11/22/2001 12:00AM

Listen Here tries to get two turns in Remsen

Email

JAMAICA, N.Y. - In the last 10 years, the Remsen Stakes has produced two Kentucky Derby winners, a Preakness winner, and the multiple Grade 1 winner Skip Away.

Come Saturday afternoon, someone will have visions of roses dancing in their head after nine 2-year-olds go in the $200,000, Grade 2 Remsen Stakes for juvenile colts at Aqueduct. The Remsen, run at nine furlongs, is one of three stakes on the last big day of racing of the year in New York.

Based on his three victories - including a half-length score in the Grade 3 Nashua last month - Listen Here figures a slight favorite in the Remsen. As will be the case with most of the field, Listen Here will be making his first start around two turns. Listen Here is a son of Gulch, who while better known as a crack sprinter several times placed in Grade 1 races at nine furlongs.

Trainer Bill Mott doesn't know how far Listen Here will go, but he believes the colt's running style and disposition will give him a chance to get a distance of ground.

"He's been very tractable the whole time; he's never been a runaway," Mott said. "He's built more like a miler, very muscular. Obviously, he has good speed, but he's got the mind of a horse that would go on."

Listen Here will carry top weight of 122 pounds and breaks from post 8 under Edgar Prado.

In the Nashua, Listen Here defeated Monthir, another son of Gulch, who appears to be improving with every start. Since adding blinkers, Monthir won his maiden by eight lengths and ran second in the Nashua. Saturday, he will run for the first time on Lasix.

"I think racing helped get him focused," trainer Mark Hennig said.

After winning his maiden in his second start, Saarland garnered attention as a horse to watch. He broke poorly and bled while finishing fourth in the Champagne, and then finished eighth in the Breeders' Cup Juvenile. Trainer Shug McGaughey said he and jockey John Velazquez will attempt to change Saarland's running style Saturday.

"I think Saturday we'll try to keep him in the race a little bit more," McGaughey said. "Johnny feels we should keep him active."

Although Nokoma lacks seasoning, his connections believe he has the talent to be a factor in the 3-year-old division next year. Trainer Todd Pletcher said he wanted to get an allowance race into the horse before the Remsen, but it didn't fill.