03/28/2002 12:00AM

One good turn begot another


EAST BOSTON, Mass. - In most sports, the "player to be named later" in a trade rarely amounts to much. The horse racing equivalent paid off Wednesday for trainer Bernard Bramante when 8-year-old Siren Chaser won his maiden in the first race at Suffolk Downs.

Siren Chaser, a gelded son of Corridor Key, toiled in the Maryland maiden ranks as a younger horse until two straight ugly performances in the fall of 1999 prompted his connections tosend him to trainer Glenda Gilday and her companion Richard Retamoza to learn to be a jumper or show horse.

At around the same time, Bramante was getting ready to retire his talented turf horse Jordy's Jet. Bramante sent Jordy's Jet to Gilday and Retamoza, and Jordy's Jet developed into a talented show horse.

Siren Chaser, meanwhile, tried the hurdles for two years, until Gilday sent him to Bramante to try the flats again.

Bramante said Retamoza told him: "You gave me a good horse, now we've got a good horse for you."

"He's got such a classy way about him," said Bramante of Siren Chaser. "The moment I got him I knew he'd be able to do some damage around here."

After an 11-month layoff, Siren Chaser was third, beaten only a half-length in his return March 6. His iron broke under jockey Jorge Vargas in his follow-up race March 13, but he still finished third. On Wednesday, everything went right.

Fewer days for Howarth

Jockey Al Howarth Jr. had a suspension for "extremely careless riding" reduced from 30 to 21 days by the state racing commission on Wednesday.

The Suffolk stewards ruled that Howarth started a chain reaction that led to jockey Teo Perdomo falling and jockey Taylor Hole pulling up his mount in the ninth race March 13. The stewards disqualified Howarth's mount from second to seventh and handed down their harshest suspension to a jockey over the past two meets.

With credit for time served, Howarth can return to the saddle April 11.

Small field in Mystery Jet

Only five horses will run in the $30,000 Mystery Jet Stakes for Massachusetts-bred 3-year-old fillies Saturday. Absent from the race is Stylish Sultan, who would have been a heavy favorite had she been entered.

Earlier this month, African Princess won her debut. Her jockey, Vernon Bush, tries for his first stakes victory since mounting a comeback in the saddle at the end of February.

Trainer Lori Lockhart will send out two runners in the Mystery Jet, including Proper Gun, who won a maiden claiming race by seven lengths in her last start.