07/01/2001 11:00PM

Peeping Tom problem-free


ELMONT, N.Y. - A foot problem seemingly behind him, Peeping Tom looks to start a new winning streak while strengthening his position as the top sprinter in the East when he takes on five rivals in Wednesday's $150,000 Tom Fool Handicap at Belmont Park.

The Grade 2 Tom Fool, run at seven furlongs, is one of three stakes on a Fourth of July card highlighted by the Grade 1 Prioress and also includes the Grade 3 Poker Handicap.

Peeping Tom, owned by Flatbird Stable and trained by Pat Reynolds, has won his last five starts at seven furlongs, including the Grade 2 General George Handicap at Laurel Park and the Grade 1 Carter Handicap at Aqueduct.

In his last start, the Grade 1 Metropolitan Handicap at one mile, Peeping Tom held the lead after seven furlongs but faltered late and was beaten three-quarters of a length by longshot Exciting Story.

Peeping Tom came out of the race with a bruised foot that forced him to miss some training time, according to Reynolds. However, Reynolds did get two workouts into Peeping Tom, including a five-furlong move in 59.91 seconds last Wednesday.

"He didn't show any ill effects at all," Reynolds said. "His feet bear watching because that's the focal point of whatever problems he's had with us. He seems to be over that. We gave him ample time. He's coming up to the race good."

Peeping Tom carries highweight of 120 pounds and will be spotting his five rivals three to seven pounds. He will break from the outside post under Shaun Bridgmohan and should get an honest, contested pace with Here's Zealous and Trippi in the field.

Trippi is 3 for 3 at seven furlongs at Belmont Park, all graded stakes, including last year's Tom Fool when he was a 3-year-old facing elders. He grabbed a quarter in his right front foot during a workout on Friday, but trainer Todd Pletcher felt the foot improved enough to enter him on Sunday.

"As far as I'm concerned it's behind us, otherwise I wouldn't put him in," Pletcher said. "Right now, he's perfect."

As late as Saturday, Pletcher was undecided whether he was going to run Trippi. So, jockey Jerry Bailey made arrangements to ride Exchange Rate and will honor that call with trainer D. Wayne Lukas. Richard Migliore picks up the mount on Trippi.

The Tom Fool also features the irrepressible Say Florida Sandy, who comes off a neck victory in the Grade 2 True North Handicap, his 26th win in 72 career starts. He has twice been defeated by Peeping Tom although he had to alter course in the stretch of the Carter.

Bare Outline, a winner of a mile allowance race on June 15, completes the field.