05/27/2003 11:00PM

Great Lakes Downs: Judice heats up


MUSKEGON, Mich. - Joe Judice took a big step toward the top of the jockey standings last week when he found the winner's circle 13 times in four racing days. Judice had a five-bagger Saturday and followed that with a four-win day Monday. On Tuesday, he won three more times.

Judice won 117 races to take top honors at the recently completed Tampa Bay Downs meet. He missed the first eight days of this meeting but now has 25 wins, two behind leader Mary Doser and one in front of Freddie Mata, both past Great Lakes riding champions. Mata won four races Tuesday evening.

Among Judice's five winners on Saturday was Akatsakat, who rallied to win the $45,000 Lansing Stakes by 1 1/2 lengths. Akatsakat, by Sir Cat out of Heaven's Run, won the Michigan Futurity in October and is owned by Mast Thoroughbreds. The colt is trained by Bob Gorham, who saddled two winners on Saturday's card and leads the trainer standings with 11 victories.

* Mercedees Red, trained by breeder Denis Cluley, dueled with recent $8,000 claim Cassopolis before drawing clear by 1 1/4 lengths in the $45,000 Regret Stakes Friday evening. Colin Skinner was aboard the daughter of Board Member and Sweet Salina.

* Jockey John C. Pabon Jr. has returned to Great Lakes and Monday evening promptly won aboard his first mount, Netta's Poetry.