07/23/2007 11:00PM

New game for Lemon Drop King


OCEANPORT, N.J. - Trainer Jason Servis remembers some very game main-track sprint efforts by Lemon Drop King since the 5-year-old joined his barn last season. Servis also knows the gelding's lone victory came on the turf at 2 while trained by Christophe Clement.

Combining those two elements, Lemon Drop King makes his turf-sprint debut Thursday in the $38,000 first-level allowance feature at Monmouth Park.

The 5 1/2-furlong race drew eight runners, with Cruden Bay a main-track-only alternate in an entry with Armament.

"He's a horse that has had a lot of infirmities," Servis said of Lemon Drop King. "Some of his dirt races were real good for me. I couldn't get it out of my mind that he had won one race in his life and it was on the turf. So we're going to give this the old college try."

In his five races for Servis, Lemon Drop King has three seconds and a third. Those losses were all by two lengths or less, including one by a head and another by a neck.

His lone off-the-board race was his last, a sixth-place finish in the slop at Aqueduct on April 4.

"He showed a lot of speed in the sprint races," Servis said. "When I saw this race for 5o1/2 furlongs, I thought this might be right down this horse's alley."

Although apprentice Mario Madrid is listed to ride, Servis said Jose Lezcano has the mount.

Trainer Richard Dutrow will try the long-to-short angle with Armament. In his season debut, Armament posted a two-length win in a $35,000 claimer at 1 1/16 miles on the grass at Belmont Park on June 16. The victory improved his record to 1-0-1 in 3 starts since Dutrow claimed the colt July 2006 for $40,000.

Armament's lone prior grass sprint was a second-place finish in February 2006 at Gulfstream Park. Eddie Castro will ride.

Prodical Extreme and Fortyfive N Change also are coupled in the wagering as a Carl Bowling-owned entry.

Joe Bravo gets the assignment on Fortyfive N Change, who has a win and a third in four in turf-sprint tries. Trained by Carl DeVille, Fortyfive N Change ran poorly last out in an off-the-turf claimer at Belmont.

Prodical Extreme switches back to the grass for trainer Terri Pompay. The colt was forced to check early at Philadelphia Park in his latest race and was never a factor after that.

Rajiv Maragh has the return call.