06/13/2005 11:00PM

Hot trainer sends out 'Ranger'

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OCEANPORT, N.J. - Every day is still a learning experience for Amy Tarrant, who is only in her third year as a trainer. But the early season results at Monmouth Park suggest Tarrant is a quick study.

Tarrant has already won 4 races with only 16 starters and one of the winners, , goes for a repeat score Thursday in the $41,000 allowance feature at 1 1/16 miles.

Tarrant won only three races last year at Monmouth.

"We knew we were coming here prepared to run," she said. "We've been training them all winter in Florida, and this is the meet we prepare for all winter long."

Tarrant has that luxury. Her Hardacre Farm owns every horse in the barn. Since she answers to no one but herself, she can invest time in a project horse, like Ranger Chance.

"He's a stone-cold runner who gets better all the time," Tarrant said. "People had given up on him as a 2-year-old, and we could hardly get him to run at 3. He started doing better at 4 and now at 5, he's the best he's ever been."

Ranger Chance needs continued improvement in this solid field, made up of horses that have yet to win three races.

finished only three-quarters of length behind Pinpoint in the Sir Barton Stakes on the Preakness undercard at Pimlico in his last start.

Smokescreen has 2 wins and 2 seconds in 6 starts. His trainer, Ben Perkins, Jr., thinks there will be enough early speed Thursday to set the stage for Smokescreen's late rally.

"The last two times he ran, there was absolutely no speed," Perkins said. "He was chasing horses on loose leads. It looked like he would go by both horses, but they both picked it up. He dug in, but he couldn't get by them."

is one of the horses likely to insure a lively pace. He stretched out last time and set all the fractions but the final one in a second-place finish.

Larry Walters, running the Richard Dutrow, Jr. barn at Monmouth while the boss serves a two-month suspension, sends out an entry of Bank President and Byanosejoe. Bank President was a $75,000 claim from trainer Bill Mott and rolled to an allowance win in his first start for the new barn. Byanosejoe adds blinkers.