05/12/2004 11:00PM

The Cliff's Edge walks gingerly


BALTIMORE - The Cliff's Edge, who is suffering from a sore right front foot, merely walked under tack, and then was hand walked, at the stakes barn at Pimlico on Thursday morning. He had a noticeable hitch in his step when being hand walked around the shedrow.

His trainer, Nick Zito, said he would not decide until Friday whether to scratch The Cliff's Edge from Saturday's 129th Preakness Stakes. If The Cliff's Edge is scratched, he will await the June 5 Belmont Stakes.

All the other 10 horses entered in the Preakness, including Kentucky Derby winner Smarty Jones, had routine gallops at their respective training sites on Thursday morning.