10/20/2004 11:00PM

'Electrician' will run on his terms


ELMONT, N.Y. - Trainer Bruce Levine believes Clever Electrician has won his last two starts despite playing his opponent's game. In Saturday's $125,000 Hudson Handicap at Belmont Park, Levine said he sees a scenario where his horse can play his own game.

Levine said that in winning both the John Morrissey Stakes at Saratoga and the General Douglas MacArthur Handicap at Belmont, Clever Electrician was the one who had to put pressure on and take first run at the lone speed horse in the field. In the Morrissey, it was Uncle Cammie; in the MacArthur, it was Top Shoter. Saturday, both of those horses are in the field, as is Friendly Island, creating perhaps a three-ply speed duel that Clever Electrician can stalk.

"This time there are three real speedballs, so hopefully I don't have to use myself and take myself out of my game like the last two times, when I had to pick up the chase," Levine said.

Levine said Clever Electrician has gotten good in his 5-year-old year because he has learned to relax. "Before, we used to send him," Levine said.

Levine's only concern is that Clever Electrician may be better at 6 1/2 or seven furlongs than he is at six, the Hudson distance. Also, Clever Electrician drew the 2-hole, in between Friendly Island and Uncle Cammie. Ramon Dominguez rides.

ran down Top Shoter in the seven-furlong MacArthur, in which Top Shoter had the lead and the rail on a day when speed was good and the rail was golden. Top Shoter should appreciate the cutback to six furlongs, a distance at which he is 5 for 11.

"I think six furlongs should be an edge, but the other horse [Clever Electrician] is pretty sharp right now," said Charlton Baker, the owner-trainer of Top Shoter.

Top Shoter drew the outside in the eight-horse field and will be reunited with his Finger Lakes-based rider Paul Nicol.

John Velazquez, who rode Top Shoter last time, rides Friendly Island, who is 3 for 3 at six furlongs, including an entry-level allowance score in which he dead-heated for win with My Poker Player. That horse came back to win the Maryland Million Sprint.

After finishing second in the Morrissey, Uncle Cammie came back to beat open-company allowance foes at The Meadowlands.

Papua will benefit from a fast pace and the return to New York-bred company. Last Saturday, he finished fourth against Mike's Classic in an open company allowance race.