05/25/2006 12:00AM

Halos Sailing Sain closer to home


OCEANPORT, N.J. - Trainer Joe Orseno admits he made some mistakes with Halos Sailing Sain this year, putting him in tough spots at Gulfstream Park and Lone Star Park, where he has lost all four of his starts this season.

Orseno will try to get Halos Sailing Sain back in the win column Saturday in the $65,000 Frisk Me Now Stakes at Monmouth Park. A mile and 70-yard race, the Frisk Me Now attracted a strong field of 11, including Park Avenue Ball, who was last season's champion New Jersey-bred, and Network, a multiple stakes winner here last year.

came into his own last summer with three wins in four starts at Monmouth. After taking six months off, he resurfaced in Florida, where he lost his first three starts of the year. He was 11th in the Sunshine Millions Sprint, second in an allowance race against Bandini, and third in a turf race, where he set the pace before fading. From there, it was on to Texas for the Grade 3 Texas Mile at Lone Star Park. Breaking from the outside in an 11-horse field, Halo Sailing Sain was hung wide all the way and finished fifth, beaten 2 3/4 lengths.

Orseno said he plans to keep Halos Sailing Sain close to home for Monmouth's two Grade 3 stakes for older dirt runners: the $150,000 Salvator Mile on June 24 and the $250,000 Iselin Breeders' Cup Stakes at 1 1/8 miles on Aug. 19.

Trainer Jim Ryerson is using the Frisk Me Now as a stepping-stone to the Salvator Mile for Park Avenue Ball, who was one of the leading 3-year-olds here last summer, with a win in the Grade 3 Long Branch Breeders' Cup Stakes and a third in the Grade 1 Haskell Invitational. He has made one start this year, a pacesetting third in the Ponche Handicap at Calder on April 29.

was also entered in Saturday's $100,000 Donald LeVine Memorial Handicap at Philadelphia Park, but Ryerson said he would go in the Frisk Me Now.

reunites with jockey Joe Bravo, who guided him to stakes wins here last year in the Spend a Buck on the main track and the Lamplighter on the turf.

* Joey P. returns to Monmouth in the undercard feature, the $60,000 John J. Reilly Handicap for New Jersey-breds.

* Monmouth will race Saturday through Monday this weekend with a first post of 12:50 p.m.