12/09/2005 12:00AM

Don't Tell Joey a sharp shipper


OZONE PARK, N.Y. - The first time trainer Martin Ciresa raced Little Matth Man over Aqueduct's inner track, the horse won a New York-bred allowance race at 13-1. Little Matth Man followed that with a victory in the open company Whirlaway Stakes in his next start over the inner track.

Ciresa hopes Little Matth Man passed on his affinity for the inner track to his brother, Don't Tell Joey, whom Ciresa plans to ship in for Sunday's $75,000 Damon Runyon Stakes for New York-bred juvenile colts and geldings. Ciresa will also send out Ketch Up Boy as part of a coupled-entry in the 12-horse field set to compete over 1 1/16 miles.

won his debut by 5 1/2 lengths in open company at Philadelphia Park on Nov. 12. Don't Tell Joey was 17-1 that day, in part because the betting public hammered the regally bred and John Servis-trained Jolted and Jostled to 4-5. Don't Tell Joey sat last early and came with a powerful run to win going away. He earned a Beyer Speed Figure of 83 for the performance.

"He ran even better than we thought he'd run," Ciresa said from the Fair Hill training center in Maryland, his new base of operation. "We felt going short he might have real trouble catching them because the way we taught him to rate. But he was ready. He did it real smooth."

In comparing Don't Tell Joey to Little Matth Man, Ciresa said that Joey is "bigger, he's stronger, he's a better horse."

Ciresa said has gotten better with each race and can now keep up with Don't Tell Joey in the mornings when previously he couldn't. Don't Tell Joey and Ketch Up Boy will start in posts 2 and 3, respectively. Jose Santos rides Don't Tell Joey, Todd Glaser is aboard Ketch Up Boy.

, the 1-2 finishers out of a state-bred allowance race last month, head the local contingent. Trading Pro is stuck in post 11 while Building New Era is in post 6. Gary Contessa, the trainer of Building New Era, said he believes his horse would have won last time had he not encountered traffic trouble.

"I think he deserves to be the favorite," Contessa said. "You never know if a horse will go two turns, but if ever there was a horse that looked like he would go two turns it would be him. He's got a powerful close, and hopefully he's a powerful closer going two turns. He did everything right last time. He just got caught in a lot of traffic. I expect him to run great."