07/12/2005 11:00PM

Fairmount Park track report


For some stables - as with baseball's postseason - the top of the rotation is king, especially when the stakes are at their highest.

Such logic is not lost on Leroy Hellman. A veteran trainer at Fairmount Park, Hellman ranks seventh in wins with 21 this meet and is third in earnings with $213,846. The reason: a fearsome foursome that includes the track's top older female in horse of the year candidate Lady Riss and two of the track's best males, Matched and Canyon de Oro. Denoun N Deverb, a 3-year-old filly, rounds out the quartet.

Lady Riss, a 4-year-old, has won 8 of 11 races and has yet to finish out of the money in her career at Fairmount. She scored a 5 1/2-length victory in last Saturday's one-mile Bungalow Stakes. Entered to run against the boys in the $40,000 Pete Condellone Stakes on July 23, Lady Riss has earnings of $66,660 at Fairmount this year and seems a shoo-in to eclipse the track's post-Fairmount Derby record of $83,320, set in 2002 by Dentons Ruby. The Fairmount Derby was a $150,000 stakes race that ceased running after 1995.

"Right now, you can't even run with her," said Hellman. "We finally got her muscle enzymes under control, and she's turned into a different horse."

Lucky for Lady Riss, she won't be matched against her male stablemates in the Condellone. Canyon de Oro and Matched are both 6-year-old horses who consistently post Beyer Speed Figures in the 80's and 90's - rarefied air at Fairmount.

Canyon de Oro has been rehabilitating in an equine swimming pool since suffering a tear in his suspensory May 10 at Indiana Downs, where he was narrowly bested in a stretch duel on turf by 2003 Breeders' Cup Sprint participant Private Horde.

Hellman said he expects Canyon de Oro to be back racing by month's end, which could set him up for a prospective duel with Matched in the $50,000 Circle C Classic at Fairmount on Aug. 6.