05/20/2008 12:00AM

Oft-beaten choice At Attention tries again


At Attention has burned a lot of bettors who made him the favorite in his last three starts by losing twice, including last time out as the 4-5 choice in a first-level optional $25,000 claimer at Gulfstream Park.

The 3-year-old colt At Attention will likely be favored again in Thursday's eighth race at Belmont Park, one of two turf sprints over the inner course and one of four events scheduled for grass on a nine-race program.

Based on the recent company he has kept, At Attention may finally reward his supporters when he stretches out to six furlongs for the first time in Thursday's entry-level allowance.

D'wild Ride and Dicey D J, the horses who finished one-two when At Attention was beaten just 2 1/4 lengths as the fourth-place finisher on April 19, both returned to win stakes next time out. D'wild Ride switched to dirt to win last Saturday's six-furlong Just Smashing at Monmouth Park. Dicey D J cruised to a three-length win in the $50,000 Hookedonthefeelin on Pimlico's turf course May 3.

There are, however, a couple of viable alternatives for bettors who are reluctant take a short price. Forest Prince, who won his only previous try on turf at Santa Anita, and first-time turf runner Unbridled Refrain appear capable of winning in this spot.

Forest Prince goes from Polytrack to turf for the potent trainer-jockey combination of Todd Pletcher and Garrett Gomez. Forest Prince dropped back after bumping a rival coming out of the gate in his first start against winners and showed signs of life when he rallied to pass four horses and gain nearly three lengths in deep stretch at Keeneland.

Unbridled Refrain could offer value making his turf debut for trainer Allen Jerkens, who is 5 for 18 (28 percent) the last five years with horses making their first start on grass in a sprint. A son of Unbridled's Song, Unbridled Refrain worked a bullet five furlongs over the turf on May 5.

In the day's other turf sprint, a second-level optional $50,000 claimer restricted to New York-bred fillies and mares (race 5), the leading contenders are Sweet Madness, who came from far off the pace to win her turf debut at this same six-furlong distance on May 2, and Absolute Heaven, who will be making her first start since she was claimed out of a win going a mile at Saratoga last August. Her trainer, Graham Motion, is 5 for his last 15 with horses returning off layoffs longer than 180 days in a turf sprint.