12/14/2005 12:00AM

Laurel track report


Fans apparently took one look at trainer Val Testerman's 6-for-141 record and 4 percent win rate for 2005 and steered clear when Mach Speed made his first start off the claim in an optional claiming race at Laurel Park last Friday.

Although Mach Speed had gone off at 9-2 when fourth in his previous race and had won at the same one-mile distance as last Friday's race with a 93 Beyer Speed Figure four starts back, he was dismissed Friday at 22-1.

Ridden by Richard Monterrey, Mach Speed ($46.60) by 2 1/4 lengths and earned a Beyer Figure of 91.

* Sassy Love sure seemed to prefer the turf, the surface on which she finished second in the Maryland Million Lady and recorded her only career win. In contrast, she was a distant ninth in her lone start on dirt.

But trainer Casey Randall knew what he was doing by entering Sassy Love on the main track for a first-level allowance on Dec. 8. Ridden by Erick Rodriguez, Sassy Love ($30.60) responded favorably to the surface switch and matched her career-high Beyer Figure with a 78.

* Shake You Down, who has earned $1.4 million in his career but has clearly lost a couple of steps at age 7, had come to Maryland and won his last two starts. Both were for a $32,000 claiming price facing optional claimers at five and 5 1/2 furlongs.

Asked to go a bit farther in a six-furlong race at the same level on Dec. 10, Shake You Down finished seventh of nine runners as the 3-2 favorite.

The winner, King Carlos ($45.40), was coming off a win but switching from turf to dirt for trainer Mark Shuman.- Joe DeVivo