04/09/2003 11:00PM

New stakes brings out big earners from state


EAST BOSTON, Mass. - A new stakes at Suffolk Downs, the $35,000 Last Dance, will bring out two statebred stars on Saturday.

Jini's Jet will race for the first time since being disqualified from a top-level allowance victory last month. The disqualification means that Jini's Jet, the best Massachusetts-bred in recent years, is winless from three starts in 2003.

Owned by Krystyna Stable and Anthony Spadea, the 5-year-old Jini's Jet has bankrolled $226,670 through his three full racing campaigns. By comparison, Papa Ho Ho, who will also start in the Last Dance, has more than $260,000, but he is 10 years old. Clearly Jini's Jet has packed a wallop over his 28-race career.

There is little worry about Jini's Jet's losing streak his year, considering his performance in his last race. A momentary lapse in concentration by his regular jockey, Dyn Panell, led Jini's Jet to bear into a tiring rival and led to the disqualification - erasing the stylish way he drew off by 7 1/2 lengths after the incident. Panell still has the mount and is not likely to make a similar mistake this time.

Competition will come from Stylish Sultan, who like Jini's Jet has received regional awards and piles of statebred stakes cash. Stylish Sultan's 4-year-old debut was an easy 3 3/4-length win in the Ernie Lowe Stallion Stakes - a race that seemed tailor-made for him because of the strict entry restrictions. This will be the first time that Jini's Jet and Stylish Sultan have met.

The matchup seems to favor Jini's Jet because of the 1 1/16-mile distance of the Last Dance. While Jini's Jet is a front-running horse, it hasn't stopped him from winning 7 of 12 races at the distance and finishing out of the money in just one of those attempts. Stylish Sultan has traveled this far just once, finishing fourth in the Rockingham Park Derby.

Papa Ho Ho could upset if the top two falter. Papa Ho Ho has beaten Jini's Jet twice, including a gutsy score last May in the Massachusetts Thoroughbred Breeders' Stakes. Leading trainer Ron Dandy has rested Papa Ho Ho for 2 1/2 months and given him long slow breezes in recent mornings.

As with all stakes races for Massachusetts-breds, the Last Dance offers no place or show wagering, in order to eliminate the chance of minus pools.