12/23/2003 12:00AM

Korbyn Gold should cruise in Allison Futurity


SUNLAND PARK, N.M. - Sunland Park's plan to join the Kentucky Derby prep picture begins Saturday afternoon, with the $175,851 Riley Allison Futurity at 6 1/2 furlongs. The Allison is the first leg of a series that culminates with the $500,000-guaranteed WinStar Derby on March 28.

A $250,000 bonus awaits any horse who can sweep the Allison, the $100,000-added Borderland Derby at a mile on Feb. 29, and the 1 1/16-mile WinStar.

Excessivepleasure won last year's inaugural running of the WinStar, and went on to win the Grade 3 Indiana Derby and the Iowa Derby. The WinStar will be eligible for graded status in 2006, and if all goes well, it will become a fixture of the national derby prep scene.

Trained by Steve Asmussen, Korbyn Gold looks close to unbeatable in the Allison. Korbyn Gold has stakes wins at Lone Star and Arlington, and was second to The Cliff's Edge in Churchill's Grade 3 Iroquois.

"I think this series is going to go well," said Asmussen. "We took a good shot at the WinStar last year with Mr. Decatur, but he just didn't run his race that day."

Korbyn Gold won his trial for the Allison by 1 1/2 lengths in 1:17.48 for 6 1/2 furlongs, with jockey Casey Lambert sitting perfectly still. Korbyn Gold was so dominant in the trial that, as the field entered the stretch, track race caller Robert Gellar told the crowd, "Korbyn Gold still hasn't gotten out of second gear!"

Korbyn Gold has been training here with Asmussen assistant Tony Mathiasen and worked a comfortable half in 49 seconds Tuesday morning.

Hi Teck Man, who comes into the Allison on a four-race win streak, is the most capable of defeating Korbyn Gold. Trained by Johnnie Nall and owned by Hassel Spraberry, Hi Teck Man has raced only on the New Mexico circuit. His trial time was 1:16.65, .83 faster than Korbyn Gold's, and if Korbyn Gold doesn't fire, Hi Teck Man could be right there.

Sunland owner Stanley Fulton, who won the Allison last year with Sum Trick, has a trio of well-bred, lightly raced maidens entered this year, each of whom is trained by Jess Alley.