in the Sleepy Hollow, but there are enough concerns surrounding both horses to be leery about taking a short price on either one.

Chief's Lake, a gelded son of Yonaguska, has won his last two starts, including a first-level allowance by 7 3/4 lengths here just eight days ago. Not only does Chief's Lake have to run back on short rest, but he also has to stretch out one additional furlong.

After finishing eighth of 12 in his debut at Saratoga, Chief's Lake has two wins and a close second-place finish in his last three starts. All three of those races have come since he has been equipped with blinkers.

"The addition of blinkers definitely woke him up,'' trainer Scott Blasi said. "I just think he had a lack of focus. In his first race, he sucked himself completely out of it. He's one of those horses who trained differently the minute we put them on him.''

Garret Gomez, who rode Chief's Lake two starts back, has the call from post 6.

Bad Boy Rising, a son of Freud, has a win and two seconds from three starts. Trained by Richard Dutrow Jr., he finished second to I'm a Numbers Guy in the Bertram F. Bongard Stakes here on Sept. 24. But he finished seven lengths back and enjoyed a nice inside trip.

"I never thought he would be this good,'' Dutrow said. "I'm very happy with him. Hopefully he wants to stretch out more.''

Edgar Prado rides Bad Boy Rising from post 4.

Solid Strike beat Bad Boy Rising when the two debuted here on July 3. Since then, Solid Strike has been compromised by poor starts in three consecutive stakes tries. He was last of 11 through the first half of the Bongard before making a mild bid to be third.

Karakorum Cobra showed marked improvement with blinkers added, but he has to go from 5 1/2 furlongs to a mile.

Good Prospect, trained by Leah Gyarmati, was beaten a head by Citifest at this trip last month but was placed first via disqualification after getting bumped in the stretch. Motor West tries to bounce back from an eighth-place finish in the Bongard.