06/07/2005 11:00PM

'Master' appears a keeper


ELMONT, N.Y. - The phone started ringing about an hour after Master of Disaster won his maiden by 13 1/4 lengths May 10 at Delaware Park. In another time, trainer Steve Klesaris may have entertained offers to sell the talented 2-year-old colt. This is a different time.

When he was training horses for Marcia and Philip Cohen, Klesaris developed horses such as Booklet and Buckle Down Ben and sold them for big profits after they won at 2. But Klesaris and co-owner Jeffrey Puglisi spent $600,000 on Master of Disaster earlier this year. They are not willing to part with him so fast.

Friday, Master of Disaster will try to validate that maiden score when he meets four rivals in the Grade 3, $100,000 Flash Stakes at Belmont Park. The Flash, run at five furlongs, is one of two stakes on a 10-race card that begins at 1 p.m. Eastern. Klesaris also entered Speed of Sound, but only as insurance in case Master of Disaster couldn't run.

"When I was in partnership with Mr. and Mrs. Cohen, that was our business venture - buy them, break them, train them, race them, and sell them," Klesaris said. "Mr. Puglisi is in it because he likes the game. He stepped up and paid a handsome fee to acquire the colt.

On a track that was playing pretty slowly, Master of Disaster rolled to victory, covering the 4 1/2 furlongs in 51.86 seconds, which equaled the track record at the distance.

"It was most impressive the way he did it," Klesaris said. "It looked like he was galloping. He was cooled out by the time he hit the test barn and was wondering what was next, and that's the most impressive part about him - like he didn't do anything."

The third-place finisher, Crafty Scott, came back to win a maiden claiming race in his next start.

John Velazquez will ride Master of Disaster from post 3.

, owned by George Steinbrenner, is a potential upsetter. After winning his maiden by 8 3/4 lengths in his debut at Keeneland on April 24, Beacon Shine ran third behind Half Ours and Five Star Holding in the Three Chimneys Juvenile at Churchill Downs. Breaking from the rail, he got away poorly and chased the pace. He had to come five wide in the stretch, but finished well.

Friday, Beacon Shine is drawn on the outside, and with a better break figures to be a stalking presence.