05/27/2008 11:00PM

Leading statebreds square off

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ELMONT, N.Y. - In October, Belmont Park will host the $250,000 Empire Classic, the richest race for New York-breds. On Friday, Belmont will host a discounted version of the same race when nine statebreds square off in the $75,000 Noble Nashua.

The only difference in the two races - besides the money - is the distance. At 1 1/16 miles, the Noble Nashua is a sixteenth of a mile shorter than the Empire Classic.

Full brothers Organizer, 6, and Dr. V's Magic, 4, are the last two winners of the Empire Classic. The two sons of the mating of Raffie's Majesty and Treasure Always will run as a coupled entry in the Noble Nashua, which also features recently crowned New York-bred horse of the year Naughty New Yorker.

Dr. V's Magic is coming off a third-place finish in a third-level allowance race on May 8, his first start since running third in the Grade 3 Discovery Handicap last November.

"He was a little compromised by the one post, stuck inside with a slow pace," trainer Dominic Galluscio said. "He ran respectable and came out well. It wasn't like it was a huge race off the comeback. It should move him forward not set him back."

Kent Desormeaux, aboard for last year's Empire Classic, is back aboard for this race.

Organizer has not won since upsetting the 2006 Empire Classic at odds of 22-1. He went winless in five starts after that, including all four last year. Organizer has not run since finishing third in the Evan Shipman here last July 22. Galluscio said Organizer had "minor infirmities" that required time off.

"He's trained very willingly - I think he's fit," Galluscio said.

Organizer could be close to the pace while Dr. V's Magic prefers to do his running from farther back. There appears to be ample speed in the field with Stormin Normandy and R Clear Victory entered.

A contested pace would also help Naughty New Yorker, who comes in off a disappointing fifth-place finish as the 3-5 favorite in the Kings Point Handicap on April 20. Fifteen days earlier he finished a closer fifth in the Grade 3 Excelsior Handicap. A victory in the Noble Nashua would put him over the $1 million mark in career earnings.

"I think we wheeled him back too fast when they socked it to him the other day, '' trainer Pat Kelly said. "We're still trying to get him over a million dollars."

Stakes winners Shuffling Maddnes, Prince of Peace, and Classic Pack are also in the Noble Nashua field.