01/11/2007 1:00AM

Hesanoldsalt totes 124 in prep for Donn

Email

HALLANDALE BEACH, Fla. - Trainers looking to use something a little longer or a little easier than last Saturday's Grade 3 Hal's Hope Handicap as a final prep for the Grade 1 Donn Handicap on Feb. 3 were given that opportunity by racing secretary Dave Bailey, who wrote a money allowance race at a 1 1/8 miles on Friday.

Friday's $57,500 feature is at the same 1 1/8-mile distance as the Donn, an eighth of a mile farther than the Hal's Hope. And it attracted a field of nine, led by Hesanoldsalt, who closed out his 2006 campaign with a 3 1/4-length victory in Calder's Grade 3 Fred Hooper Handicap. The victory was the third in 11 starts in 2006 for Hesanoldsalt, who won a first-level allowance race here in his 3-year-old debut and finished fifth behind Barbaro in the Grade 1 Florida Derby.

Hesanoldsalt will carry high weight of 124 pounds Friday.

"He's going to need some kind of race," said Nick Zito who trains the homebred Hesanoldsalt for Live Oak Plantation. "I didn't want to bring him back in the Hal's Hope, but I also didn't want to give him too easy a task if we're thinking of the Donn. So this race should suit him perfectly.

"He's on a nice schedule and is improving all the time. Hopefully, we'll get a good race into him. And he won't have to carry 124 pounds in the Donn."

Trainer Joe Orseno had contemplated starting Jersey Peach in the Hal's Hope, but opted instead for Friday's softer spot. A New Jersey-bred son of Forest Wildcat, Jersey Peach became a stakes winner last summer, taking the restricted Jersey Breeders' Cup Handicap, but he was outrun in his only two starts in open company in 2006.

Philanthropist and M B Sea are trying to recapture their old form after closing out their 2006 campaigns in disappointing fashion.

Philanthropist, winner of the Grade 3 Queens County Handicap in 2005, made just three starts last season, counting a distant third as the 4-5 favorite against allowance rivals at Calder on Dec. 7.

M B Sea, winless in seven starts last year, beat only one horse while finishing nearly 22 lengths behind Premium Tap in the Gradeo1 Clark Handicap on Nov. 24.

Siphon City and Better Than Bonds will likely provide an honest pace, while Request for Parole tries dirt for the second consecutive start following a steady diet of turf races.