07/06/2006 11:00PM

Extra Bend on a roll into Lamplighter


OCEANPORT, N.J. - Trainer Scott Volk considers himself fortunate that he didn't have any horses entered during the Thursday and Friday shutdown at Monmouth Park.

"What happened was a shame," said Volk. "I was lucky."

Volk hopes that his luck holds through Sunday and the $60,000 Lamplighter Stakes for 3-year-olds at one mile on the turf. He sends out Extra Bend, a very productive claim who bids for a second straight stakes victory.

Volk took the gelding Extra Bend from Richard Dutrow Jr.'s barn for $50,000 on March 16 at Aqueduct and has run him twice, both in stakes.

made a strong move to grab the lead in the Woodlawn Stakes on the grass at Pimlico on May 6. He wound up second, beaten three-quarters of length by Rock Lobster, who used the victory as a springboard to the $1 million Colonial Turf Cup.

Volk set a more modest goal for Extra Bend, taking him back to the main track for Monmouth's Spend a Buck Stakes on May 29. Extra Bend outdueled Electrify by a neck to earn his first stakes victory.

His future looks green, as in turf. Volk believes Extra Bend is better on the grass and has set the $100,000 Jersey Derby here on Aug. 6 as the long-range goal.

Since the Spend a Buck, Extra Bend has had three maintenance works, the last two at five furlongs. "He doesn't work very fast," Volk said. "It's like he's got a microchip in him; he only goes one speed. He goes 1:02 or 1:03. That's it. He's plenty fit."

Extra Bend comes from off the pace and it looks like Smart Enough and Silver Prospector will be strong speed targets to chase after.

is certainly quick enough, as he demonstrated by winning the Beau Genius Handicap at Churchill Downs as the 3-5 favorite. Stamina will be the main concern as he puts a three-race win streak on the line in his first race beyond five furlongs.

Smart Enough is also on the also-eligible list for the $50,000 Mo Bay Stakes at furlongs on the grass Saturday at Delaware Park.

scored pacesetting wins in his last two races, both allowance routes, one on the turf at the Meadowlands and the other on the main track here.

Also on Sunday, Emerald Earrings looks tough in the $65,000 Monmouth Beach Stakes for fillies and mares at one mile and 70 yards. The winner of Monmouth's West Long Branch Stakes last out, Emerald Earrings is cross-entered in the $65,000 Missy's Mirage Stakes Saturday at Belmont Park.