08/22/2003 11:00PM

Clement hoping for rain


SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. - The weather has finally turned beautiful in Saratoga Springs, which means the turf courses have dried out and are firm - perhaps not the optimum condition for two of the three Christophe Clement-trained horses entered in Monday's $100,000-added Glens Falls Handicap.

Clement entered Mariensky, Sixty Seconds, and Midnight Angel in the Grade 3 Glens Falls. The 1 3/8-mile inner turf race drew 10 fillies and mares, plus two also-eligibles and one main-track only. Clement's runners are not coupled in the wagering.

Mariensky, the 119-pound highweight under John Velazquez, is the class of the field. This year, the filly won back-to-back graded stakes, the Sheepshead Bay and Just a Game Breeders' Cup, at Belmont Park over soft ground. In her last start, Mariensky finished sixth in the New York Handicap over firm turf at Belmont on July 4.

"[Mariensky] is better on soft; going that far I think she can run on firm, too," said Clement, who won the 1997 Glens Falls with Shemozzle. "It wasn't a bad race last time; she just was left with too much to do."

Mariensky drew the rail.

Sixty Seconds, who raced in Australia and New Zealand last year, was a nice-looking winner of her American debut at Belmont on July 11. Sixty Seconds won the fourth-level allowance race, which was run at a mile over yielding turf, by three lengths. It was her first start since last October

"I think [Sixty Seconds] is a mile-and-three-eighths type of horse," Clement said. "The only reason I came back at a mile was because it was soft."

Jose Santos rides Sixty Seconds from post 8.

Clement's third entry, Midnight Angel, is eligible for a second-level allowance condition.

Alternate is coming off a win in a Delaware Park stakes that was run at the Glens Falls distance. Trekking, the likely pacesetter, tired from her early efforts in the New York Handicap and faded to fifth. Lady of the Future, a deep closer, has been right there in her last three stakes starts.

- additional reporting by David Grening