05/26/2003 12:00AM

Garnered outduels Speightstown in mud


ELMONT, N.Y. - Garnered prevailed in a seven-furlong duel with Speightstown to take Monday's $112,100 Jaipur Handicap by 1 1/4 lengths at sloppy Belmont Park. It was a half-length back to Whitewaterspritzer in third.

The Jaipur, carded as a Grade 3 race at seven furlongs on turf, was moved to the sloppy main track and downgraded to a listed race. Seven horses were scratched, leaving a field of five.

But, this was a two-horse heat from the outset as Garnered ($4.20), under Victor Carrero, and Speightstown, under John Velazquez, hooked up leaving the gate and battled heads apart through fractions of 21.64 seconds, 43.91, and 1:09.29. Despite Carrero losing his whip inside the eighth pole, Garnered pulled away late for the victory, covering the distance in 1:23.49.

Trainer Allen Jerkens was only planning to run if the turf was firm or if the race came off the grass. Garnered's only bad race last year came on a muddy track, but Jerkens said the horse wasn't as sound then as he is now.

Jerkens said he would probably not run Garnered back in the $250,000 True North Handicap here on Belmont Stakes Day.