01/05/2005 12:00AM

Mr. Light's record under review


HALLANDALE BEACH, Fla. - Like everybody else, trainer Angel Penna Jr. will have to wait another day before finding out if Mr. Light owns the world record for running one-mile on the turf.

Mr. Light was credited with a final time of 1:31.41 when he won Monday's finale over the new Gulfstream Park turf course. That would break the existing record of 1:31.63, set by Elusive Quality at Belmont Park in 1998. But many fans and horsemen have doubts that the clocking - which came in an allowance race - is valid, including Penna, who trains Mr. Light for owner Earle Mack.

"I have my doubts like everyone else, but for the moment I'm very proud to be the trainer of the world-record holder," said Penna. "This is a very good horse, and I think that race Monday was better than your average three-other-than allowance race. The turf course there is obviously extremely fast, but it also has a lot of bounce to it, and every rider who rode in the race had nothing but good things to say about the course."

Gulfstream Park president Scott Savin said Wednesday that representatives from Teleview Racing Patrol Inc., which times the races at Gulfstream, re-timed the race using the photo-finish timer, its own timer, and by hand using race replays. They also re-checked the gate location to help verify the clocking.

"We have six pages of documentation from three sources stating the time is correct," said Savin. "We also had the track re-surveyed on Wednesday to make sure the distance is accurate. The survey was completed, but we still do not have the results. We are going to every extreme to make sure the record is correct. I understand how people might be skeptical, but remember, this is a fast course that's in pristine condition. And because it's brand new we have no idea how fast it really is."

Chuck Scaravilli, vice president of data collection for Equibase, which is racing's official data base, said his company will reserve judgment on whether to sanction the record until all the facts are in.

"The time seems awfully fast, but we have no way of checking it other than relying on Gulfstream's discrection," said Scaravelli. "We'll wait until they give us their final report, discuss it, and use our best judgment when it comes to approving the time as a new world record."

Hal's Hope has Grade 1 look

Saturday's Hal's Hope Handicap is a Grade 3 race, but the field is shaping up to be Grade 1-caliber, even with 121-pound highweight Roses in May sitting the race out to await the Donn Handicap four week later.

Barring any unforeseen changes, the lineup for the 1 1/8-mile Hal's Hope, which serves as a major prep for the Grade 1 Donn, will include Dynever (117), Added Edge (116), Purge (116), Badge of Silver (115), Commentator (115), Twilight Road (115), The Judge Sez Who (114), Country Judge (113), Smooth Lover (113), and Contante (112).

Jose Santos will have the assignment on Dynever, if he runs. Dynever was sold last weekend to the Buckram Oak Farm.

Added Edge, a Canadian 2-year-old champion in 2002, has won two stakes in three starts since being switched to trainer Dale Romans's barn last summer. Added Edge comes off perhaps the best effort of his career, earning a 108 Beyer Speed Figure when outgaming Coach Jimi Lee to win the Schaefer Mile Stakes at Hoosier Park.

Commentator comes into the race undefeated and untested after five starts. Badge of Silver has finished second in his last two starts, including the Grade 1 Cigar Mile. Purge figures to benefit from his race in the Cigar Mile, in which he was making his first start since finishing fourth in the Travers.

Roses in May works six furlongs

Roses in May, whose five-race win streak was snapped with a second-place finish behind Ghostzapper in the Breeders' Cup Classic, worked six furlongs in 1:12.20 at Palm Meadows on Tuesday.

"He couldn't be doing better," said Romans, who trains Roses in May. "In fact, I think he's as sharp now as he's ever been."

Romans has 34 horses bedded down at Palm Meadows and will have another 26 when his last shipment of horses comes into his barn at Gulfstream Park.

"I had some horses get sick on me in Kentucky and didn't want to ship them here too soon," he said.

Among the Romans horses scheduled to come down to south Florida is Kitten's Joy, who is the favorite to win the Eclipse Award as the top grass horse in 2004.

"He's on the farm in Lexington right now but will fly down and go to Palm Meadows on the 16th," said Romans. "I don't think he'll make the races at this meet. If all goes perfect I'm hoping to start him back in the Woodford Reserve at Churchill Downs on Derby Day."