10/12/2009 11:00PM

Martin has pair of grass threats


ELMONT, N.Y. - The highlights of the meet's next-to-last Thursday program are a pair of New York-bred races scheduled for turf.

Geldings trained by Carlos Martin figure prominently in race 4, a $46,000 optional claimer scheduled for the inner turf at 1 1/8 miles, and in race 5, a $43,000 first-level allowance at seven furlongs on the Widener turf.

All but two turf-meant runners in race 4 are eligible for second-level allowances. One of the exceptions is Hangingbyathread, who got through the condition easily last fall, and won twice earlier this year for Martin, including an overnight stakes.

After twice facing Banrock, the reigning king of the New York-bred turf division, Hangingbyathread drops in to be claimed for the first time since his first start for Martin back in July of 2008.

"He's been good to us," said Martin. "He's had a long campaign, and I'm tired of getting beat by Banrock. It's time to put him in a realistic spot. The only problem is there's not a lot of pace. Hopefully, he won't be running next-to-last behind a 1:14 [six-furlong time] like last time."

Hammock, who has been running against open allowance rivals ever since an off-the-board finish behind Banrock last year, may find himself forwardly placed along with Urban Flight, who comes off a wire-to-wire win over restricted claimers.

Other contenders include the consistent stretch-runner Missinglisalewis; Too Amenable, who steps up seeking his third straight win; the trouble-prone Separatist; and Pretty Boy Freud, who will make his turf debut after two losses as the favorite at this level.

The baker's dozen entered for turf in race 5 are a combined 0 for 32 in first-level New York-bred allowance races.

Among them is the Martin-trained Pegasian, a Flying Zee Stable homebred who has switched over from the barn of Phil Serpe.

Pegasian is making his eighth attempt at this level, but this will be the first time he has been on the Widener turf since a maiden win last October under Edgar Prado. Prado, whose five-bagger on Saturday included a pair of Grade 1 stakes, rides him on Thursday.

"Phil says he's a hard-trying horse, and just watching his form, a couple of spots he's been in were less than ideal," said Martin. "I'm hoping that cutting back to seven furlongs will give him a more effective punch, and Edgar's riding really well."

Other contenders include Woodrunner and Onzain.