07/01/2005 11:00PM

More Smoke sharp for Shore


OCEANPORT, N.J. - More Smoke, a romping winner in his last two starts, is part of a small field Monday in the Grade 3, $150,000 Jersey Shore Breeders' Cup Stakes for 3-year-olds at Monmouth Park.

The six-furlong Independence Day feature attracted five.

Celtic Innis, Joey P., Maddy's Lion, and Razor will run against More Smoke, who has blossomed since returning from Florida.

More Smoke made one start at Gulfstream Park and ran third behind Lost in the Fog, the unbeaten leader among 3-year-old sprinters.

More Smoke moved out of the shadow of Lost in the Fog with a 14 1/2-length win in the Grade 3 Lafayette Stakes at Keeneland and a five-length victory in Monmouth's Select Stakes on May 21.

"Since we came back from Florida, he's put on some weight," said trainer John Zimmerman. "He's starting to mature. Early on, he didn't really look like a whole lot, but now he's starting to block out and fill out. He's going in the direction you want to see this time of year."

More Smoke should be sharp for the Jersey Shore following a pair of bullet works at Penn National, the most recent a four-furlong drill in 47.60 seconds on June 28.

Zimmerman considered sending More Smoke to Calder for the Grade 2, $300,000 Carry Back Stakes, one of the Summit of Speed races on July 9.

The long trip to Florida and the likely presence of Lost in the Fog in the Carry Back persuaded Zimmerman to return to Monmouth.

"We'll run into him somewhere down the road," Zimmerman said of Lost in the Fog. "For now, we want to keep [More Smoke] close to home and not ship too far. Florida is a long way to go and it's very hot down there."

Razor gets another shot at More Smoke. He broke awkwardly in the Lafayette and was never a factor. He rebounded to win the Matt Winn Stakes at Churchill Downs for trainer Steve Asmussen, the national leader in victories.

Maddy's Lion owns a win over More Smoke in the Jimmy Winkfield Stakes at Aqueduct in January. Maddy's Lion shot to the front and won by 6 1/4 widening lengths while More Smoke, bumped at the start, recovered to get second.

Maddy's Lion most recently ran fourth in the Maryland Stallion Stakes at Pimlico.

Celtic Innis has won four straight starts, including a front-running victory last time out in Monmouth's Coronado's Quest Stakes.

"We didn't have a whole lot of options," said trainer Tim Keefe. "We didn't find anything we really liked and he ran a good race in his last start at Monmouth. He's been getting a little bit better in each of his last four starts so we decided to give it a shot."

The unbeaten New Jersey-bred Joey P. returns on short rest and completes the field. He logged his fourth win on Wednesday at Monmouth.

I'mtoogoodtobetrue meets Avery Hall

Avery Hall and I'mtoogoodtobetrue are key contenders in the $60,000 Goldfinch Handicap, Monday's supporting feature, for New Jersey-bred fillies at six furlongs.

I'mtoogoodtobetrue, winner of the New Jersey Futurity last November at The Meadowlands Racetrack, has a record of 3-2-0 in 5 career starts, and is trained by Ned Allard.

Avery Hall won the six-furlong Open Mind Handicap by five lengths on the opening weekend of the meet.