07/03/2008 12:00AM

Not for Money stands out off last race


ELMONT, N.Y. - Though Richard Dutrow Jr. is sending his top gun, Benny the Bull, to Calder for next weekend's Smile Sprint Handicap, he still is showing up to Friday's $200,000 Tom Fool Handicap at Belmont Park with ample ammunition.

Dutrow will send out Not for Money in the Grade 2 Tom Fool, and if he can run anywhere near as well as he did six weeks ago, Not for Money will be very tough to beat. Not for Money will face five sprinters in the Tom Fool, a seven-furlong stakes that is the co-feature on a Fourth of July card that also includes the Grade 2 First Flight.

After finishing fifth in the Grade 1 Carter - a race in which he blew a shoe - Not for Money came back to win a third-level allowance race by three lengths, running seven furlongs in 1:20.70. Bribon, who finished second that day, came back to win.

"His last three races I've been very, very happy with,'' Dutrow said. "He probably would have been second or third [in the Carter]. He was making a nice [move], you could see when he blew it and you could see when he just didn't keep coming.''

Dutrow said he believes Not for Money has had ample time to recover from his career-best race.

There is plenty of stiff competition for Not for Money, including recent stakes winners Lucky Island and Starforaday and the Grade 3 winner Tasteyville.

Lucky Island, trained by Kiaran McLaughlin, has won three in a row - all since adding Lasix - including the Grade 3 Bold Ruler Handicap here on May 10.

"It was a big step up from a two-other-than, but he got an A-plus on his test so we'll keep going,'' McLaughlin said. "Very nice horse, does everything right; the only time that he lost was when he bled.''

Trainer Gary Contessa has had to battle chronic foot issues with Starforaday, but the 5-year-old horse has won two straight, including the Maryland Sprint Handicap. He blew out three furlongs in 34.40 seconds on Sunday, and will be trying seven furlongs for the first time.

Tasteyville won the Grade 3 Sport Page Handicap at seven furlongs last fall and came off a lengthy layoff to win an optional claimer going 1o1/16 miles here. Trainer Pat Kelly said he entered this spot because he had nowhere else to run, but wanted to evaluate the field and track conditions before deciding whether to run. Tasteyville is a superior wet-track horse.