02/03/2005 12:00AM

Have to catch Forest Music

Email

NEW ORLEANS - Mutiple stakes winner Forest Music will make her first start as a 4-year-old Saturday in the $60,000 Pan Zareta Handicap at six furlongs at Fair Grounds.

A gray daughter of Unbridled's Song, Forest Music ran against some of the top 3-year-old fillies at Belmont Park and Saratoga last year. She hasn't raced since Dec. 11 at Aqueduct.

Forest Music turned in her biggest performance while winning the Grade 3 Miss Preakness off a five-month layoff, so trainer Gamaliel Vazquez knows she can fire fresh.

"She's training good here," said Vazquez, who admitted that he hasn't been asking Forest Music for too much in the mornings. "We're going to take it easy on her. She has run hard."

Vazquez knows his filly is likely to be on the lead in the Pan Zareta.

"This might not be the best track for her with the long stretch," he mused. "It will be an obstacle."

will carry 118 pounds, including jockey Carlos Marquez Jr., who will begin serving a 14-day suspension Sunday.

The Steve Asmussen-trained Souris is the 120-pound highweight off a pair of stakes victories last month. The 5-year-old Souris is in rare form after winning the Bold Ego Handicap at Sunland Park and the American Beauty Handicap at Oaklawn Park. She has carried 122 pounds in her last three starts so the impost should not affect her. Souris probably needs a strong pace to set up her late run, which could happen if Forest Music gets some early pressure from Silver Crown, who is likely to argue the pace from the rail under James Graham. The 4-year-old Silver Crown, trained by Frank Springer, will carry 115.

Stirrin Up a Storm finished fourth, beaten less than a length, to Ambition Unbridled in her last start, the $100,000 Leggio Memorial Handicap on the grass here. Trained by Bubba Cascio, Stirrin Up a Storm is in the third race of her current form cycle and drilled a bullet five furlongs for this race. She may be a good longshot play under Corey Lanerie.

The Lori Hendrickson-trained Beautiful Bets was right behind Stirrin Up a Storm in the Leggio and is also third time back from a layoff.

Crow Jane, a 5-year-old Indian Charlie mare, returned from a 13-month layoff last month to run third and should improve second time back.