11/21/2007 12:00AM

Hard to look past Jazz Nation

EmailETOBICOKE, Ontario - Jazz Nation should be the heavy favorite when he lines up against nine other 2-year-olds in Friday's seventh race at Woodbine, a first-level allowance worth $62,800.

Jazz Nation won his debut Oct. 8 under Jim McAleney, in what has evolved into a key maiden special weight sprint. He received a 70 Beyer Speed Figure.

Jazz Nation was an 18-1 outsider over a sloppy track in the six-furlong Favorite Trick BC Stakes on the Breeders' Cup undercard at Monmouth Park on Oct. 26. Jockey Kent Desormeaux had him pressing a sizzling pace on the outside, and they made the lead early in the stretch before being overhauled by Margo's Gift. He held second by a nose, and earned an 86 Beyer.

Trainer Reade Baker was thrilled with Jazz Nation's performance in the $250,000 Favorite Trick.

"I thought he ran super," Baker said. "He's not an easy horse to ride, and I had a new rider on him. I would rather have had Jimmy, but he was obligated here."

Baker said he believes Desormeaux lacked confidence in Jazz Nation, and they hit the front sooner than he would have preferred.

"When you ship a horse down from Canada and tell those American jocks that a horse is really quick, they have to see it to believe it," Baker said. "He was at least four wide sitting a neck or so behind a couple horses, and just outside the three-eighths pole he kind of pushed the button to get position. He went right on by them, and was hung out in the middle of the racetrack on the lead.

Baker said that Desormeaux told him after he race that he wished he had waited longer to move.

Jazz Nation's two recent five-furlong works on the training track drew rave reviews from clockers.

"He's coming into the race in great shape," Baker said.

Other possibilities in the six-furlong sprint include Inside Executive, Rumbling Cloud, Indian Joy, and San Geminiano.

Inside Executive is one of three next-out winners from Jazz Nation's debut. He graduated in his sixth start in a quick five-furlong sprint, outdueling favored Drunken Love in deep stretch.

Rumbling Cloud was disqualified from first and was placed fourth in a Nov. 8 allowance.

Indian Joy won his only outing, a six-furlong maiden event, with a 67 Beyer.

San Geminiano is coming off back-to-back third-place finishes in allowance company.