08/19/2004 11:00PM

Forty Moves drops to likely win spot

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OCEANPORT, N.J. - Forty Moves finds the right spot for her second Monmouth Park stakes win of the year in the $60,000 Miss Woodford on Sunday.

The six-furlong race for 3-year-old fillies attracted a field of six.

Forty Moves, trained by Mark Hennig, has two wins and a third in her last three outings while earning consistent Beyer Speed Figures ranging from 82 to 84.

The one loss came in the off-the-turf Crank It Up Stakes, in which Forty Moves had the misfortune to square off against Forest Music.

There was no denying odd-on favorite Forest Music that afternoon as she rolled to a front-running victory in the slop for her second straight stakes win.

Forest Music arrived fresh from a victory in the Grade 3 Miss Preakness Stakes and was bound for bigger and better things.

Following the five-furlong Crank It Up, Forest Music stepped up to run third in a pair of Grade 1 stakes, the Prioress at Belmont Park and the Test at Saratoga.

The ability of Forest Music to make a competitive leap into the Grade 1 level enhanced Forty Moves's credentials.

"The five-eighths of a mile isn't her best deal," said Robby Rader, Hennig's Monmouth trainer, of the Crank It Up experience. "We felt the race would come off the turf. We decided to take a chance and she wound up closing at the end behind a very nice filly."

This looks like a very promising spot for Forty Moves to score her first stakes win.

Jose Velez Jr., Hennig's regular Monmouth rider, will be aboard.

Paddy's Daisy has surface edge

The $55,000 Junior Champion for 2-year-old fillies at one mile on Sunday gives many of the youngsters their first taste of turf action.

That doesn't make the handicapper's mission any easier. But a good starting point is fillies who have already run on the grass.

That leads one immediately to Paddy's Daisy, from the Todd Pletcher barn.

She made her debut at Belmont at 5 1/2 furlongs on the main track in July and ran last.

Pletcher then aimed her for the turf with a pair of grass works. Paddy's Daisy was an entirely different horse in her next start, on the turf. She won her maiden by five lengths going 1 1/16 miles. Paddy's Daisy raised her Beyer Figure from 25 to 64 in the process, and that dramatic improvement makes her a major contender in this spot.

Skipping Wild also owns a grass win, gained in her debut at Colonial Downs. She followed that with a sixth-place finish in the off-the-turf Tippett Stakes at Colonial.

Skipping Wild has to answer the distance question as both of her starts were 5 1/2-furlong efforts.

Heartful Hero also won her maiden in a Colonial turf sprint.

Northern Babe, who earned a 63 Beyer with her Tippett victory, makes her first route and turf start. She was forced to steady in the stretch of Monmouth's Colleen Stakes and finished 20 1/2 lengths behind the winner, Im a Dixie Girl.

* In a jockey agent shuffle, Danny Nied picked up the book of Jose C. Ferrer, the runner-up in the standings last summer at Monmouth, while also retaining Eddie King. Nied parted company with Dale Beckner.