05/08/2002 11:00PM

Late Carson, or free-for-all


If Late Carson ships from New York, he will be a solid choice in Saturday's $75,000 Damitrius Stakes at Delaware Park.

But trainer Richard Dutrow has cross-entered Late Carson in the $100,000 Bold Ruler Handicap at Belmont Park the same day as the Damitrius. Considering the purse is higher and he would have to face just four rivals in New York as compared with 11 foes at Delaware, Late Carson is more likely to stay home.

Without Late Carson, the six-furlong Damitrius, named for the horse whose track record of 1:08.20 has lasted 22 years, would be transformed into a wide-open scramble.

The other part of Dutrow's entry, Appealing Danger, could be the beneficiary if his stablemate is indeed absent. Appealing Danger, supplemented to the race after nominations closed, rang up Beyer Speed Figures of 97 and 98 in four of his five starts after coming to Dutrow's barn a year ago. He hasn't raced since August, however.

Based on recent form, Stormin Oedy and Wild Current look formidable. The horses were separated by a neck when they finished second and third, respectively, in the $50,000 Fire Plug at Pimlico in mid-April.

Max's Pal was a quality sprinter last year, winning stakes sprints at Monmouth and Suffolk and placing third in the Grade 3 Philadelphia Breeders' Cup Handicap. But in his season's debut two weeks ago, Max's Pal faded badly after flashing speed for a half-mile.

Willa green but special

Willa on the Move may have enough talent to make up for her lack of experience. At least that's what trainer Rodney Jenkins hopes.

After watching Willa on the Move cruise to a 4 3/4-length victory in an allowance race Tuesday at Delaware Park, Jenkins said he's going to give the lightly raced 3-year-old filly a shot in the $100,000 Miss Preakness Stakes on May 16 at Pimlico.

Willa on the Move, making just her second lifetime start, earned an 86 Beyer Speed Figure in her allowance win, one point less than the figure she posted winning her career debut in a six-length romp at Laurel Park on Feb. 28.

"In her first start back in Feburary, she bucked her shins, so we gave her a little time," Jenkins explained. "For her second start, this was an impressive effort. I know she's awful green having only two starts, but she is very special and really quick."

Steiners Baby Girl wins comeback

Steiners Baby Girl, idle since injuring herself in the Delaware Oaks last July, was an impressive winner in her 4-year-old debut, crushing eight rivals by 7 3/4 lengths in a mile allowance race last Saturday. The win was worth an 88 on the Beyer scale.

Although all three of her lifetime wins have come on dirt, trainer John Scanlan said she will make her next start in the $125,000 Gallorette Handicap on Pimlico's turf course on May 18.

* Jockey William Hollick, 35, recorded his first win since injuring his back in a spill at Penn National last August in Tuesday's second race. Hollick won aboard Adrinkinseattle, a 4-year-old granddaughter of Seattle Slew, who died earlier that day.