05/13/2003 12:00AM

Penthouse Promise fits well

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LOUISVILLE, Ky. - Ron Moquett is one of those young trainers working for that elusive big break to take him to the proverbial next level. Moquett, a 32-year-old native of Arkansas, trained graded stakes winner Asher several years ago, but the mare died in early 2002, shortly after turning 5.

Since then, Moquett has plugged along with lesser stock, most recently winning his share of races at Oaklawn Park and Turfway Park during the winter. He brought the best of his stable to Keeneland this spring, where two of his top runners -EDevil's Dust and Penthouse Promise - ran well in runner-up finishes.

Devil's Dust subsequently ran again at Churchill Downs, where he won a third-level allowance race on opening weekend of the spring meet. Next could be an appearance in the Churchill winner's circle for Penthouse Promise, one of 10 entered in the Thursday feature race, an entry-level allowance at seven furlongs for 3-year-olds and up.

Penthouse Promise, by Pentelicus, has come around steadily for Moquett and figures as one of a handful of major contenders in the ninth of 10 Thursday races. Robby Albarado once again has the mount.

Other logical contenders include Trial by Jury, Gold Mine, Icanseeclearlynow, and Hold That Glitter.

Hold That Glitter will be ridden by apprentice John McKee, who did not ride here last week while serving a suspension for a riding infraction. McKee was active early this week at River Downs and was scheduled to resume riding here Wednesday.

Political Risk sidelined

Political Risk, possibly the best 3-year-old colt in trainer Neil Howard's barn, has been sidelined by an unspecified minor injury, Howard said.

"We should have him back in before long," Howard said of Political Risk, by A.P. Indy out of Two Altazano.

In his last start, just the third of his career, Political Risk won an entry-level allowance route at Keeneland in April.

Howard will run another promising 3-year-old, Midway Road, in the Preakness Saturday. Howard won the Preakness with his only previous starter, Summer Squall in 1990.

* The live feature here Preakness Day is the $100,000 Dogwood Stakes, a Grade 3 race for 3-year-old fillies at 1 1/16 miles. My Trusty Cat and Golden Marlin are the probable favorites in what racing officials say could be a field of seven or eight.