03/22/2006 12:00AM

Fairmount Park track report


Don Manuel stamped himself as the fastest horse at Fairmount Park, at least up to two furlongs, when he won the $11,328 Quick Step allowance last Friday. Making his first start since being claimed for $8,000 last September by trainer John Witthauer, Don Manuel broke on top and cruised to a 2 1/4-length victory, tying the track record of 20.80 seconds. The victory capped a three-win evening for jockey Rafael Hernandez.

* Bettors tying their fortunes to the success of perennial leading trainer Ralph Martinez didn't cash many tickets last weekend. After winning four races opening day, Martinez won a total of two races Friday and Saturday. He was winless on Tuesday's abbreviated card.

One of Martinez's winners, however, paid surprisingly well. Youcanhearmenow, who had not finished closer than 6 1/2 lengths to the winner since winning his maiden, won Saturday's finale and paid $13.20. It was the first start for Youcanhearmenow since he joined the Martinez barn.

* Friday's featured $9,600 optional claimer features the return of Goofy C., Moe B Dick, and Little More, all winners of high-end allowances at Fairmount last year. The horse to beat, however, may be Peace and Joy, a fast breaker who should enjoy shortening up to 5 1/2 furlongs.

* Racing was canceled after two races Tuesday because of unsafe track conditions. The track was rated sloppy following recent snowfall.