09/07/2006 12:00AM

Miesque's Approval okay with week delay

Miesque's Approval, coming off back-to-back Grade 2 wins, looks tough in the Red Bank.

OCEANPORT, N.J. - Marty Wolfson sees the postponement to Saturday of the Grade 3, $150,000 Red Bank Stakes on the turf at Monmouth Park as a possible silver lining for Miesque's Approval.

The 7-year-old Miesque's Approval winds up on a course softened by midweek rain in a redrawn field that includes added early speed.

"I was hoping the turf would get a little softer," the trainer said. "It was so hard earlier in the summer. The more speed the better for me."

Miesque's Approval drew post 5 in the 10-horse field going one mile. Miracle Man was entered for the main track only.

Tropical Storm Ernesto pounded the Jersey Shore over the Labor Day weekend and washed out last Saturday's card, including the Red Bank.

The forecast calls for clear skies for the final graded stakes of the meet.

Miesque's Approval has won Grade 2 stakes in his last two starts, the Maker's Mark Mile at Keeneland and the Firecracker Breeders' Cup Handicap at Churchill Downs on July 1.

Wolfson, based at Calder, plans to use the Red Bank as a bridge to the Grade 1 Shadwell Turf Mile at Keeneland on Oct. 7.

"If they ran and it came off the turf last week, that would have been a major problem," Wolfson said. "We would have had to fly back without a race and start over. With just a one-week difference, it doesn't alter much."

Miesque's Approval stayed sharp with a four-furlong drill here Monday in 49.20 seconds.

"He worked well," Wolfson said.

Hotstufanthensome also worked this week, going six furlongs in 1:12.20 on Tuesday. The 6-year-old gelding trained by Norman Pointer ran well in two starts this meet, losing the Elkwood Stakes by a half-length and the Grade 3 Oceanport Stakes by a neck.

"It's no problem," Pointer said of the delay. "He worked good. Everything is fine."

The eight horses entered last week are all back on Saturday, along with two new entrants: Old Dodge and Indy Wind.

Old Dodge, bred in Brazil, won the first four starts in his native land. The 5-year-old has not run since losing the Grade 3 Appleton Handicap by a half-length on Feb. 11 at Gulfstream Park.

The 4-year-old Indy Wind makes his stakes and turf debut for owner-trainer Amy Tarrant.

The delay in the race provided the colt with added time to recover from a sinus infection.

"His wonderful breeze on Monday showed me he's fit and ready," Tarrant said.

Indy Wind turned in the four-furlong bullet drill in 46.80 seconds.