06/21/2004 12:00AM

Kitty Knight falls back

Adam Coglianese/NYRA
Kitty Knight winning the Capote Belle in April. She chased Bear Fan in two subsequent stakes.

ELMONT, N.Y. - A stakes-quality field featuring older female sprinters is the highlight of Wednesday's card at Belmont Park.

The likely favorite among the five runners in the fifth race is Kitty Knight, who lands in an easier spot after chasing Bear Fan in the Genuine Risk and Vagrancy, a pair of Grade 2 races run earlier in the meet. Wednesday's $56,000 optional claimer - none of the horses entered are eligible to be claimed - will be run at six furlongs.

Trained by Allen Jerkens, was an easy winner of the Capote Belle Stakes at Aqueduct in April against a similar field. She has been dominant at six furlongs, winning 4 of 6 starts, but is only 1 for 6 at Belmont.

Jorge Chavez rides Kitty Knight from post 4.

Kitty Knight's strongest challenge figures to come from Elegant Designer, who has been working well for her first start since January. After finishing seventh in the Correction Handicap at Aqueduct on Jan. 31, Elegant Designer was given a freshening by her trainer, Tony Dutrow.

Although she has not run at Belmont, Elegant Designer has won at several different racetracks, including stakes wins at Sam Houston, Aqueduct, and Monmouth.

"She's fresh and ready," said Dutrow, who engaged the meet's leading rider, John Velazquez. "If she loses, it's because she was second best."

A lack of pace could work against Elegant Designer's closing style.

, making her initial start for trainer Steve Young and owner John Stuart, looks like the lone speed.

Zawzooth's last win came at Belmont nearly a year ago in the My Juliet Stakes. Her chances are often compromised at the start of her races.

"She has a habit of getting away poorly, and that's a disadvantage in sprint races," said Zawzooth's trainer, Todd Pletcher. "We're hoping she breaks a little better and puts herself in the game."

Slews Final Answer, a consistent runner from the Bill Mott stable, completes the field.

* In the eighth race, Mass Media, who won his first two races last year at Louisiana Downs by a combined margin of 33 1/4 lengths, makes his first start for trainer Bobby Frankel.

Mass Media, a 3-year-old, is among eight entered in the second-level allowance sprint.

Mass Media hasn't run since finishing 10th in the Breeders' Futurity at Keeneland in October.

Frankel, who began training Mass Media two months ago, said, "In company, he [works] really good. By himself, he doesn't impress me."

- additional reporting by David Grening