07/29/2008 12:00AM

Market Psychology looks to be out front


SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. - Trainer Rick Violette took a set of past performances for Thursday's $80,000 John Morrissey Handicap at Saratoga, and before even glancing at the data asked, "Is there any speed in the race?"

The answer was "Yes, you," referring to the Violette-trained Market Psychology, who may end up on a lonesome lead in the Morrissey, an overnight stakes for New York-breds carded at 6 1/2 furlongs.

Market Psychology has registered all four of his victories on the lead, the most recent a 4 1/4-length triumph against open first-level allowance competition this spring at Aqueduct. He won his only start at Saratoga, leading at every call to capture his career debut nearly two years ago.

Market Psychology, a 4-year-old son of Freud, is coming off a pair of second-place finishes, the most recent behind Stormin Normandy in the Papua Stakes on June 12 at Belmont Park.

"He really ran a good race last time," Violette said. "He chased the best horse in the field from start to finish, made a couple of runs at him, and had every reason to pass out through the latter stages, but still stayed on gamely to the end."

While Violette doesn't believe Market Psychology needs the lead to win, he would love to see him get in front and relax in the Morrissey if he can.

"He showed he was manageable last time, but being on the pace is obviously his best suit," Violette said. "Naturally, I'd like him to get loose, and from the looks of the field, he just might be able to here."

Shaun Bridgmohan will be aboard Market Psychology for the first time in the Morrissey.

There are several question marks among Market Psychology's six rivals, most notably Ferocious Fires and Stunt Man.

Feriocious Fires opened his career with five consecutive victories, but has started just twice since winning the Mr. Leader Stakes to cap off his

3-year-old campaign in November 2006. Ferocious Fires will return against statebreds after opening his season by finishing an even sixth against open competition in his turf debut in the Inside the Beltway Stakes on July 9 at Belmont.

Stunt Man is a four-time stakes winner for trainer Gary Contessa but has not started since the Aqueduct winter meet, where he won the Don Rickles Stakes around two turns over the inner track in his 3-year-old finale. Stunt Man captured the nine-furlong Albany Stakes last summer at Saratoga.