07/18/2005 11:00PM

Either surface fine for Irenes' Song

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OCEANPORT, N.J. - It wasn't until Irenes' Song was gelded last year that he started to focus on what was expected of him.

Now 4, comes out of a career-best, front-running victory in a four-horse allowance race that came off the turf. He goes for another win Thursday in the $41,000 featured allowance race at Monmouth Park on the grass.

If Thursday's race stays on the grass, Irenes' Song will make his turf debut in the one-mile allowance.

"We just want to open up another avenue for him," said Pat McBurney, assistant trainer to John Forbes.

"He'll go either way on Thursday. He bounced out of his last race very good and he's pretty happy with himself."

That's quite a change from the colt of last year, who frequently gave problems to jockey Chuckie Lopez.

"If someone beat him to the front and [Lopez] wanted to try and tuck in, he would throw his head up in the air," McBurney said.

After being gelded, Irenes' Song wintered in Ocala, Fla. He has returned a more manageable runner.

"He has come back a much calmer gelding," McBurney said. "This year, he's a big sweetheart of a horse. He's grown and filled out and is looking really good."

is another interesting 4-year-old in the field. A Brazilian-bred, Remilly makes his second U.S. start.

He dueled for the lead last time out and held on nicely for third. Remilly earned an 82 Beyer Speed Figure in that off-the-turf effort for trainer Stacy McMullin.

Hot Head and Davy Jones are a pair of 7-year-old turf veterans.

, trained by Philadelphia Park-based Ron Abrams, has most recently run in a pair of Monmouth starter allowances on grass. He moved too soon last time, opening up a clear lead before fading to fifth.

His best efforts have come when he rallied in the lane. He will be reunited with jockey Chris DeCarlo, who guided him to a second-place finish two starts back.

Davy Jones is equally comfortable on turf or dirt. He has four career wins on each surface.

, trained by J. Willard Thompson, has experienced the full gamut in his last three outings.

He powered to a 3 1/2-length win in an off-the-turf, fast-track effort three starts back. He was third on the grass two races ago and finished fourth last time on a sloppy, sealed strip.