05/29/2002 11:00PM

Manofglory would do well to rate in '02 bow


OCEANPORT, N.J. - Five-year-old Manofglory was one of the most accomplished five-furlong turf specialists at Monmouth last year, and in Saturday's $50,000 Wolf Hill Stakes for 3-year-olds and up he will be trying to show that a year hasn't slowed his sprinting step.

Manofglory, trained by Ben Perkins Jr., made two starts on the turf as a 3-year-old, but it was his 2001 summer campaign at Monmouth in which he came into his own on the grass. He was beaten a nose in his first start at Monmouth last June 27, but has not lost since. He has won four in a row coming into this race, two of which came at Monmouth. Manofglory, however, has not been to the races since winning his first stakes Sept. 29, the Tom Edison Stakes at The Meadowlands. If he is going to be a vulnerable favorite, now is the time.

Manofglory has shown the ability to rate off the pace and win, and that may be the best tactic in the Wolf Hill, because there should be a blistering pace. The Ronny Werner-trained Cherokee Sauce went wire to wire in his last start on the turf at Lone Star Park. Rudirudy, a consistent 7-year-old, will be in the mix early, and he has had great success over the Monmouth turf course in past years for trainer Gaston Sandoval.

Rideouts Patton poses the best chance to end Manofglory's winning streak. Rideouts Patton won the $50,000 Anderson Fowler Stakes for 3-year-olds on the turf last year, and trainer Tim Hills has since tried to stretch out the gelding to longer distances with moderate success. A return to five-furlong turf sprinting should benefit Rideouts Patton. In his only meeting with Manofglory last summer, Rideouts Patton was beaten a head.

The field of 10 is completed by Red Weasel, Port Herman, Erlton, Fit Zun, River to Heaven, and El Guapito. Oro de Mexico and Max's Pal are dirt only alternates.

Winning team, morning and afternoon

Thursday was a successful day for the trainer-jockey combo of Jeff Bonde and Roberto Alvarado. In the fog-filled morning, Alvarado was aboard Menacing Dennis, a 3-year-old gelding, as he worked five furlongs in 1:04 over a track deemed very slow by the clockers. In the afternoon's third race, Alvarado rode Bonde's 2-year-old filly, Mike's Wildcat, to an impressive maiden victory in the meet's first juvenile race.

Menacing Dennis, with Alvarado up, worked out for the first time since his pacesetting 10th place finish in the Preakness Stakes May 18. Assistant trainer Sal Muniz, who oversees the Bonde operation at Monmouth when Bonde is at his California base at Bay Meadows, said he did not believe that the time of the workout was as slow as recorded by the clockers.

"No way he worked that slow," Muniz said. "Alvarado said he went in about 1:01 in hand."

Alvarado said that he was satisfied with Menacing Dennis's workout. "He's ready to roll," he said.

Muniz said that Menacing Dennis is nominated to two stakes on June 8: the Riva Ridge at Belmont and the Leonard Richards at Delaware. Owner Dennis Narlinger of JMJ Racing Stable has said that Menacing Dennis's main goal this summer is the $1 million Haskell Invitational on Aug. 4.

Mike's Wildcat, who is also owned by Narlinger, won her maiden impressively Thursday in her second career start. She broke a little slowly from the gate, but Alvarado quickly moved her into second off the pacesetter Emblitterate. She took the lead turning for home and opened up down the stretch to record the five furlongs in 1:00.12. Emblitterate was 5 3/4 lengths back in second, the same distance ahead of Royal Dove.

"I knew she had a lot of speed," Alvarado said, "but she broke a little slow from the gate. I put her in the race right away and she won pretty easy. She's a pretty nice filly."

Mike's Wildcat was purchased for $200,000 by Narlinger at the Ocala Breeders' 2-year-old in training sale in March. Mike's Wildcat's breeding isn't very impressive; she is by Forest Wildcat and the first foal out of the unraced mare Old Flame. But she worked extremely well at the sales to garner such a high auction price.

Hills hits the road

At 3:55 p.m. Monday, trainer Tim Hills was in the winner's circle at Philadelphia Park for winning photo after Joe's Son Joey's victory in the $100,000 Turf Monster Stakes on the turf. Nick Santagata flawlessly guided Joe's Son Joey between horses down the stretch to win the five-furlong race by three-quarters of a length over favorite Texas Glitter. Joe's Son Joey had run second to Texas Glitter in the Yankee Affair Stakes at Gulfstream Park in April, but turned the tables on him Monday.

After the win, Hills jumped in his car and headed back to Monmouth just in time for Cool Luke's victory in the 11th race at 5:45. Two wins at two tracks in a little less than two hours.

"Some of the jockeys' agents told me the back way to get back from Philly," Hills said. "It was a relief to win those two, because I didn't have a good Saturday or Sunday."

Hills's operations have expanded this year, as he has a stable at Delaware Park for the first time since 1975. He already has two wins at Delaware and he said he is very happy with the stable there. Bruce Brown, a former assistant to John Forbes at Monmouth, is in charge of the Hills's barn at Delaware.