07/16/2001 11:00PM

Injuries have stalled talented Gerosa

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OCEANPORT, N.J. - Talent has never been a concern with Gerosa. What has been a concern is his susceptibility to injury.

Gerosa, a 4-year-old trained by John Forbes for Phantom House Farm, returned to the races on June 10, and improved to 3 for 3 in his career with an allowance victory. He won his maiden and an entry-level allowance last summer, but then suffered a hairline fracture to his cannon bone.

When Gerosa returned to the barn after his comeback victory in June, it was clear that something was wrong with him.

"He didn't come out of the race as well as he went in," Forbes said. "He had X-rays taken that weren't conclusive, and we got some opinions from vets across the country. To be on the conservative side, we decided to give him more time off."

Gerosa has been resting and recuperating for a return to the races ever since. When he does return, Forbes believes that he will pick up where he left off.

"He will come out of this well," he said. "He just has a ton of ability."

Plans for Perkins's sprinters

The top sprinters in the barn of Ben Perkins Jr. worked Saturday morning. Max's Pal, winner of the $75,000 Longfellow Handicap in his last start June 23, breezed five furlongs in 1:03 with Eibar Coa aboard. His stablemate, 5-year-old Delaware Township, co-holder of the six-furlong track record here, worked a rapid four furlongs in 47.20. Joe Bravo was on Delaware Township, who has not raced since winning the Damitrius Stakes April 28.

According to assistant trainer Chris Gardner, Max's Pal's next start will come in the $200,000, Grade 3 Philadelphia Park Breeders' Cup on July 28. "We will give him two more works to tighten him up for the race," he said. "He'll probably work up at Philadelphia Park once before the race."

Delaware Township will return to the races in early August, probably in the $100,000 Dave's Friend Stakes at Laurel on Aug. 11, a MATCH series race. The two Perkins sprinters have already won two of the first three MATCH sprint series stakes (the Damitrius and Longfellow) for 3-year-olds and up.

Thursday card has plenty of talent

Thursday's fifth race includes Salty You, winner of a Canadian Grade 1, the Mazarine Breeders' Cup at Woodbine, as a 2-year-old last year. Salty You, who has had three trainers in her five-race career, is winless in two starts since coming to the United States. She was last in a Delaware stakes on June 12 in her first start for trainer Michael Matz, off a seven-month layoff. The start was her first since stumbling and running fifth in the Grade 3 Tempted at Aqueduct for trainer Phil Johnson on Nov. 5.

The seventh race on the unusually strong Thursday card is a two-other-than six-furlong allowance in which the Todd Pletcher-trained Maddie May makes her return to the races. Maddie May, a New York-bred, defeated Dat You Miz Blue in the Maid of the Mist at Belmont in her second career start in 1999. She ran in two graded stakes after that, but was injured, and missed her entire 3-year-old season. She returned to the races after a 1 1/2-year layoff at Aqueduct in the spring, and won two in a row. She has been away from the races since April 7.

* Monmouth's first race post time will change from 1 p.m. to 12:55 p.m. on Wednesday, July 25, and will remain at that time through closing day, Sept. 2. The only exception will be Haskell Day, Aug. 5, when first post will be 12:30 p.m. Monmouth went to the earlier post to avoid a post-time conflict with Saratoga, which opens its meet July 25 and has a 1 p.m. post.