05/16/2002 11:00PM

Forty One Carats is anybody's race


MIAMI - When nominations were released for Sunday's $35,000 Forty One Carats Stakes it appeared the seven-furlong race would be just another easy payday for division leader Fappie's Notebook, who defeated a similar group as the odds-on favorite in the Ponche Handicap three week ago. But when trainer Manny Tortora opted to enter Fappie's Notebook in Saturday's Carterista Handicap on the turf instead, the Forty One Carats suddenly became anybody's race.

A field of seven older horses, led by co-highweights Danaher Steve and Ballado's Devil, are entered in the Forty One Carats. Handsome Smile, High Ideal, Chow Down, Callie and Jake, and Thrillin Discovery round out the starting lineup.

Danaher Steve turned in the race of his life to finish second, beaten less than a length by Fappie's Notebook in the Ponche. With jockey Gary Bain aboard for the first time, Danaher Steve contested all the pace before succumbing to the winner in the final strides.

* Trainer Manny Tortora had plenty to celebrate after Four Pennies dominated five other 3-year-old fillies to win Friday's $35,000 Cut the Charm Stakes. The lightly raced but steadily improving Four Pennies disposed of an early challenge from 4-5 favorite Stormy Frolic before drawing off to a convincing nine-length victory. It was the third win in the last four starts for Four Pennies, a daughter of Gulch who is owned by George Steinbrenner's Kinsman Stable.

* Cornelio Velasquez won 4 of 9 races Friday to lengthen his lead in the jockey standings over Omar Camejo and Abel Castellano Jr.