12/23/2007 1:00AM

Jerkens well-stocked for Grand Slam III

EmailMIAMI - Allen Jerkens, who first came to race in south Florida in 1946, is back again for another winter and could be a major player on Saturday's Grand Slam III program at Calder.

Jerkens could send out contenders in both the Grade 3 Stage Door Betty Handicap and the Pete Axthelm Stakes. A Hall of Fame horseman, Jerkens has Cindy's Mom nominated for the 1 1/16-mile Stage Door Betty and both Sleeping Indian and Brooklyn Boy eligible for the 7 1/2-furlong Axthelm on the turf.

Cindy's Mom is coming off a fourth-place finish in Aqueduct's Grade 3 Top Flight Handicap. In her previous start, the 4-year-old Cindy's Mom was second behind Sugar Shake in the Grade 3 Turnback the Alarm Stakes.

"I'm also considering the Sabin for her opening weekend at Gulfstream," said Jerkens, referring to the one-mile, Grade 3 Sabin on Jan. 6. "Although the race at Calder might be a better spot for her because it's a mile and one-sixteenth and is likely to come up a short field."

Cindy's Mom was assigned 116 pounds for the Stage Door Betty, five less than Amazing Speed, the highweight at 121 pounds.

Jerkens said he will decide between the Axthelm and Gulfstream's Grade 3 Canadian Turf Handicap on Jan. 4 for Sleeping Indian's next start. Sleeping Indian has won all three of his starts, including Aqueduct's Volponi Stakes, since being switched to the turf following a fourth in his career debut at Saratoga on Aug. 25.

"The race at Calder is probably a better alternative for him, too, because it will be his last chance to run against 3-year-olds," explained Jerkens. "The Canadian is for older horses and figures to come up a lot tougher."

Amazing Speed has the distinction of being the highweight in two of the four stakes on the Grand Slam III card. Racing secretary Mike Anifantis assigned her 121 pounds for the Stage Door Betty and 122 for the seven-furlong Chaposa Springs Handicap. The versatile Amazing Speed has won three of her last four starts, all stakes, two of those victories coming around two turns and the third at seven furlongs.

Familiar foes rematched

Arch-rivals Croton Road and Magic Mecke will renew acquaintances in Wednesday's $50,000 Our Dear Peggy Stakes. The Our Dear Peggy is scheduled to be run at 1 1/8 miles on the turf and drew a field of eight older grass specialists.

Croton Road and Magic Mecke dead-heated for first when facing each other under allowance conditions on July 20. They met again four weeks later in the The Vid overnight stakes, a race won by Croton Road with Magic Mecke finishing a well-beaten third.

The injury plagued Croton Road has not started since his The Vid win. Magic Mecke has made three subsequent appearances, finishing second in the Carterista Handicap and fifth in both the Grade 3 Tropical Turf and Bonnie Heath Turf Cup.

Among the new faces in the Our Dear Peggy is trainer Todd Pletcher's Terrific Storm, who makes his south Florida debut following back-to-back victories. Terrific Storm has not faced stakes company since finishing third in Santa Anita's Daytona Handicap in mid-February.

The Shug McGaughey-trained Dancing Forever is among the other key contenders in a field that also includes outsiders Cruden Bay, Mocoreta, Running Wish, and Devil's Preacher.

Fountain may be next for Anak Nakal

Anak Nakal worked an easy half-mile in 51 seconds at Palm Meadows on Saturday for trainer Nick Zito. The work was the first for Anak Nakal, a son of Victory Gallop, since his victory in the Grade 2 Kentucky Jockey Club Stakes on Nov. 24.

"I'll talk it over with the owners but it's possible he could make his 3-year-old debut in the Fountain of Youth," said Zito.

The Grade 2 Fountain of Youth will be decided at 1 1/8 miles at Gulfstream on Feb. 24.