02/25/2004 12:00AM

M B Sea should be on form


HALLANDALE BEACH, Fla. - M B Sea ran like a horse who may have needed a race when he finished seventh in his 2004 debut in Fair Grounds' Whirlaway Handicap. But with that start under his belt and 38-percent trainer Dale Romans calling the shots, M B Sea should get back on the winning track in Friday's $46,000 allowance headliner at Gulfstream Park.

rallied from eighth to fourth, only 3 1/2 lengths off the leader, before tiring through the final furlong of the Grade 3 Whirlaway. The outing was the first for M B Sea since his seventh-place finish in the Grade 2 Clark Handicap nine weeks earlier at Churchill Downs.

M B Sea was a road warrior for Romans during the second half of his 2003 campaign, competing at six different tracks while showing gradual improvement with every start. His best effort came on Oct. 25, when he rallied to a one-length victory over Tenpins in Keeneland's 1 1/8-mile Fayette Handicap.

Craig Perret, who guided M B Sea to victory in the Grade 3 Fayette, will be back aboard for Friday's mile-and-70-yard race.

was a two-time Grade 3 stakes winner last year but has not started since finishing third under allowance conditions at Saratoga on July 23. Frank Alexander, who trains Windsor Castle, thinks he might need a race coming off the seven-month hiatus.

"He had a little suspensory problem, so we gave him plenty of time off," Alexander said. "He's training well, but we've been a little careful with him and he'll probably need this race."

The biggest question mark in the field is Quem Se Atreve, another of trainer Ken McPeek's Brazilian imports, who makes his U.S. debut on Friday.

Quem Se Atreve was a listed stakes winner on dirt and Group 1 stakes-placed on turf last season in his native Brazil. Now 4, Quem Se Atreve worked five furlongs in 59.60 seconds here last week and, in a field lacking much in the way of any early speed, could prove dangerous if allowed to relax on the lead under jockey Edgar Prado.

Woodmoon, Dancing Guy, and trainer Manny Tortora's uncoupled entry of Whos Crying Now and Supah Blitz round out the compact lineup.

Woodmoon won an overnight stakes here last winter but has been off his best form since finishing third in the Grade 3 Cornhusker Handicap on July 12. Now 6, Woodmoon finished seventh in the Hal's Hope Handicap here on Jan. 3, opening day of the current session.