03/04/2004 1:00AM

Hawthorne: Jake's Fever in good spot


Jake's Fever attempts to snap a three-race losing streak in a $28,000 entry-level allowance for Illinois-breds, the richest race on the program at Hawthorne. The six-furlong sprint is carded as the fourth of 10 races.

Jake's Fever, owned by Jim Edgar, the former Illinois governor, finished a close third behind the top statebred 2-year-old Sir Fidgity in a similar spot on Nov. 28. Jake's Fever met Sir Fidgity again in the Jim Edgar Illinois Futurity in his next start, but tired badly to sixth after pressing the pace for nearly a mile. Jake's Fever showed a bit more in his most recent start on Jan. 2 when he was nosed out for second in an open one-other-than allowance. Jesse Campbell will ride Jake's Fever for trainer Tom Dorris.

Any one of Jake's Fever's rivals might improve enough to contend, as young horses are prone to do at this time of their lives. The ones to focus on include Ilya Balos, who is usually the quickest out of the gate. Though he has done best in claiming races, Ilya Balos would be dangerous if left alone on the lead.

Lil Gary Too, who won his maiden in late December, would benefit from a fast early pace. Shoulda Been Me, a gelded son of Mount Livermore, was unruly in the gate in his last start and is probably better than his eighth-place finish would suggest.