07/03/2007 11:00PM

Monashee Gold can make it 3 for 4


LOUISVILLE, Ky. - Dale Romans was at Monmouth Park to run Spin Master in the Jersey Shore Breeders' Cup on Wednesday, which led the veteran trainer to postpone his annual Fourth of July celebration until Friday night. Before the party, Romans is hoping Monashee Gold will provide some early fireworks in the $52,500 feature at his home track, Churchill Downs.

Monashee Gold, owned by a partnership led by Team Valor International, enters off a game triumph in which he defeated another Romans trainee, Gaelic Storm, by a nose in an entry-level allowance on June 2. Off that sharp victory, which was his second in just three career starts, Monashee Gold looks like the horse to beat among a field of eight older horses entered in the 1 1/8-mile turf race.

Monashee Gold, to be ridden by Mark Guidry, should vie for favoritism with a fellow Irish-bred, Victory Design, who enters off back-to-back runner-up finishes for the same second-level allowance condition that governs the Friday feature. Victory Design hasn't raced in nearly two months, but that's mostly because "I couldn't find a race for him," said his trainer, Patrick Biancone. "He's in good form, training very well. I expect him to run very well Friday."

Robby Albarado has the mount on Victory Design, a 5-year-old Danehill gelding with 4 wins and 4 seconds from 11 career starts.

Among the other logical contenders in the ninth-race feature is Codasco, who was second at 18-1 at this same level last out; Maroon, fourth in the same June 14 race in which Codasco was second; and Kelvington, second as the favorite in a tough $50,000 claiming race here five weeks ago.

Kelvington was claimed by Carl Moore and trainer Bret Calhoun out of his last start from owner Maggi Moss, who was represented by her 16th winner of the meet when Super Suz won the third race Wednesday. The Churchill record among owners for most winners at a spring meet is 21, set last year by Ken and Sarah Ramsey.

The balance of the field is Great Point, Bacetto, and Friar.

Only 10 races are carded for the meet's last twilight program (post time 2:45 p.m. Eastern), whereas 11 had been the norm. The main reason for one fewer race is that horses to fill races are at a premium because of the overlap that has occurred during the final week of the Churchill meet with the opening week of live racing at Ellis Park.