02/04/2003 1:00AM

Feel-good 'Story' since surgery


HALLANDALE BEACH, Fla. - She needed arthroscopic surgery to take a chip out of her right front ankle, and since returning, she has won two straight races. She is in the best form of her career.

Trained by Paul McGee, And Thats My Story, is coming off the fastest win of her career. She seeks her third consecutive victory when she faces seven rivals, including an entry trained by Mark Shuman, in Thursday's featured ninth race at Gulfstream Park.

Thursday's feature, a 6 1/2-furlong race for older fillies and mares, is for nonwinners-of-three allowance runners, or horses eligible to be claimed for $75,000. The field is evenly divided, with four entered for a tag, including both halves of the Shuman entry, Askara and Multiplicity.

And Thats My Story's career was interrupted last summer. After winning a maiden race at Churchill Downs, she faced first-level allowance runners, but faded badly and finished 10th of 12. She came out of that race with the ankle chip, and got a 4 1/2-month vacation.

In her first start back, And Thats My Story beat first-level allowance runners on a sloppy track at Churchill Downs. And then here at Gulfstream on Jan. 9, she stepped up and beat second-level allowance runners, with jockey Pat Day carving out a half-length victory while earning a career-best Beyer Speed Figure of 90.

"She won a little easier than it looked," McGee said Tuesday morning. "It was a patented Pat Day win, with the stick down. Her last race was a good effort, and she's done real good since that race. She's really thriving down here. She's eating as good as I've known her to eat. She's fast, and speed is a good thing, especially at Gulfstream."

Forum Search comes off a victory here Jan. 15 against $50,000 claimers. She also has early speed, but And Thats My Story seems to possess more natural speed.

Askara finished second to Forum Search last time out. She has been settling for minor awards of late and has lost nine straight since her last victory in July 2001.

Multiplicity was just claimed by Shuman and owner Mark Gill for $75,000 on Jan. 12. She is turning back to a sprint in search of her first victory in more than one year.

- Also of interest on Thursday's card is the second career start of Consistency, a 4-year-old Unbridled colt who was a nine-length winner against maidens in his debut on Jan. 8 for trainer Tom Proctor. Consistency will be a heavy favorite in the fifth race, going seven furlongs.

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