06/04/2003 11:00PM

A familiar spot for Rudirudy


The heading "been there, done that" is quite appropriate for veteran turf sprint specialists Rudirudy and Manofglory, both of whom are quite familiar with the Wolf Hill Stakes at Monmouth Park.

If he starts on Saturday, the 8-year-old Rudirudy will be making his fourth straight appearance in the $50,000 Wolf Hill. The 6-year-old gelding Manofglory is a relative newcomer - this will be just his second start in the five-furlong race.

Regardless of whether the stakes remains on the turf course or is transferred to the main track because of all the heavy rain that pounded the Jersey Shore earlier in the week, Rudirudy must be considered dangerous.

He won the Wolf Hill over a sloppy main track in 2001 and finished second, after contesting a wicked early pace, when the race was run over good turf last year. Three years ago, Rudirudy was eighth.

Rudirudy is not only durable, having run 57 times during his career, he's also rugged enough to race on short rest. If trainer Gaston Sandoval deems him fit to go Saturday, Rudirudy will be making his third start in three weeks.

So far this season, however, Rudirudy appears to have lost a step or two. He was outrun in the Ben Cohen over a sloppy track at Pimlico on May 24, and also failed to display his usual early speed when he finished sixth of nine in last weekend's Turf Monster Handicap over soft turf at Philadelphia Park.

Manofglory, trained by Ben Perkins Jr., comes into the Wolf Hill off a long layoff, just as he did last season when he finished fourth after dueling early with Rudirudy through fractions of 21 and 43.80 seconds.

In his best race last year, Manofglory won the five-furlong Nureyev over a yielding surface at Keeneland, earning a career-best 101 Beyer Speed Figure. He has not raced since finishing off the board in a dirt sprint at Laurel last November.

Seattle Groove looked like a winner in last week's Turf Monster when he opened up a four-length lead with a furlong remaining, only to fade late to finish third behind the fast-closing Testify.

A hot, contested pace could set up things for Jeb's Wild. A 4-year-old trained by Tim Hills, Jeb's Wild's only previous race at the distance came when he rallied from fifth to miss by a length to Bop, earning a career-high 102 Beyer, in the Yankee Affair at Gulfstream Park.

If the race comes off the turf, trainer Mark Shuman has two accomplished sprinters in Boston Brat and Native Heir.