08/17/2004 11:00PM

Ghostzapper has foes on edge


OCEANPORT, N.J. - As of Wednesday, Roaring Fever was on the fence for Saturday's Grade 3, $200,000 Philip H. Iselin Breeders' Cup Handicap at Monmouth Park, and Zoffinger was closer to joining the field.

The Iselin lineup remained in flux, as trainers decided whether they wanted to challenge Ghost-zapper in the 1 1/8-mile race.

Trained by Bobby Frankel, Ghostzapper will be stretching out around two turns for the first time while making his first start beyond seven furlongs. Ghostzapper, the expected high weight at 120 pounds, might be vulnerable in this spot, but few seem willing to test him.

Presidentialaffair, assigned 117 pounds for the Iselin, will be cross-entered in Sunday's Grade 2, $250,000 Saratoga Breeders' Cup, in which he would carry 115.

Trainer Martin Ciresa said the lighter assignment at Saratoga makes that race an appealing option for Presidentialaffair, who won Monmouth's Grade 3 Salvator Mile last time out.

Roaring Fever, trained by Mark Hennig, had been considered a likely Iselin runner, but Robby Rader, who trains Hennig's Monmouth division, expressed some reservations.

"We'd like to run him here," said Rader. "But it's hard to ask him to run as hard as he can just to get third."

Roaring Fever, assigned 113 pounds, was third behind Presidentialaffair in the Salvator.

Zoffinger would likely be the lightweight in the field at 111. He most recently ran second in a two-other-than allowance race and has no stakes experience.

"We are kicking the idea around, especially if it's a short field," said Pat McBurney, assistant to trainer John Forbes.

Owner Dennis Drazin confirmed that Zoffinger was "probable for the Iselin."

Sherpa Guide, assigned 113 pounds, is a likely Iselin runner. He is winless in nine starts over the last two seasons and most recently finished second in the Evan Shipman Handicap for New York-breds at Belmont Park. Sherpa Guide was fourth in last year's Iselin.

Por Favor bids for another

Por Favor gets an opportunity to prove his recent impressive victory was not a fluke in Friday's $41,000 featured allowance race at six furlongs.

Claimed by Allen Iwinski for $62,500 in March at Gulfstream Park, Por Favor got his first win for the new barn in a Monmouth allowance Aug. 1. Por Favor set all the fractions as he cruised to a two-length win in the slop. He earned

an 87 Beyer Figure, a sharp improvement over the 63 and 64 in his two prior races.

Wild Jam is also capable of putting up a big number. He ran second in his debut for trainer Benny Perkins Jr. on June 17, when he earned an 86 Beyer.

Wild Jam ran third in both starts since then, stretching out to a mile before shortening up to six furlongs in the slop.