09/23/2001 12:00AM

Navesink cruises in Jamaica


ELMONT, N.Y. - Navesink gave his connections something to think about in terms of the Breeders' Cup Mile by registering a relatively easy 3 1/4-length victory in Sunday's $200,000, Grade 2 Jamaica Handicap at Belmont Park.

With hardly any pressure at all from jockey Edgar Prado, Navesink stalked the pace-setting Krieger from the inside, took command when asked in upper stretch and drew off for his fifth win in seven career starts. Strategic Partner made a belated effort to be second, four lengths ahead of 2-1 favorite Baptize.

Krieger, One Eyed Joker, Proud Man and Reluctant Groom completed the order of finish.

The victory was the second in three tries over the turf course at Belmont, where the Breeders' Cup Mile will be run as part of the World Thoroughbred Championships on Oct. 27. In May, Navesink won a mile allowance race over a firm Belmont turf in 1:33.29. On Sunday, he showed he could handle yielding Belmont turf as well, covering nine furlongs in 1:51.53.

"I think he's the best miler in the country," said Prado, who seemed to endorse a run at the Breeders' Cup. "He's got speed and he can finish."

Navesink, who won the Grade 3 Kent Breeders' Cup at Delaware and was third in the Grade 3 Hill Prince here in June, is a son of Irish River owned by Jayeff B Stables and trained by Alan Goldberg. Navesink was running on Lasix for the first time after a fifth-place finish in the Grade 1 Secretariat run over a yielding Arlington turf course at 10 furlongs.

"My plan was this race and [the Hollywood Derby on Nov. 25]," Goldberg said. "But, we'll see if we can get in the Mile, maybe we'll take a swing. I can put him on a van the day of the race."

Three-year-olds have done well in the Breeders' Cup Mile, winning the race six times, including both runnings held at Belmont Park.

Bedside Manner takes Schenectady

Bedside Manner put away pace challenges from Boundanddetermined and Lovely Amanda then ran away from the stalking Maddie May turning for home to win the $83,100 Schenectady Handicap for New York-bred fillies and mares by four lengths.

Maddie May, who looked poise to take advantage of a strong pace duel, held second, 2 1/4 lengths ahead of Boundanddetermined. Bedside Manner, ridden by Aaron Gryder and trained by Mike Hushion, covered six furlongs in 1:09.49 and returned $6.70.

It was the seventh win in nine starts for Bedside Manner, owned by Howard Kaskel's Sugar Maple Farm and Henry Rappaport, who bred Bedside Manner's sire, Dr. Blum, and dam, Distinctive Manner.