09/04/2006 12:00AM

Hasty Double sharp after his homecoming

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OCEANPORT, N.J. - Hasty Double started his career a long way from home with a tour of Texas and Louisiana

Things have picked up for the 3-year-old New Jersey-bred gelding since he returned this year to the Garden State.

Hasty Double is a key contender Wednesday in the $60,500 second-level allowance feature for statebreds going six furlongs at Monmouth Park.

His form has been sharp in two allowance starts at Monmouth this summer against statebred company. Hasty Double scored a first-level victory on July 15 and missed by only a head in his first crack at this level on Aug. 20.

Last year, Hasty Double had originally been pointed for the $1 million Delta Jackpot at Delta Downs before that meet was canceled in the aftermath of Hurricane Rita.

Hasty Double made two starts in the region, winning his maiden first time out at Sam Houston Race Park before finishing a tiring sixth in an allowance race at Evangeline Downs. He was transferred to trainer Jim Ryerson for this season.

"He's done everything we wanted him to do except get that win last time," Ryerson said of the Aug. 20 race. "He's doing very well. He can be a very useful Jersey-bred down the road."

Hasty Double will race an as entry with Skip Along Jet from the Jason Servis barn. Both geldings are homebreds from the Double H Stable.

Hasty Double has the rail, while Skip Along Jet has post 3 in the nine-horse field that includes two first-level allowance winners last time out: Big Dealer and Sam's Castle.

Big Dealer was a front-running winner, bouncing back from the poorest effort of his seven-race career and drawing off to a 5 1/2-length win that earned a field-topping 96 Beyer Speed Figure. Sam's Castle, making his second start for trainer Frank Costa, came out of a more closely contested race where he earned a 1 3/4-length victory.

Sam's Castle is coupled with Fort Seattle, who is returning to allowance company after finishing second as a $12,500 claimer.

* Monmouth's race secretary, Mike Dempsey, said all overnight purses will be increased by $2,000 to $3,000 for the balance of the Monmouth meet, which runs through Sept. 24. The increases were to take effect with Wednesday's card.