06/11/2006 11:00PM

Five turf races on carryover card


ELMONT, N.Y. - After a wet week that forced 19 consecutive races to be rained off the turf, the forecast for the upcoming week is favorable enough to allow plenty of grass racing at Belmont Park.

After being labeled yielding on Saturday, Belmont's turf courses were upgraded to firm by Sunday. And with only a passing shower forecast early this week, the five turf races scheduled for Wednesday - a card that features a pick six carryover of $44,907 - should be run as scheduled. The best of the quintet is a third-level allowance race at 1 1/16 miles over the Widener Turf Course. The $50,000 race, which also carries an optional claiming price of $100,000, drew a field of nine older horses.

, owned by Godolphin Racing, dominated a second-level allowance field here on May 25, taking advantage of strong early fractions to rally from 12 lengths back to win by three lengths. He covered 1 1/16 miles in 1:40.05 and earned a Beyer Speed Figure of 102.

"I'm really happy with the way he took the race. He ran well and he's come back well," said Rick Mettee, who oversees Godolphin's New York stable. "There's nowhere near the pace there was last time, but I'm confident he'll run another good race. Like most turf horses, he's better with something to run at, but he's pretty adaptable."

Garrett Gomez will ride Ashkal Way from the rail.

Dave and Golden Commander, the 1-2 finishers from the Kingston Handicap for New York-breds last month, are major players in this field. Dave, a 5-year-old son of Ends Well, came charging down the center of the course to win the Kingston by one length. On Monday, Dave blew out three furlongs in 36.65 seconds over the Belmont main track.

"He came out of the race great, better than he went in," said Robin Smullen, assistant to trainer Barclay Tagg. "He put on weight, looks good. He may be a better horse than we're giving him credit for."

Dave, who will be ridden by Javier Castellano from post 2, picks up seven pounds from his last race.

Golden Commander, making his first start in 10 months after suffering a tendon injury, ran extremely well to be second in the Kingston. Golden Commander has worked twice over the turf course since. With Edgar Prado committed to riding Night Chapter for Bobby Frankel, Kent Desormeaux has picked up the mount on Golden Commander.

Classic Campaign, fourth in his first start of the year, and L'Oiseau d'Argent, a horse who prefers firm footing, loom the speed of the race.