05/31/2001 12:00AM

Jostle's new rider: Bailey for Hempstead


Jostle, who has yet to regain the form that made her one of last season's top 3-year-old fillies, will get a new jockey for her next start in New York.

Jostle will be ridden by Jerry Bailey for the first time in the Grade 1 Hempstead Handicap at Belmont Park on June 23. If she runs well and comes out of the Hempstead in good shape, the 4-year-old Jostle will probably run in the Grade 3 $600,000 Delaware Handicap at Delaware Park on July 22.

Mike Smith rode Jostle, who is owned by Richard Porter, a Newark, Del., car dealer and proprietor of Fox Hill Farm, in her last eight races, including a stretch when she won a pair of Grade 1 races - the Coaching Club America Oaks and the Alabama - and the Grade 2 Cotillion at her home track, Philadelphia Park.

Trainer John Servis said he feels it's time for a change, so he has lined up Bailey. "As long as she doing fine and if she runs in the Delaware Handicap, Jerry will ride her," Servis said.

After two uncharacteristically poor efforts in the Breeders' Cup Distaff and Oaklawn Breeders' Cup, Jostle showed signs of life when she finished third despite stumbling at the start of the Bed o' Roses at Aqueduct and just missed by a neck to Serra Lake in the Pimlico Distaff on the Preakness undercard.

Zonk, another talented filly owned by Porter's Fox Hill Farm, could run next in either the Grade 1 Mother Goose Stakes at Belmont on June 30 or the $100,000 Christiana Stakes over Delaware's turf course on July 1.

"I am not really sure I want to put her on the grass yet. She is just running so good on the dirt," Servis said. "Long-term, we are keeping the Delaware Oaks in mind, but it depends on which direction she goes in. If she runs in the Mother Goose and runs well, we will probably keep her up in New York and run her back in the Coaching Club and then the Alabama."

In her first start this year, the 3-year-old Zonk scored by 5 1/4 lengths in a six-furlong Delaware Park allowance on May 6. She most recently won the $50,000 Revere Stakes, a mile race at Monmouth Park, to raise her career record to

3-2-1 in six starts.

California horse returns for MATCH

Northern California-based Beyond Brilliant will begin his tour of the East Coast when he faces six rivals in Saturday's $75,000 Legal Light Stakes.

The six-furlong race is the second leg of the 3-year-old sprint division series of the Mid-Atlantic Thoroughbred Championship (MATCH) series. City Zip, who will not be running in the Legal Light, won the first race of the series, the $75,000 Hirsch Jacobs at Pimlico.

Beyond Brilliant, who will continue with the MATCH series if he runs well Saturday, has made the cross country trip before. Last year, after winning twice at Bay Meadows, he shipped to Delaware and won the six-furlong $75,000 Dover Stakes by 6 3/4 lengths. He followed with his only off-the-board finish of his career by running fifth in the $100,000 First State Stakes, a race that serve as experiment by trainer Greg Gilchrist to see if his horse could go long.

"To be honest, I was very apprehensive. He doesn't look like a horse that will run a route of a ground," Gilchrist said. "I was kind of in the position that I was going to have to find out some time, and the result was just about like I figured it would be. He ran for about seven furlongs."

Since the First State Stakes, Beyond Brilliant has won three sprint stakes in California. He has a career record of 6-2-0 in nine starts with earnings of $207,040.

* First-time starter Where There's Fire came close to the track record for 4 1/2 furlongs in Tuesday's fifth race. A 2-year-old colt trained by Ben Perkins Jr. and ridden by Edwin King, Where There's Fire covered the distance in 52.09 seconds. Erlton set the track record of 51.80 in 1998.