06/03/2004 11:00PM

Island Sand came - and conquered

Island Sand wins the Acorn by 1 3/4 lengths at Belmont Park on Friday.

ELMONT, N.Y. - It's a good thing trainer Larry Jones didn't put off his New York debut until the Mother Goose. He would have missed out on his first Grade 1 win.

Jones had thought about using the Dogwood Stakes at Churchill Downs for Island Sand as a prep for the Mother Goose Stakes here on June 26. But when Madcap Escapade and Ashado defected from the field, Jones decided to ship Island Sand to New York for Friday's $250,000 .

It turned out to be the right move as Island Sand, under a super ride from Terry Thompson, tipped four wide for the stretch and rallied powerfully to win the Acorn by 1 3/4 lengths before 12,268 at Belmont Park.

Society Selection, the 2-1 favorite off a strong Comely Stakes win, rallied for second, nosing out Friendly Michelle, who did well to be third after contesting the early pace.

Bending Strings, Magical Illusion, Victory U. S. A., Bohemian Lady, and La Reina completed the order of finish. Grey Traffic and Pawyne Princess were scratched.

It was the fourth victory in eight career starts for Island Sand, the runner-up in the Kentucky Oaks, who rallied from last under Terry Thompson. Thompson, like Jones, was making his Belmont Park debut.

"This worked out really well," Jones said. "As the cards were playing out, it looked like the thing to do. Thank goodness, we made the right choice for a change."

Though he had never ridden at Belmont before, Thompson rode a terrific race in the Acorn. He allowed Island Sand to settle near the back of the pack just outside Society Selection.

Island Sand split horses around the turn, tipped four wide for the stretch, and persevered past Friendly Michelle. Island Sand covered the mile in 1:34.89 and returned $10 as the third choice.

"It set up just like we thought," Thompson said. "We wanted to stay about where we were - not like the Oaks where we got hurt by the break. When she was laying six or seven off it and going comfortably, and I knew there were four or five out there hooking - everything worked out perfect."

Things did not work as perfectly for Society Selection, who was bottled up behind horses before trying to follow Island Sand turning for home. She got up in the final stride to nose out Friendly Michelle for the place.

"I think she got a little late; she was coming as best as she could,'' trainer Allen Jerkens said.

Island Sand and Society Selection are likely to meet again in the Mother Goose.

Primal Storm dominates Flash

Primal Storm jumped out on top under Shane Sellers and was never seriously threatened en route to a seven-length score in the Grade 3, $104,300 Flash Stakes for juvenile colts. Western Expression finished second, 3 3/4 lengths ahead of Gold Joy. Departing Now and Dubleo completed the order of finish.

The most anxious moments for Primal Storm came after the race, when the stewards posted the inquiry sign. Jockey Edgar Prado took up on Western Expression, a problem that appeared to be caused more by the inside horse, Dubleo, than Primal Storm, who was clear.

Primal Storm, a son of Storm Boot, covered the five furlongs in 57.49 seconds and returned $3.60 as the odds-on favorite. Primal Storm, trained by Steve Asmussen, is now 2 for 2 for a partnership that includes Asmussen's brother Keith, Ron Winchell, James Cassels, and Connie Scherr.

"He's a very fast colt," Sellers said. "I'm just glad they didn't take action on him because it wasn't his fault. It's a question whether Edgar should have stayed in there or not. He knows I'm outfooting him going to the turn. You'd think he'd get out of there instead of trying to get in there."

Chocolate Brown wins Jason Servis

Chocolate Brown got things off to a rousing start Thursday for the Servis family, going gate to wire to win the $80,625 Fashion Stakes for juvenile fillies at Belmont Park.

Jason Servis is the trainer of Chocolate Brown, who broke swiftly out of the gate, opened up a five-length lead by midstretch, and cruised home a 1 1/4-length winner while in hand under Javier Castellano. Jason is the brother of John Servis, who was attempting to sweep the Triple Crown in Saturday's Belmont Stakes with Smarty Jones.

"This is awesome," Jason Servis said. "I wanted to get it warmed up for my brother."

Limited Entry, the 6-5 favorite, threw her head up when the gates opened, and rallied well to be second. It was one length back to Western Princess for third.

Chocolate Brown, a New Jersey-bred daughter of Lion Hearted, ran fractions of 21.60 seconds, 44.71 and completed the five furlongs in 57.86 seconds over a fast track. She returned $6.60 to win as the second choice.

"I know she's got speed, but she surprised me today," Castellano said. "I really liked her because she's got the speed, but you can settle her down. I saw the [video] board and I knew how far in front I was. I didn't want to ask for anything."