06/25/2003 11:00PM

'Freedom' in appropriate spot


Trainer Jamie Woodington tries to capture a second New Jersey-bred stakes race in less than a week when she saddles American Freedom in Saturday's $50,000 Lincroft Handicap on the Molly Pitcher undercard at Monmouth Park.

Woodington won the $50,000 Santa Lalomia Handicap with Willie's Luv Sunday.

Like Willie's Luv, American Freedom will be looking for a repeat in a state bred stakes race.

American Freedom will be the one to beat in the one-mile race on turf. Jose Velez Jr. will ride.

"He has his regular rider back and he's back on grass," Woodington said. "He should be one happy camper."

American Freedom, like most Monmouth turf horses, has been compromised by the wet weather on the Jersey Shore. He has run twice this meet and wound up on a wet main track both times. He picked up a pair of thirds against open allowance company.

"He is a much better horse on grass," Woodington said. "As long as we're on the turf, he'll be at his best."

American Freedom, a 5-year-old gelded son of Marquetry, won four of eight starts last season, including grass wins in the Lincroft and the John Henry Stakes at the Meadowlands.

Other major contenders in the 14-horse field include Sea of Tranquility, winner of the New Jersey Breeders' Handicap last year; Jersey Giant who took the six-furlong John J. Reilly Handicap on opening day, and the entry of River Power and Vow from leading owner Michael Gill.

Jackson Run, Whopaho, Upturn, Lyle Lovesit, Our Wildcat, John Little, Catechol, Beknown to Me, and Marine round out the field.

Wild Snitch tries Grade 1 at Belmont

Wild Snitch, an impressive allowance winner in her season debut June 11, will take a major step up the class ladder in the Grade 1, $200,000 Prioress Stakes at Belmont Park July 4.

The 3-year-old filly tuned up for the challenge with a 59-second, five-furlong drill Wednesday morning.

"She galloped out six furlongs in 1:12," trainer Ben Perkins Jr said. "It was just what we were looking for. Now it's on to Belmont."

Perkins will send the Sorority Stakes winner to New York one week early.

"That's a different kind of track," Perkins said. "I want her to get used to it before the race."

Molly Pitcher televised

The Molly Pitcher will be part of the National Thoroughbred Racing Association's Summer Pick 3 series which covers three stakes races at three different tracks. The Molly Pitcher, with a 5:44 p.m. post time, will conclude the wager following the Mother Goose Stakes at Belmont Park and the Arlington Classic at Arlington Park.

The three races can be seen on CBS-TV starting at 5 p.m. It will be the first television coverage, local or national, of a Monmouth race this season.