03/10/2004 12:00AM

'Everything' can handle distance

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HALLANDALE BEACH, Fla. - Trainer Dale Romans had nothing to lose when he ran Everything to Gain in the off-the-turf, Grade 3 Canadian Turf Handicap here in January. If Everything to Gain handled the slop, it could open some new doors. If not, there would always be another grass race.

Everything to Gain didn't handle the slop too well, yet still managed to finish third, get a graded-stakes placing, and earn $11,000. Friday, Everything to Gain returns to the turf in the fourth-level allowance race at Gulfstream Park.

ended his 4-year-old season with a strong allowance win at Churchill Downs in November, and then picked up where he left off with a powerful, off-the-pace score here Jan. 10. Those races were at one mile, but Everything to Gain is 2 for 3 at nine furlongs, the distance of Friday's race.

"It was a big race [Jan. 10], and his race in Kentucky was a big race," said Romans, who is winning at a 37-percent clip. "I think he's on the right track, and I think he'll do whatever Jerry [Bailey] wants him to do. I don't think there's any limitation in distance."

Bailey sticks with Everything to Gain over He's Crafty, a Bill Mott-trained horse who has been ridden by Bailey in five of his last six starts. He's Crafty made a successful 4-year-old debut last January over this course, winning an entry-level allowance race by 5 1/4 lengths.

hasn't run since last Oct. 3, when he finished second behind Request for Parole in a classified allowance race. Request for Parole won the Mac Diarmida Handicap on Jan. 25.

Although He's Crafty won at nine furlongs off a layoff last year, trainer Bill Mott said he is concerned about trying to do it again this year.

"It might not have been as tough a spot as this," Mott said. "It's stretching him a bit, especially for the first time out. Sometimes you can't be choosy where you run."

Pat Day will ride He's Crafty, a front-runner who may have to sit behind the speedy Last Stand early.

Like He's Crafty, Union Place began his 2003 campaign with an allowance win at Gulfstream. He went way off form the rest of the year, however, losing his next six starts.

Full Flow took advantage of a hot pace to run down heavy favorite Host in a classified allowance race here Feb. 23. Full Flow is one of three horses entered in here for the optional claiming tag of $80,000.