06/09/2006 11:00PM

'Hotstuf' set for busy summer


After earning a four-month vacation by winning the Grade 3 Mac Diarmida at Gulfstream Park on Jan. 29, Hotstufanthensome goes back to work Monday afternoon for the start of an ambitious summer schedule.

A 6-year-old gelding, Hotstufanthensome heads a field of nine older horses in the Battlefield, one of two $60,000 stakes on a special all-turf card at The Meadowlands.

The program, which begins at 1:10 p.m., also includes the Trenton Stakes for 3-year-old fillies. That race has been brought back after last Monday's first of three scheduled all-turf cards at The Meadowlands was canceled because of bad weather.

Norman Pointer, who trains Hotstufanthensome, said he plans to use the 1 1/16-mile Battlefield as a prep for the Grade 1, $750,000 United Nations, scheduled for 1 3/8 miles over Monmouth Park's new turf course on July 8. He's also considering taking Hotstufanthensome back to Florida for the $250,000 Bob Umphrey Turf Marathon, a two-mile race at Calder on July 22.

"He's really a versatile horse," Pointer said. "He can go to the front or lay off the pace, and he can go just about any distance."

Although Hotstufandthensome owns a 5-for-7 record at Monmouth, he also runs well at The Meadowlands, where he romped by 14 1/2 lengths in the Grade 3 Cliff Hanger last October.

Pointer purchased Hotstufanthensome privately for $25,000 after the gelding's sixth start, a victory

in a $32,000 claiming race at Gulfstream in February 2004. Since then, Hotstufanthensome has won 8 of 18 starts on grass for earnings of $401,600.

The main threats to Hotstufanthensome in the Battlefield are a pair of 5-year-olds who finished within a half-length of each other last time out in Florida.

Old Forester was second, beaten a half-length, in the Grade 3 Miami Mile at Calder in late April. That race typifies how Old Forester often runs well but comes up just short. He had two other runner-up finishes in graded stakes last season and hasn't won a stakes since taking the Canadian Turf Handicap at Gulfstream in March 2005.

Although he is nearly always competitive, Icy Atlantic has been an underachiever for trainer Todd Pletcher. Fourth in the Miami Mile, a half-length behind Old Forester, Icy Atlantic is 0 for 12 the past two seasons, including seven losses when he has been 3-1 or less.

- In the 1 1/16-mile Trenton, Quite a Bride goes for her third straight victory since she was switched to grass by trainer Bill Mott. Her rivals include Kitty Hawk and Southern Protocol, who finished noses apart in fourth and fifth in the $100,000 Edgewood at Churchill Downs last time out.