07/30/2002 11:00PM

North East Bound is back in training

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OCEANPORT, N.J. - North East Bound, a 6-year-old multiple graded stakes winner on dirt and turf, began preparing Wednesday for his first start since running sixth in the Grade 2 Explosive Bid Handicap at Fair Grounds on March 24.

With regular rider Jose Velez Jr. aboard, North East Bound just breezed two furlongs in 24.60 seconds, and galloped out three furlongs in 38.20, according to Monmouth clockers. North East Bound had been out of training since the beginning of the meet becuase of foot problems, trainer Bill Perry said.

"It was his first drill back and we're trying to see where we're at with him," Perry said. "He's going good now, so hopefully we'll go ahead and get him ready for a return."

Perry said North East Bound, second in the 2000 Breeders' Cup Mile, will most likely not be ready to race until The Meadowlands meet. Perry said the Cliff Hanger on the turf, or the Meadowlands Cup on the dirt, a race North East Bound won in 2000, are possibilities.

Bold World gets a rest

Bold World, who ran fifth in the Grade 1 Test at Saratoga last Saturday, came out of the race in good condition, trainer Ron Taylor said.

Bold World raced in the Test only two weeks after winning the Grade 3 Azalea Breeders' Cup at Calder, and Taylor said Bold World would be given a breather before racing again. Taylor said Bold World raced too close to the pace in the Test, as she rated in second, only about two lengths off the rapid pace set by runner-up Carson Hollow.

"I wanted to see her six or seven lengths off the pace," Taylor said. "She was bumped at the top of the lane, and that took her momentum away. We took a shot at a Grade 1, and now we'll just flip the page."

Bold World has six stakes wins on the year, two of which have come at Monmouth.

Eatontown comes up strong

The undercard for Sunday's Haskell is shaping up as five stakes join the Grade 1 Haskell on the premier day of the meet. Of the undercard stakes, the Grade 3, $100,000 Eatontown is the highlight. All the other stakes carry purses of $65,000.

Clearly a Queen, trained by Terri Pompay, won the Grade 3 Matchmaker Handicap in her last start July 7 and is the early favorite in the prospective field for the Eatontown. Others expected are Caught Out, Platinum Tiara, Wittenberg, Presumed Innocent, Curious Treasures, and Notable Craft. Possibilities are Step With Style, The Goddess Athird, Laurica, and Quick Blue.

True Passion was in the claiming ranks early this year but has since reeled off six straight wins, capped off by a victory in the Grade 3 Philadelphia Park Breeders' Cup on July 6. He will be favored in the Teddy Drone Stakes at six furlongs.

Other stakes on the card are the Battlefield Stakes for older horses at nine furlongs on the turf; the Lamplighter Stakes for 3-year-olds at 1 1/16 miles on the turf; and the Lady's Secret Stakes at 1 1/16 miles for fillies and mares, a race won last year by eventual Grade 1 winner Miss Linda.

- Trainer Ronny Werner said Awesome Humor, the 2-year-old filly he campaigned to a win the Grade 3 Debutante Stakes at Churchill Downs on July 6, was sold to WinStar Farm two weeks ago by owner Tom Durant for an undisclosed amount and is now being trained by Elliott Walden.

- Carlos Cruz was given a seven-day suspension for his ride aboard First Lieutenant in the Grade 3 Salvator Mile last Saturday. First Lieutenant was disqualified from first to third in the race. Cruz, who returned to win three races the following day, has appealed the suspension.