09/17/2004 11:00PM

Lusty Latin takes off-the-turf stakes

Jim McCue/Maryland Jockey Club
Ryan Fogelsonger scores one of his six wins Saturday at Pimlico aboard Lusty Latin in the Schapiro Memorial.

Trainer Mark Shuman got his wish when Saturday's $148,500 John D. Schapiro Memorial Breeders' Cup was moved from the turf to the main track at Pimlico.

Shuman's horse, Lusty Latin, is winless in four lifetime starts on grass but had won two of his last three starts going 1 1/8 miles on dirt, both at Saratoga.

One of six winners on the card ridden by Ryan Fogelsonger, Lusty Latin ($11.80) won his first stakes since Shuman claimed him for owner Mike Gill out of an $80,000 race at Hollywood Park last December. He tracked the pace, found a hole on the rail, and drew clear to finish 4 1/2 lengths in front of Foufa's Warrior, covering the nine furlongs in 1:49 over a fast track.

Shuman said Lusty Latin, 15th in the 2002 Kentucky Derby, has improved since he was gelded.

"He's turned into the horse he's supposed to be," Shuman said. "It seemed in previous starts he wouldn't run inside of horses. He was hesitant. So we decided [in this race] to take him outside. He proved us wrong today. I guess he likes the inside, too."

Fogelsonger leads the jockey standings with 17 victories in the first seven days of the meet, 11 more than any other rider. His previous career best was five winners on five different occasions, including four times at Pimlico.

"I thought I had a chance for a big day, but oftentimes when that happens you don't even get one," Fogelsonger said. "When you win three your confidence rises, and you don't have to even think about riding smart."

Mr O'Brien, the 2-5 favorite on the basis of his strong turf form, set the early pace and faded to last in a field reduced to five by five scratches.