06/12/2002 11:00PM

Perkins colt has them buzzing


OCEANPORT, N.J. - For those who were at Monmouth on June 1, they may not want to forget that they were in attendance to see Trump Marina win his maiden in the third race.

Trump Marina, a 3-year-old trained by Ben Perkins Jr., won that day in the mile-and-70-yard race by nearly 14 lengths, lengthening his winning margin with every stride down the stretch. He earned a Beyer Speed Figure of 95 in the race, his second career start, and the backstretch buzz surrounding the horse has been hot ever since then.

Trump Marina, with regular jockey Dale Beckner in the saddle, surely impressed viewers with a bullet four-furlong workout in 47.20 seconds, in hand, over a wet, but drying out, track. The workout was the fastest of 13 at the distance. Beckner said Perkins told him to have the colt go through a normal workout, which turned out to be far from normal. Beckner said he never moved on the horse during the work.

"He worked very good this morning," Beckner said. "He galloped out very strongly. He's gotten better every time I've been on him, and I think he can keep stepping up to the plate."

Trump Marina was a $220,000 Keeneland September 2000 yearling purchase, but was privately purchased by The Rainbow Stable this winter and sent to the barn of Perkins. The Rainbow Stable consists of Larry Hall, Floyd Hall, and Ben Miller.

Trump Marina made his first career start on May 12, running fourth in a six-furlong maiden special weight. Perkins has had the most success in his career with sprinters, such as the Grade 1 winner Delaware Township, but he saw early on that Trump Marina would be best at longer distances. Trump Marina, a son of Honour and Glory, was equipped with blinkers for the first time in his maiden romp.

"He had trained like he wanted to run long," Perkins said. "We didn't press him the first time. He looks like a very nice horse. We'll look for a one-other-than allowance for his next start. He needs some more seasoning before we take on the big guns."

Oliver takes aim on Molly Pitcher

Trainer Vicki Oliver has run fourth and sixth in the last two runnings of the Grade 2, $300,000 Molly Pitcher Handicap with Wittenberg, and she is hoping the third time's a charm to crack the top three with Southern Fiction in the 2002 edition on June 29.

Southern Fiction won the $50,000 Monmouth Beach Stakes on May 27 in her last start and will train right up to the Molly Pitcher, Oliver said. Southern Fiction breezed four furlongs in 49.20 on Tuesday with Oliver in the saddle. She has really come around as a 4-year-old and may be just the horse to give her trainer an in-the-money finish, or even a win, in a race that Oliver points to each summer with her older fillies or mares.

Since adding blinkers last September for the Personal Ensign Stakes at Monmouth, Southern Fiction has won three times and has run second four times. Blinkers have put her into the race early on and made a significant difference. Her only finish out of the top two was in the Indiana Breeders' Cup Oaks over a sloppy track. She earned a career-best Beyer Speed Figure of 91 in her Monmouth Beach victory.

Hudson Street to go in dirt allowance

Three-year-old Hudson Street, fifth in the Grade 3 Jersey Derby on Memorial Day in his first turf start, will return to the races June 22 in a second-level dirt allowance, trainer John Dowd said.

Hudson Street, owned by Bobby Hurley, ran in very tough maiden races at Gulfstream Park this winter. He was second and third twice before getting his maiden victory on April 20. He was impressive in a 4 1/2-length win here as the even-money favorite on May 18 in an entry-level allowance. The Jersey Derby was only nine days later and his first turf start.

"He's a very versatile horse," Dowd said. "I expect him to do well on both dirt and turf in the future."

* The undercard feature Saturday is the $50,000 Santo Lalomia Stakes for New Jersey-bred fillies and mares at one mile. Sea Femma, who has never been out of the money in eight career starts, leads a field of seven.