06/06/2001 11:00PM

Home turf good for 'Pic'


MIAMI, FLA. - A little home cooking should be all it takes to get Honorable Pic back on the winning track when he takes on nine other grass sprint specialists in Saturday's $50,000 added Linear Handicap at five furlongs on the turf.

Honorable Pic is perfect over the Calder turf course and has been beaten just once in six grass starts at his home base in Florida. But Honorable Pic found the grass wasn't greener when he ventured to Churchill Downs last month for the Grade 3 Aegon Turf Handicap, as he finished a tiring seventh after stumbling at the start and pressing the pace of the eventual winner, Morluc.

"I'm still a little puzzled about that race," said Jerry Paradise, who trains Honorable Pic for Olga Paradise. "Jorge [Chavez] said he stumbled leaving the gate and he actually took the lead from Morluc into the turn, but hit the turn so fast he couldn't handle it and was trying to get out because he didn't seem to grab the track well. Those are my excuses for the race. I just want to see him run Saturday to see if that's all it was, or if there might be something else bothering this horse. This will be the test to find out."

Honorable Pic's modus operandi in each of his five previous grass victories was to play catch me if you can although there is plenty of early speed in the Linear.

"There are some very fast horses in this field and it looks like it will be a mad dash for the first turn," said Paradise. "The one thing about five furlong races is that everybody is a contender. The class really begins to separate once you go two turns."

Honorable Pic will carry highweight of 121 pounds in the Linear with Horacio Karamanos back in the saddle again. He will concede from 2 to 13 pounds to the opposition, which includes Sejm's Madness, Uncle Rocco, Kipperscope and the fleet mare Elvi Gamble.

Sejm's Madness has crossed the wire second in each of his last three turf sprints, beaten a half length or less in all three races, although he was awarded the victory via the disqualification of Uncle Rocco in Gulfstream's Yankee Affair Stakes.

A 5-year-old, Sejm's Madness has never been worse than third in six starts over his home course. He also has the right running style to take advantage of a lively pace and a turf course that has favored closers during the opening two weeks of this meet.