10/15/2007 12:00AM

Market Psychology goes in logical spot off layoff

EmailELMONT, N.Y. - Away from the races for six months, Market Psychology appears to have found a nice spot for his return Wednesday at Belmont Park.

Market Psychology heads a field of eight entered in a second-level allowance race for New York-breds that serves as the feature on a nine-race card as the last week of the Belmont fall meet begins. New York-breds will be in fashion all week and especially Saturday, as Belmont hosts New York Showcase Day, 10 races for New York-breds including seven stakes with purses totaling $1omillion.

Had Market Psychology stayed healthy he might have been in one of Saturday's stakes. But Market Psychology came out of a second-place finish in the Times Square Division of the Stallion Stakes on April 22 with a severe lung infection, according to trainer Rick Violette.

"It took him an awful long time to get him back on track,'' Violette said. "He's doing great now, he really is. I was going to run him for a tag, but I decided to run him back here and let him show us where he belongs.''

Wednesday's race offers an optional claiming option of $30,000. Only Sly Diamond Jim is being offered for the claiming price.

Market Psychology, a son of Freud, won his debut as a 2-year-old at Saratoga before finishing sixth in the Bertram Bongard Stakes, which also precipitated a layoff. After running second in a first-level statebred allowance in his 3-year-old debut, Market Psychology beat older horses clearing that allowance condition on April 7.

In the Times Square he was sent off the favorite against Bustin Stones, with whom he dueled until the eighth pole before Bustin Stones drew clear to a 4 1/4-length score to remain undefeated.

Smash 'em Sammy rallied to get second that day. Smash 'em Sammy, who has lost his last 12 starts, is back in this spot Wednesday.

Sly Diamond Jim is interesting. He ships down from Finger Lakes, where he has won five consecutive races. He finished last behind Market Psychology in that April 7 race.

Baxter, a stakes winner at 2, is an upset candidate who could take advantage of a pace meltdown.

Etched skipping Breeders' Cup

Etched, an impressive debut winner here on Sept. 29, was not pre-entered for the Breeders' Cup Juvenile and instead will be pointed to the $100,000 Nashua Stakes at Aqueduct on Oct. 28, trainer Kiaran McLaughlin said.

Etched, a son of Forestry out of Unbridled Elaine, the 2001 Breeders' Cup Distaff winner, won a maiden race by 6 3/4 lengths, running the six furlongs in 1:09.72. He earned a Beyer Speed Figure of 90.

"We're going to the Nashua,'' McLaughlin said Monday. "First of all [the Breeders Cup] is a big step. Second, he might not have got in if you wanted to run. We just barely toyed with the idea'' of the Breeders' Cup.

On Sunday, Etched work a half-mile in 48.67 seconds over Belmont's main track.

Matties suspended for positive

Trainer Gregg Matties began a 15-day suspension on Sunday for a banned substance that was found in one of his horses that raced at Saratoga. The suspension was reduced from 30 days for Matties waiving his right of appeal.

The Matties-trained Seittam was found to have acepromazine, a tranquilizer, in his post-race samples after finishing second in the fifth race at Saratoga on July 30. The horse was disqualified from second and ordered unplaced in the order of finish.

Matties was also fined $1,000.

Trainer Juan Serey just returned from a 15-day suspension for the finding of acepromazine in the post-race samples of Howdyamissthisone, who finished second in the 10th race at Belmont on July 21.

Cardinal next for Criminologist

Criminologist came out of her dominant win in Saturday's Grade 3 Athenia Handicap in good order and will be pointed to the Grade 3, $150,000 Cardinal Handicap at Churchill Downs on Nov. 17, trainer Shug McGaughey said.

Criminologist, who won the Athenia by 4 1/2 lengths, earned a career-best 102 Beyer Speed Figure for her victory, her third consecutive stakes score.

McGaughey said that Boca Grande, second in the Indiana Breeders' Cup Oaks, will be pointed to the Top Flight Handicap here on Nov. 23.