04/19/2006 11:00PM

Fort Marcy may profit from rain


OZONE PARK, N.Y. - Tom Albertrani and Allen Jerkens may be the only trainers with horses entered in Saturday's $100,000 Fort Marcy Handicap who won't be glued to the Weather Channel on Saturday morning.

Albertrani has entered Sabre D'Argent, who will run in the Fort Marcy whether the Grade 3 race stays on the turf at 1 1/16 miles as scheduled or is moved to the dirt and run at a one-turn mile. Jerkens has entered Ecclesiastic for the turf and will run Ecclesiastic and Kennel Up if the race is moved to the dirt.

After that, the field is dependent on the surface on which it is run. On turf, the field includes Big Booster, Foreverness, Pa Pa Da, and Charimount. The race may better on dirt with the likes of Bahama John, Bailero, Happy Hunting and Watchmon.

is a 6-year-old son of Kris S. who has been plagued by injuries throughout his career. As a 3-year-old, he won the Group 3 Rose of Lancaster Stakes in Great Britain on turf, but has run only three times since.

Two of those races came for Albertrani this winter in Florida. Sabre D'Argent won an off-the-turf allowance race at Tampa Bay Downs on Feb. 4, then finished fifth, beaten only five lengths, in the Grade 3 Pan American Handicap at 1 1/2 miles on turf at Gulfstream.

"He was too much on the muscle to go a mile and a half," Albertrani said of the Pan Am. "It's hard to win going a mile and a half when you're pulling that hard."

The allowance race at Tampa was run on a wet-fast track, giving Albertrani confidence that if the track is wet Saturday "he'd have no problem handling it."

If on turf, the Ft. Marcy lacks a standout. is better when there is give in the ground. He was beaten less than two lengths by Better Talk Now in this race last year.

On dirt, Bahama John and Watchmon deserve strong consideration. Bahama John is 3 for 5 over Aqueduct's main track, including an eight-length win in the mud last April in which he earned a Beyer Speed Figure of 102. Watchmon won the Grade 3 Jamaica last October when it was rained off to the dirt.