07/07/2004 11:00PM

High Court merits this class hike


OCEANPORT, N.J. - Jockey Chris DeCarlo was distracted at the start of High Court's North American debut, but the filly never lost focus.

High Court scored an impressive rallying win in the Fort Monmouth Stakes at Monmouth Park on May 30. That effort earned her a spot in Monmouth's Grade 3, $100,000 Eatontown Handicap on Saturday. She also is entered for Saturday in the Grade 3, $200,000 All Along at Colonial Downs.

The Eatontown represents a step up in class, but High Court looked ready for the challenge in Fort Monmouth.

"I kind of blew my stirrup the first sixteenth of a mile," said DeCarlo. "I probably was a little further back than I wanted to be when we hit the backside. She made a really huge run from the half-mile pole to the quarter-pole. I thought maybe it was too much of a run but she overcame it."

The victory made High Court a winner in two hemispheres and extended her winning streak to four. High Court started racing in her native Brazil, where she scored a Group 1 victory.

She adds Lasix and faces five rivals in the 1 1/16-mile Eatontown on the turf. High Court will carry 118 pounds, the same as Fast Cookie and two fewer than Ocean Drive, the highweight.

Ocean Drive, trained by Todd Pletcher, arrived at Monmouth on Wednesday.

Ocean Drive has been consistent this year, hitting the board in all five starts. Her lone win this year was the Grade 3 Gallorette Handicap at Pimlico.

Fast Cookie, trained by Bill Mott, is a graded stakes winner on dirt who will be making her second grass start - and the blinkers come off.

Lojo (116 pounds), trained by Tim Hills, looks for her first graded stakes win. Aztec Pearl (113) ran second in the slop in the off-the-turf Rooney Memorial Handicap at Delaware Park. Honorable Cat (111) completes the field.

Frisky Spider attacks Choice Stakes

Bob Durso has a recurring dream with the same satisfying ending.

The trainer, in his reverie, sees Frisky Spider galloping to a gate-to-wire victory in a future United Nations.

Far fetched? Perhaps, but Frisky Spider can take another step toward that ambitious goal in his second turf start, on Saturday in the $60,000 Choice Stakes for 3-year-olds.

Frisky Spider made a smooth transition to the grass last time with a front-running win in the one-mile Restoration Stakes. He will try to carry that speed an additional sixteenth of a mile in the Choice.

The colt's development has Durso dreaming those happy dreams. He continues to work aggressively, giving every indication of another strong effort.

Frisky Spider tuned up with a five-furlong breeze in 1:01.40 on the main track Wednesday.

"He really galloped out fast," said Durso. "When the rider reached to grab a hold and slow him down after the work, he took off again. He's on the muscle. He's doing very well."

This will be Frisky Spider's ninth start and experience has helped the maturity process.

"Before he would act a little kid-dish," said Durso. "You'd ask him to do something and he would. But now, he knows what he's going to do when he goes out there."