06/29/2006 12:00AM

Expect surprise at Jersey Shore


NEW YORK - The CashCall Mile Invitational heads a stakes tripleheader Saturday at Hollywood Park, while the Suburban Handicap and the Mother Goose Stakes share top billing at Belmont Park. In the heartland, there is the Prairie Meadows Cornhusker Breeders' Cup Handicap and the Firecracker BC at Churchill Downs.

Jersey Shore BC

This feature at Monmouth Park attracted a field of only six, but it is an intriguing betting race as the two favorites, Henny Hughes and Keyed Entry, appear vulnerable. Henny Hughes, who wintered in Dubai, was one of the best 2-year-olds in the nation last year, but has not raced since his game second in the BC Juvenile. Although he was successful in his career debut, which suggests he can win off workouts, he meets talented opponents Saturday, and will have to be very sharp in his return, especially breaking from the rail. Keyed Entry upset First Samurai in the Hutcheson Stakes over the winter. But his last three starts were around two turns, and his workouts since his last-place finish in the Kentucky Derby haven't been fast, which makes me wonder if his speed hasn't been dulled.

I like Fabulous Strike, who led the best 3-year-old sprinters in the country to deep stretch last time out in the seven-furlong Woody Stephens BC before weakening late to finish fourth. This race is at six furlongs, and the cut back in distance should suit Fabulous Strike nicely. He won three straight before the Woody Stephens at three different tracks, and is the best of the pace players here.

Cornhusker BC Handicap

In an eclectic field full of horses from various parts of the country, Mayan King is the play. Mayan King comes into this off a strong overnight win at Belmont Park in which he posted a legitimately fast final time, good for a career-best 105 Beyer, which matches the best anyone in this field has been able to do lately. With only six career starts, Mayan King has a license to improve even more, and he should be involved right from the start in a field that lacks a lot of serious early speed.

I certainly respect Master Command, who ran by far the best race of his career last time out in a game victory in the Schaefer Handicap on the Preakness undercard. Being trained by Todd Pletcher, however, he figures to be a considerably shorter price than Mayan King.

Good Reward should be used in exotics if he is as big a price as I suspect. Good Reward has kept top company on turf, and is more favorably set up to go from turf to dirt than the last two times he attempted the switch, when he was compromised by a long ship off a layoff, and then caught a sloppy track.

CashCall Invitational

Thanks to the presence of Cambiocorsa, Dancing Edie, and Flying Glitter, this might actually be an important turf stakes with a fast early pace, an increasing rarity in today's game. If that indeed proves to be the case, it will help Shining Energy, who made the recent Gamely BC her second straight off-the-pace victory. But I think Shining Energy has capitalized on an unusually soft group of Southern California turf females, and I'm going with Luas Line.

Although Luas Line lost form in her second and third U.S. starts last fall, she was very good winning the Garden City BC in her first U.S. start, coming home in rapid final fractions to beat two quality stakes fillies in Asi Siempre and My Typhoon. Luas Line raced twice in Europe last month, and was not disgraced when fifth in a Group 2 event at Ascot less than two weeks ago. I'm betting she will be set for her best effort first start off the plane, just as she was when she won the Garden City.


Prairie Meadows: Cornhusker B.C. Handicap
3 and up, 1 1/8 miles

Approximate post: Eastern-11:13 p.m., Central-10:13 p.m., Mountain-9:13 p.m., Pacific-8:13 p.m.; Altoona, Ia., forecast: Chance of thunderstorms, 82¦

1Gouldings Green103102988-1
2Real Dandy1011018012-1
3Siphon City9998908-1
4Three Hour Nap10293978-1
6Wayzata Bay91929120-1
7Sur Sandpit83908830-1
9Master Command10595893-1
11Alumni Hall97102767-2
12Mayan King105929015-1
13Good Reward1021039910-1

Track morning line odds

Monmouth: Jersey Shore B.C. Stakes
3-year-olds, 6 furlongs

Approximate post: Eastern-4:52 p.m., Central-3:52 p.m., Mountain-2:52 p.m., Pacific-1:52 p.m.; Oceanport, N. J., forecast: Sunny, 81¦

1Henny Hughes10298872-1
2Fabulous Strike97102957-2
3Changing Weather9185906-1
4Keyed Entry51961055-2
5He's Got Grit8986965-1
6Saint Daimon6397959-2

Track morning line odds

Hollywood Park: Cash Call Invitational
Fillies and mares, 3 and up, 1 mile, turf

Approximate post: E-5:43 p.m., C-4:43 p.m., M-3:43 p.m., P-2:43 p.m.; Inglewood, Ca., forecast: Sunny, 86¦

3Shining Energy9593946-1
4Dancing Edie91908910-1
5Sweet Talker9692985-2
6Flying Glitter92866920-1
7Luas Linen/an/a759-2
8Hollywood Story901057520-1
9Dance in the Moodn/an/an/a3-1

Odds by Art Gropper