09/08/2005 12:00AM

Pace will make race in Hadry


Two horses who prefer to be close to the early pace and three others who do their best running coming from far back provide an intriguing puzzle for handicappers attempting to decipher Saturday's $100,000 Charles Hadry Stakes at Laurel Park.

Cherokee's Boy, already a three-time stakes winner this year, and Unforgettable Max, who has faced graded stakes horses in 4 of his last 5 races, figure to be prominent early in the one-mile Hadry.

Horse for the course Your Bluffing and Honorable Man - both coming off long layoffs - and old-timer Peeping Tom all will be hoping for a hot early pace to set up their closing kicks.

Cherokee's Boy won the Grade 3 Salvator Mile at Monmouth Park this summer. He comes back two weeks after fading badly in the Grade 3 Iselin Handicap.

"The mile and an eighth was a little too far for him after chasing such a fast early pace," said trainer Gary Capuano, adding he intends to point Cherokee's Boy to Maryland Million Day on Oct. 8. "What race we choose depends on his performance on Saturday. The Classic may be a bit too far, so we're also considering the Sprint."

Unforgettable Max was chasing such horses as Forest Danger and Gygistar earlier in the season before getting a confidence boost by defeating optional claimers in June. Freshened by trainer Ben Perkins Jr. since then, Unforgettable Max appears sharp for his return, based on a best-of-15 five-furlong work from the gate on Aug. 28.

Your Bluffing, 9 for 13 lifetime at Laurel, will be making his first start since April and shows a steady string of good works for his comeback.

Honorable Man had won 5 of 6 starts from August 2004 to last April on the main track before getting a two-month vacation following a fourth-place finish on turf at Colonial Downs.

Peeping Tom, a graded stakes winner during his prime, makes his third start since coming to Michael Dickinson's barn and should like a mile much better than the six furlongs of his last start, the Grade 2 Alfred Vanderbilt at Saratoga.

Finger Lakes

Top Shoter, unbeaten in seven starts at Finger Lakes during a career that began in 2002, has two major obstacles to overcome in the $50,000 Genessee Valley Breeders' Handicap at Finger Lakes.

For the first time in his career, the 6-year-old Top Shoter will be asked to race beyond seven furlongs, and he will come back on short rest in the 1 1/16-mile Genessee Valley.

Top Shoter, who has won carrying as much as 130 pounds this season, flashed speed and tired in his first try on turf last Sunday at Saratoga. His shortest previous turnaround was 11 days between back-to-back easy wins this spring at Finger Lakes.

Noble Adversary and S. Cherry Legacy are both proven performers in routes over the course.

The 7-year-old Noble Adversary, a 10-time winner at Finger Lakes, was a solid second in the 1 1/8-mile Wadsworth Handicap in June.

S. Cherry Legacy, a 4-year-old gelding, is a deep closer who needs a fast, contested pace to have any chance. He has been no worse than third in his last nine races on dirt.

* In the co-featured $50,000 Jack Betta Be Rite Handicap, at 1 1/16 miles for statebred fillies and mares, So Sweet a Cat looks like a solid favorite.

A romping winner in a $250,000 statebred stakes at Saratoga and the New York Oaks last year at 3, So Sweet a Cat will be coming back just nine days after finishing second in the 1 1/8-mile Saratoga Dew.

Others with a shot include Ruby's Rocket, second behind So Sweet a Cat twice this year, and Buck Mountain, whose best race came on a sloppy track against open company at Aqueduct last April.