05/01/2003 11:00PM

Lake to strike while Shake You Down is hot

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OZONE PARK, N.Y. - Shake You Down has run two monster races since being claimed by trainer Scott Lake. Not surprisingly, he will make his next start in a stakes. It's just a question of which one.

Lake, who also owns Shake You Down, nominated the 5-year-old to next Saturday's $100,000 Bold Ruler at Belmont Park. If Lake decides that the Grade 3 Bold Ruler is too close to Shake You Down's last race, on April 26, he will run the horse in the $200,000 Maryland Breeders' Cup at Pimlico on the Preakness undercard, May 17.

Lake claimed Shake You Down on March 12 at Aqueduct for $65,000 from trainer Ben Feliciano Jr. and owners Craig Hand and Timothy Donahue. A son of Montbrook, Shake You Down finished second the day of the claim. Lake said Shake You Down put on about 150 to 200 pounds before he ran the horse for the first time, on April 11 at Aqueduct.

"I had gone to Dubai with My Cousin Matt and I hadn't seen Shake You Down for a little bit," Lake said. "When I saw him, I said, 'No way that is Shake You Down.' He looked great and was really training aggressively."

Shake You Down ran for the first time for Lake in a classified allowance race at six furlongs over a sloppy track. Shake You Down romped to a 7 1/2-length win and covered the distance in 1:08.34. He earned a Beyer Speed Figure of 118, the highest in the country in races up to a mile.

Shake You Down caught another sloppy track for his next start, 15 days later in another allowance race at Aqueduct. Shake You Down splashed home a 5 1/4-length winner. His final time of 1:07.77 came within .23 seconds of Kelly Kip's track record. The effort earned Shake You Down another 118 Beyer.

Lake is concerned about running Shake You Down back in the Bold Ruler on two weeks' rest after two huge efforts. But there is one thing that could persuade him to run in the six-furlong Bold Ruler.

"If he was entered in the Bold Ruler and it rained, I would probably run him," Lake said.

Lake said My Cousin Matt, who finished fifth in the Golden Shaheen in Dubai on March 29, has been in light training since his return from the Middle East. He said he is shooting for the $750,000 Metropolitan Mile on May 26 at Belmont with My Cousin Matt, who won the General George at Laurel Park in February.

"I've just been going light with him because [Dubai] can be such a hard trip on these horses," Lake said.

No Special for Classic Endeavor

Trainer Scott Schwartz said he has decided against running Classic Endeavor in the $600,000 Pimlico Special on May 16 after the horse finished last as the favorite in the off-the-turf Fort Marcy here on April 26.

Before the Fort Marcy, Schwartz entertained thoughts of the Grade 1 Pimlico Special because Classic Endeavor was in such good form. This year, Classic Endeavor has won the Grade 3 Excelsior and was second in the Stymie. He had finished first or second in eight starts leading up to the Fort Marcy.

"He came out of the Fort Marcy perfect, but he never seemed to get into the race," Schwartz said. "He didn't break sharp and it was all over after that. I don't know where I will run him next, but I don't want to go all out with him in a tough race."

Schwartz's summer target for Classic Endeavor is one of the races on the Claiming Crown card at Canterbury Downs on July 19. Classic Endeavor is eligible for the Claiming Crown because he ran for a $20,000 claiming tag as recently as Nov. 2.

* Belmont's opening-day feature on Wednesday is the $100,000 Westchester Handicap. Among the expected starters are Bowman's Band (116 pounds), Gander (116), Saarland (114), Justification (113), Najran (113), and Griffinite (111). The Grade 3 Westchester will be run at a mile.

* Evening Attire, one of the country's leading older horses last year, had his first work of 2003 on Thursday over Belmont's main track. Evening Attire covered three furlongs in 37.56 seconds. Evening Attire won the off-the-turf Red Smith Handicap at Aqueduct on Nov. 23 in his last start. He also won the Grade 1 Jockey Club Gold Cup at Belmont and was fourth in the Breeders' Cup Classic at Arlington Park last year.