02/08/2006 12:00AM

Lake a big fish in Laurel pond

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Scott Lake started the month winning more than a third of the time and having his Laurel runners in the money at an 80 percent clip.

February is traditionally a chilly month in the mid-Atlantic region, but it has started out white hot for trainer Scott Lake.

In the first six days of racing this month, Lake's runners went 13 for 36 - a 36 percent clip - while showing a return on investment of $2.58.

The biggest chunk of Lake's action came at Laurel Park, where he went 8 for 15, with 80 percent of his horses in the money. Lake saddled three winners apiece in Maryland on both Feb. 2 and Feb. 4.

Although he has been winning frequently, Lake's horses have frequently paid good prices, including Laurel winners Hardtobethebest ($13.80), Cantora ($10.20), and Trucode ($11.20).

* Kelvin Serrano, a seven-pound apprentice, had the unusual distinction of riding two horses who paid more than $100 on the same card on Feb. 2.

Serrano, who came into the day without so much as a single first-, second-, or third-place finish in 28 mounts during 2006, got the 3-year-old filly Famosa Senorita ($117.40) to rally along the inside for a 3 1/4-length victory in a $10,000 maiden claiming sprint and guided 100-1 bomb Holo Nui to a second-place finish later on the program. Holo Nui, who finished 4 1/2 lengths clear of the third-place finisher despite hitting the rail in the stretch, paid $104 to place.

* The 5-year-old gray gelding Reckless Ways ($5), claimed by owner Lacey Gaudet, the 18-year-old daughter of trainer Eddie Gaudet, for $18,000 on Jan. 11, won his first start for his new connections last Saturday while stepping up in class to a $25,000 optional claiming race. Reckless Ways, who had been claimed in each of his three previous starts, remained in Gaudet's barn by running for the second-level allowance conditions of the race.

* Ameri Brilliance ($7), winless since taking the West Virginia Chairman's Cup at Mountaineer in August 2004, hung on for a neck victory on Feb. 3 while facing $10,000 claimers. Trainer Robbie Bailes claimed the 7-year-old Ameri Brilliance, who finished third in the 2004 Maryland Million Sprint.

Philadelphia Park

After finishing third in a second-level allowance race in February 2005, Devil's Mark steadily dropped in class until he reached the rock-bottom $4,000 claiming ranks at Philadelphia Park in November.

But ever since he was claimed that day by trainer Cynthia Reese, the old-timer has been enjoying a career revival.

Now 8, Devil's Mark has moved back up the class ladder, winning easily for a $12,500 claiming price on Jan. 23 and again against $20,000 claimers last Sunday.

Reese had to keep outbidding the old connections of Devil's Mark to gain control of the gelding, who has won 16 of 72 career starts and more than $210,000.

Trainer Steve Mick, who paid $20,000 to acquire Devil's Mark for owners Harris Feinberg and Michael Ramsey a year ago, re-claimed the horse for $5,000 in his first start for Reese in December.

Reese upped the ante when she was willing to pay $10,000 for Devil's Mark, on behalf of Richard Abola, on Jan. 3.