06/10/2008 12:00AM

Dutrow barn begins anew


ELMONT, N.Y. - Uh-oh. The one to catch and beat in the first stakes race at Belmont Park since the Belmont Stakes is Stormin Normandy, owned by IEAH Stables and trained by Rick Dutrow, the connections of Big Brown.

Stormin Normandy will break from post 6 in a field of seven older New York-breds in Thursday's $75,000 Papua Stakes at 6 1/2 furlongs.

Stormin Normandy was disqualified from first and placed second in the seven-furlong Hudson Handicap last October at Belmont in his last start of the year. He has made six starts this year, and in his last race just failed to hang on at 1 1/16 miles in the Noble Nashua here on May 30, just 13 days ago.

Stormin Normandy, 4, was off the board in two starts as a 2-year-old, when trained by D. Wayne Lukas, but since then he has finished first or second in 8 of 9 starts for Dutrow. His average Beyer Speed Figure in five starts at Belmont is 99.

Market Psychology has not run in a stakes since chasing the unbeaten Bustin Stones in the Times Square division of the New York Stallion Series in April 2007, but could be the one to beat off his sharp recent form.

Returned from a 64-day freshening at Aqueduct's spring meet, Market Psychology wired a field of open first-level allowance sprinters with a career-best Beyer of 91, then was a bang-up second at Belmont to Merchant Marine after setting a strong pace - an effort that earned him a second consecutive Beyer top of 94.

"We've got him on the right track," said trainer Rick Violette Jr. "He went good race, bad race for a while, but he's turned into a nice little horse."

Market Psychology was entered Saturday in an open second-level allowance, but Violette was glad he scratched him after watching Forefathers run a mile in 1:34.48 and earn a 107 Beyer. "That was a little salty,"' he said.

It may be a plus for Market Psychology to break from the outside post, as both of his wins last year against New York-breds came when he was similarly drawn, and it affords some options to Eibar Coa, who was atop the rider standings as racing resumed Wednesday after three dark days.

"He's got a high cruising speed and he can press pretty hard," said Violette. "They'll need to press on the gas, otherwise he'll be right up there."

Gold and Roses, a multiple statebred stakes winner of over $848,000, including the Hollie Hughes, will try to rebound after stopping badly in the Grade 3 Bold Ruler Handicap last out.