08/15/2002 11:00PM

Four stakes under Iselin


OCEANPORT, N.J. - Astrid was one of the top 3-year-old fillies on the grounds last year. Local players get to see whether she has developed into a quality 4-year-old when she makes her belated meet debut in the $65,000 Regret Stakes for fillies and mares at Monmouth Sunday.

The six-furlong Regret headlines the Grade 2 Iselin Handicap undercard, which also features three other stakes races - the Rumson Stakes, Post Deb Stakes, and Continental Mile.

Astrid has been sidelined since running fifth in a Gulfstream Park allowance race Feb. 14, but has been training very well leading up to her first start of the meet. While trainer John Dowd said he planned on running her in a three-other-than allowance to kick off her late-summer campaign, that allowance condition has not filled in recent weeks.

"She's a hard-knocking mare," said Dowd, who trains Astrid for Bobby Hurley of Devil Eleven Stable. "She's been training well and that's a good sign."

Astrid had a great meet last year, winning an allowance race and then capturing the $50,000 Serena's Song Stakes. She ran fourth in the Grade 2 Monmouth Oaks before being laid up for the year. Carlos Cruz takes the call from post two.

Look of the Lynx, City Fair, A.P. Andie, Mary's Nickle, True Rose, To Marquet, and Tugger complete the field.

Calends resurfaces in Rumson

Calends had been slated to start in the Grade 3 Jersey Shore Breeders' Cup July 4, but after scratching for an easier spot in an allowance race at Delaware, he finally makes his first Monmouth start in the $65,000 Rumson Stakes for 3-year-olds at six furlongs.

Calends, trained by Penn National-based Todd Beattie, is a highly talented sprinter and heads a competitive field of seven. In only five career starts, Calends has three wins and hasn't been out of the money. With Roberto Alvarado aboard, Calends will surely be gunning to the lead. He enters the Rumson off a front-running win in a two-other-than allowance at Delaware Aug. 7.

It's a Monster should vie with Calends for favoritism. A stakes winner two starts back in the Oh Say Stakes at Delaware June 10, It's a Monster has four sprinting victories in his career. He has been freshened up for this race by trainer Ben Perkins Jr. since running third in the Grade 3 Jersey Shore Breeders' Cup, a race that saw the 1-2 finishers Boston Common and Listen Here return to reverse that order in the Amsterdam at Saratoga.

Lunar Bounty, trained by Ronny Werner, won the Grade 2 Bashford Manor last year, but it took him five more starts before returning to the winner's circle in the Anderson Fowler Stakes on the turf here July 20. A return to his top main-track form will make him tough.

Our Wildcat, Storm Commander, Hudson Street, and Outstander complete the field.

Full field for Post Deb

Once Around has been the top 3-year-old grass filly stabled here this summer, but will have to defeat 11 others in a full field of 3-year-old fillies in the $65,000 Post Deb Stakes to retain that title.

Once Around, trained by Vicki Oliver, won the Revidere Stakes May 25 and then was given over a month off before starting in the Twin Lights Stakes July 6. She ran second that day to the acclaimed Elliott Walden-trained Bells for Marlin and has once again been given ample time before the Post Deb, run at 1 1/16 miles.

Weepnomoremylady, Sally's Forum, and Lojo are all fillies on the rise and should all be very competitive in the Post Deb. Weepnomoremylady, third in the Twin Lights, and Sally's Forum, fifth in that race, both won separate divisions of an entry-level allowance race on July 28. Sally's Forum went to the lead and never relinquished it for an easy win, two seconds faster than Weepnomoremylady's hard-fought victory later that day. Jockey Carlos Cruz rode both to victory, but takes the call on Once Around.

Lojo, trained by Tim Hills, is undefeated on the turf in two starts here. She won her first turf start June 21, and first time around two turns, from right off the pace, and then returned July 14, coming from the clouds in an allowance victory. Jose Ferrer retains the mount.

Lismore Knight picks up Bailey

A wide-open field of 12 2-year-olds contest the first juvenile grass stakes of the meet, the $50,000 Continental Mile Stakes.

Hailing from the barn of Todd Pletcher, Lismore Knight seems like the one to beat off a nine-length maiden turf victory at Belmont July 20. A son of Woodman, Lismore Knight receives the services of Jerry Bailey, who will be in to ride Include in the Iselin Handicap.

My Boy Kyle is undefeated in two career grass starts for trainer John Salzman, winning his two starts at Colonial Downs by a combined 13 1/2 lengths. He drew away to win the Chenery Stakes in his last start July 23 and should have no trouble stretching out to one mile.