07/29/2005 12:00AM

Gallows has key factors


Pedigree may be more important than past performance in Sunday's $60,000 Chenery Stakes, a 5 1/2-furlong turf sprint for 2-year-olds at Colonial Downs.

Although the race drew 14 entries, including an uncoupled pair of colts from Todd Pletcher's stable, only four of the horses have previously raced on grass.

Of those who have tried the turf, one of Pletcher's horses, Black Snake, and Country Cousin, who ran one-two in a one-mile maiden race at Colonial four weeks ago, look the most appealing.

Black Snake, a $260,000 purchase as a yearling at Keeneland last September, was the beaten favorite in two dirt sprints to begin his career before finding his niche when stretched out on the turf.

Country Cousin finished three-quarters of a length behind Black Snake in his career debut and will be fitted with blinkers by trainer Hamilton Smith for the Chenery.

Pletcher's other entrant, Tompest, is a son of the French mare Kistena, a Group 1 winner in France.

Among the others who have yet to race on grass, the most intriguing are Rock Lobster, Cradle Robber, and Gallows.

Rock Lobster has been working steadily on the turf at trainer Michael Dickinson's farm for his career debut. Rock Lobster's second dam, Euromill, produced Bartok, a stakes winner at 2 in Ireland. As a grandsire of Blushing Groom, Rock Lobster is thus well bred for grass.

Cradle Robber, in the barn of notable turf trainer H. Graham Motion, has some turf blood in his background. His half-sister, Alycopa, was a three-time winner on turf at Monmouth Park, though not at the stakes level.

Gallows, idle since winning his maiden at Mountaineer in early May, also boasts good bloodlines and a trainer with a good turf reputation. Gallows, a grandsire of Roberto, descends on his female family side from Filipina, the dam of Argentine champions Telescopic, Taba, and Telefonico.

Eric Reed, who trains Gallows, shows a 36 percent hit rate with a sensational $7.93 return on investment for his first-time turf starters.