09/30/2003 11:00PM

He's Crafty puts streak on the line


ELMONT, N.Y. - He's Crafty, who won back-to-back starts at Saratoga during the summer, takes on more seasoned horses as he shoots for his first win over Belmont Park's turf course in Friday's $58,000 feature.

The 1 1/8-mile classified allowance race drew eight older males, including graded stakes winners Pisces and Dawn of the Condor, whose better days may be behind them.

He's Crafty, a 4-year-old trained by Bill Mott, won his last two starts at Saratoga in first- and second-level allowance turf races at 1 1/16 miles. He ran twice over Belmont's turf last year, finishing second and third. In his runner-up finish, He's Crafty was beaten 4 1/2 lengths by Lunar Sovereign, who became a Grade 1 winner in last month's Man o' War.

Jerry Bailey, aboard for each of He's Crafty's five wins, has the mount from post 7. He's Crafty carries 116 pounds, seven fewer than he carried in his last race. He figures to be on or near the early lead.

Kathir has been running well in high-priced claimers for trainer Kiaran McLaughlin. The 6-year-old won a $80,000 claiming race here in July in his second start in this country. In Kathir's last start, he finished second to Warleigh, who returned to win the Louisiana Downs Handicap.

Pisces will try to recapture the form he had last summer. Pisces hasn't run since June 7, when he finished sixth in a Belmont allowance race. Last year, Pisces picked up checks in several graded races, including the Grade 3 Louisville Handicap, in which he was placed first after the winner was disqualified.

Mike Luzzi rides for trainer George Weaver.

Union Place, who won last year's Grade 3 Calder Derby, should appreciate the drop in class after losses in three graded stakes this year. In March, he won an allowance race at Gulfstream by a nose over next-out winner, Love the Game.

Union Place adds blinkers.

Trainer Stanley Hough took off Request for Parole's blinkers last start and the colt finished second in a Saratoga allowance race on Aug. 30. The majority of Request for Parole's wins have been on the dirt, but he matched his career-best Beyer Speed Figure of 102 on the dirt, when racing on turf.

Dawn of the Condor seeks his first win since last November's Grade 2 Knickerbocker.

In his last start, Sforza was fifth behind Millennium Dragon, who is in Saturday's Kelso Breeders' Cup.