03/14/2005 12:00AM

Exciting Metro and Taint So in softer spot


HALLANDALE BEACH, Fla. - There is no Silver Wagon, Value Plus, or Kelly's Landing in Wednesday's $35,000 allowance feature at Gulfstream Park, which is good news to the connections of Exciting Metro and Taint So, who will find the competition more to their liking and abilities.

The six-furlong dash is the richest race on a 10-race card that also includes the first five-furlong turf race here this winter.

Last time out, in a Feb. 6 allowance here, contested the pace to the final turn, where he was headed by Value Plus and then squeezed and steadied between horses turning for home. He ended up finishing sixth, 7 1/2 lengths behind Grade 1 winner Silver Wagon. Value Plus, runner-up in the Grade 1 Florida Derby at 3, held on to finish second, while Kelly's Landing finished third. Kelly's Landing then indicated how good that race was, returning to win a similarly conditioned allowance dash by 3 1/2 lengths less than three weeks later.

"My horse has caught some salty fields on a few occasions," said Dale Romans, who trains Exciting Metro for owner Frank Jones Jr. "He's actually trained like a better horse than he's shown to be thus far in the afternoon, but he's come up with a real big race from time to time, and hopefully he'll be able to do it again on Wednesday."

Exciting Metro earned an 89 Beyer Speed Figure in winning his finale as a 3-year-old at Churchill Downs on Oct. 31.

ducked in and hit the side of his gate stall at the break before finishing seventh, 2 1/4 lengths behind Exciting Metro, when the two met in the Feb. 6 race. The start was Taint So's first in nearly four months. A lightly raced son of Silver Deputy, Taint So - like Exciting Metro - also once earned an 89 Beyer, in winning his entry-level allowance condition by two lengths over a sloppy track at Saratoga in August.

Edgar Prado, who rode Taint So in his last start, will switch off him to ride Capac for trainer Nick Zito in Wednesday's headliner. A 4-year-old son of Deputy Minister, Capac showed much promise late at 2 and early in his 3-year-old campaign, when posting back-to-back easy victories in Kentucky and Maryland. But he has failed to reproduce that kind of form in two starts following a nine-month layoff.

The Zito barn has been on a roll lately, and Capac shows a steady string of sharp works at Palm Meadows, including a bullet half-mile in 48 seconds on Feb. 26.

Let's Coast, Stalkerazzi, John's Mecke, and Ballistic Missile round out the lineup.