07/06/2003 11:00PM

Distance a question for 'Kitty'


ELMONT, N.Y. - A $49,096 pick six carryover awaits fans at Belmont Park on Wednesday, which begins the penultimate week of racing at the spring-summer meet before Saratoga opens July 23.

The next-to-last race in the pick six is a $50,000 allowance race for fillies and mares at 1 1/16 miles on the main track.

A field of five, with no real standout in the group, was entered in the third-level allowance race.

Kitty Knight is coming off a third-place finish in a good field at this level, going a mile over a muddy track here June 20. Cherokee Lite, the winner, beat Kitty Knight by a length and is headed to the $500,000 Delaware Oaks in search of her fifth consecutive win. Danuta, the odds-on favorite, finished second, a head in front of Kitty Knight, who was 7 1/2 lengths clear of the rest of the field.

A question surrounding Kitty Knight, who pressed the pace in her last race, is her ability to stretch out in distance. Her three career wins have come in races under a mile.

Kitty Knight's trainer, Allen Jerkens, worked the 3-year-old filly seven furlongs last Saturday over Belmont's training track. She covered the distance in 1:26.

"She's training nice; the work was a little fast," Jerkens said. "In her last race, she backed off little at the end. We'll probably try to rate her."

Each of Pocus Hocus's three career wins has been around two turns and in gate-to-wire fashion. Her most recent win was over the inner track in December. After finishing second in a pair of inner-track stakes, Pocus Hocus was given nearly four months off. In her return for trainer Jimmy Jerkens on June 8 at Monmouth Park, Pocus Hocus finished sixth in the Monmouth Beach Stakes after hesitating at the start.

Pocus Hocus, who will be ridden by Jose Santos, was razor-sharp in a bullet six-furlong work in 1:13.30 over Belmont's training track June 24.

Brusque, trained by Christophe Clement, won the Grade 2 Mazarine Breeders' Cup at Woodbine in September. She has run only once since and probably needed the race when she finished a well-beaten fourth at this level at Belmont on May 18. Brusque, a 3-year-old daughter of Canaveral, possesses early speed.

Moloko won a 1 1/16-mile allowance race at Belmont two starts back. Arabis, a non-threatening fourth in her last start, completes the field.