05/31/2004 12:00AM

Multiple Choice ($31) finds right spot


ELMONT, N.Y. - Trainer Jimmy Jerkens said he had been trying to run Multiple Choice in the Jaipur Handicap for two years. Sunday, he got his opportunity and his desired result.

Multiple Choice, making his turf debut in his 35th career start, wore down the mare Dedication inside the sixteenth pole to win Sunday's $112,200 Jaipur by a half-length. Dedication, the 5-2 favorite, finished 1 1/2 lengths ahead of Geronimo in third.

Multiple Choice had lost his last 10 starts dating back to the Dec. 29, 2002, when he took the Gravesend Handicap over Aqueduct's inner track.

On Sunday, under Javier Castellano, Multiple Choice settled into fourth position behind dueling leaders Great Notion and He's Crafty. Castellano got Multiple Choice off the rail in upper stretch and though Dedication got the jump on him, Multiple Choice got up in the final strides. Multiple Choice, a 6-year-old gelded son of Mt. Livermore, covered the seven furlongs in 1:22.32 and returned $31.

"We've tried to run him in this race the last couple of years, but something always came up," said Jerkens, who noted that the horse had a quarter crack last spring.

"He made that second run. He runs a little spotty. He puts in a big run. You give him a little breather, and then he comes again. That was very satisfying."

Jerkens said he may run Multiple Choice back in the Grade 3, $100,000 Poker Handicap at one mile on July 10.