08/18/2004 11:00PM

Ghostzapper tackling two turns in Iselin

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OCEANPORT, N.J. - A whole new world could open for Ghostzapper in the Grade 3, $200,000 Philip H. Iselin Breeders' Cup Handicap Saturday at Monmouth Park.

A brilliant sprinter, Ghostzapper expands his horizons in the 1 1/8-mile Iselin as he ventures beyond seven furlongs and tackles two turns for the first time.

Could Ghostzapper be the next major force in the handicap division?

"Let's see how he runs first," said trainer Bobby Frankel.

, the Iselin highweight at 120 pounds, has already demonstrated that he can run very fast at shorter distances.

He posted sensational Beyer Figures in winning his last two races, both at Belmont Park. Ghostzapper got a 116 for his last-to-first sweep to victory in the Grade 1 Vosburgh at 6 1/2 furlongs last fall. He earned a career-best 120 going seven furlongs to win the Grade 2 Tom Fool Handicap on July 4.

The additional distance in the Iselin doesn't faze Frankel.

"I don't think it will be a problem," said Frankel who will ship Ghostzapper to Monmouth from Saratoga on Saturday morning.

Ghostzapper has shown remarkable versatility in a career in which the 4-year-old colt has won 5 of 7 starts. He can rally or stalk. With only one major rival in the race, the front-running Presidentialaffair, Ghostzapper figures to be right in the mix from the outset.

"He's going to be right there, head to head for the lead," said Frankel.

It could be a terrific battle, if Presidentialaffair makes the race.

Trainer Martin Ciresa will cross-enter the 5-year-old gelding in Sunday's Grade 2, $250,000 Saratoga Breeders' Cup.

Ciresa expressed concern earlier in the week over the weights as Presidentialaffair, at 117, carries only three pounds fewer than Ghostzapper.

After initially leaning toward the Saratoga race, Ciresa was tilting toward the Iselin Thursday morning.

"I'd like to run in the Iselin," said Ciresa who is based at Philadelphia Park. "But I'd be foolish not to enter both.

"Right now, I'm leaning toward the Iselin. He likes the track, it's a closer trip, and I'm not concerned about anybody in the race other than Ghostzapper."

Presidentialaffair should approve of that decision.

He has a record of six wins in nine starts over the strip, including stakes victories in his last two outings, the Grade 3 Salvator Mile and the Skip Away.

Presidentialaffair earned a career-best 112 Beyer in the Skip Away and followed with a 110 in the Salvator.

Country Be Gold (113) was another horse entered in two stakes. In addition to the Iselin, he is entered in $50,000 Gate Dancer Stakes at Delaware Park.

Colita (114), Private Lap (114), Sherpa Guide (113) and Zoffinger (111) complete the Iselin field.

The field

Iselin Breeders' Cup Handicap
Purse: $200,000; 1 1/8 miles; Grade 3

PPHORSEJOCKEYWT.ODDS
1ZoffingerJ. Velez Jr.11120-1
2PresidentialaffairS. Elliott1173-1
3Country Be GoldC. Lopez 11312-1
4ColitaE. Coa1145-1
5GhostzapperJ. Castellano1201-1
6Sherpa GuideA. Gryder11315-1
7Private LapJ. Bravo1148-1

* Odds by Art Gropper