12/02/2004 1:00AM

Grand Slam pick four: Use these New Yorkers


OZONE PARK, N.Y. - If you're tackling Saturday's Grand Slam pick four at Calder, some familiarity with horses who were based in New York earlier this season might come in handy.

The sequence is bookended by the My Charmer and the Tropical Turf, a pair of Grade 3 handicaps at 1 1/8 miles on the grass, and they are each jammed with New York shippers.

Sandwiched between the grass races are two 1 1/16-mile dirt routes for 2-year-olds, and each contains a logical contender who is coming off races at Belmont and Aqueduct.

Here's a between-the-lines look at the out-of-towners, with one of three designations for pick-four purposes - main ticket, backup ticket(s), or exclude.

My Charmer Handicap

Right This Way: Her only loss from three turf starts came in the Pebbles, when shuffled back inside around the far turn. She was at a tactical disadvantage to begin with, once front-running winner Fortunate Damsel was allowed to get clear through a dawdling first quarter in 25.72 seconds. Right This Way overcame a slow start and a three-wide trip on both turns to win a restricted stakes last out, but the field wasn't particularly strong, as the top five finishers were separated by just a length. Right This Way is a 3-year-old meeting older stakes rivals for the first time. Exclude.

Changing World: Her best race last year was an 8-1 upset on Calder turf last December, and she has held sharp form in three starts since returning from an eight-month layoff, capped by a front-running shocker at 13-1 in the Violet Handicap. Her initial graded-stakes try, in the Noble Damsel, was decent. The Noble Damsel has produced the winners of the Athenia Handicap (Finery) and the Turnback the Alarm (Personal Legend). Main ticket.

Broadway Lady: Used her last start to remember she is a half-sister to turf millionaires Fourstardave and Fourstars Allstar, and lit up the tote board at 43-1 in a second-level allowance. Exclude.

Snowdrops: Perhaps the field's strongest finisher, she reeled off four straight wins at four tracks before a tough trip in the slower-paced division of the restricted De La Rose at Saratoga. Might have needed her recent comeback, in the Athenia. Main ticket.

Alchemist: Won the first three starts of her career on dirt, but then embarked on a long losing streak that finally ended with a desperate head victory at Belmont in a third-level allowance. Marginal, but exclude due to post 11.

Something Ventured: Outfinished by a half-length as the favorite in this race last year, and has since been blanked in 2004 through a series of troubled trips. Post 12 doesn't bode well for better luck here. Exclude.

Three Ring

Smuggler: Looks like the most talented runner thus far out of 1995 Breeders' Cup Distaff winner Inside Information, after winning her first two starts. On one hand, none of the 14 fillies who have finished behind her have come back to win. The best of them probably is Shebelongstoyou, the fifth-place finisher in the Frizette. On the other hand, how many juvenile fillies can win their six-furlong debut with a last eighth of a mile in under 12 seconds, then stretch out to a 1 1/8-mile allowance and win decisively despite racing wide on both turns, as Smuggler has done? Main ticket.

What a Pleasure

Better Than Bonds: Raced greenly in the slop first time out, but then added Lasix and registered a 42-1 surprise. Improved again in the Cowdin to race 1-2 shot Flamenco to a close decision, and was flattered when Flamenco came back to win Calder's Jack Price Juvenile as much the best at 2-5. Regressed when stretched to a mile in the key-race Nashua behind Remsen repeat winner Rockport Harbor and Laurel Futurity winner Defer. So it might be noteworthy that his dam, Jabesh, has yet to produce a dirt-route winner from six previous foals. Backup ticket(s).

Tropical Turf

In Hand: Well beaten in both New York starts, though the first was an exceedingly tough spot against Grade 1 winners Kicken Kris and Better Talk Now. Exclude.

Silver Tree: Split four decisions with Nothing to Lose prior to a rail trip in the Breeders' Cup Mile, including a win in the Grade 2 Bernard Baruch the last time he ran this distance. Lost the Fourstardave by a half-length, the difference being that he went four wide on the far turn while Nothing to Lose was saving ground. Main ticket.

Host: Chilean import showed a much-improved finishing kick in two October starts following a layoff, notably the Red Smith Handicap, where he emerged from the fog to erase a seven-length deficit through a last three-eighths in 36 seconds. Any turf router who can run his last three-eighths in under 35 seconds has to be on the main ticket.

Mogador: Overcame a bad trip at Saratoga when carried to the parking lot on the first turn and five wide leaving the second turn. No chance last out when L'Oiseau d'Argent, who two starts earlier had established a course record for a mile at Saratoga, was allowed to coast on the lead through a first quarter in a slow 24.95 seconds. But this four-time winner at a mile is testing his distance capabilities here, and post 10 won't help. Backup ticket(s).