10/09/2002 11:00PM

Distance may favor Chiselling


ELMONT, N.Y. - On the surface, Saturday's $150,000 Lawrence Realization Handicap looks like a grudge match between Chiselling and Finality. But, if the surface is a wet Belmont Park Widener Turf course, the Grade 3 race could become a more wide-open affair.

A field of 10 was entered for the Lawrence Realization, the final turf stakes restricted to 3-year-olds run this year in New York. Chiselling defeated Finality in the Grade 3 Lexington at 10 furlongs here in July while Finality turned the tables on his rival in last month's Grade 2 Jamaica at nine furlongs.

The Lawrence Realization is run at 12 furlongs, a distance Chiselling's trainer, Bobby Frankel, believes favors him.

Chiselling was a troubled third in the Jamaica last out.

"His last race he was blocked all the way when he wanted to run," said Frankel, who seeks his 14th New York stakes win this year. "They quickened away from him, and he's not that quick. When he got clear, then he started grinding again. But at a mile and a half the pace is slower and he'll just keep on going. He might have more stamina than the rest of them."

Chiselling has never raced on soft turf, a condition he is likely to face if the weekend forecast is accurate.

Soft turf could be a hindrance for Finality. He has finished first or second in eight of nine turf starts, his lone poor effort coming on soft turf in the National Museum of Racing and Hall of Fame Stakes at Saratoga.

Finality's trainer, Todd Pletcher, said the soft turf was part of the equation in the Hall of Fame, but added, "We were cognizant of the fact Patrol was loose on the lead and we prompted our horse a little more than we needed to. All that being said, I think he does appreciate firm ground."

In the event the race is moved to the main track, Pletcher would scratch Finality and run Fisher Pond instead.

Extra Check, Irish Colonial, Macaw, and Van Minister are threats on turf.

Extra Check was beaten only 1 1/4 lengths by Chiselling after setting the pace in the Grade 1 Secretariat at Arlington Park. He did win his maiden on soft turf. Macaw finished fourth in the Jamaica, his U.S. debut, for Barclay Tagg. He has proven soft turf form and gets Lasix for the first time.

Irish Colonial was beaten only a half-length in both the Lexington and Saranac handicaps.

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