11/20/2003 1:00AM

Philadelphia Park: Big field for Nursery


Seven of the 14 2-year-old colts and geldings scheduled to run in the $50,000 Pennsylvania Nursery are jumping into the stakes ranks immediately after winning their maiden.

The seven-furlong Nursery, formerly known as the Pennsylvania Futurity, is the last stakes of the season at Philadelphia Park.

The group of recent maiden winners is led by Smarty Jones and Salty Punch, both of whom earned good Beyer Speed Figures.

Smarty Jones won his career debut by 7 3/4 lengths on Nov. 5, earning an 84 Beyer. His second dam was a half-sibling to Cowboy Cop, a multiple Grade 3 stakes winner.

Salty Punch crushed $35,000 maiden claimers at Delaware by 13 1/2 lengths in his first start on Lasix, a win worth a 77 Beyer. The internal fractions Salty Punch set in that six-furlong race, 21.82 and 45.46 seconds, were faster than those set on the same card by 2-year-old allowance horses and two fields of juvenile maiden special weight colts and geldings.

Seaver ships in from Maryland, where he overcame running greenly and a six-wide trip to win his career debut, making up 11 lengths in the last three furlongs. Tony Black, who has won this stakes five times, including last year with Yo, has the mount on Seaver.