05/26/2005 12:00AM

Pimlico: Who can fire fresh?


Three horses with solid credentials but coming off long layoffs are among the contenders in the $50,000 Ben Cohen Stakes, a five-furlong turf race at Pimlico.

Yankee Wildcat, Namequest, and Quest of Fate all appear capable of winning if they're ready to fire their best shot following extended vacations of between six and nine months.

Namequest was fifth, but beaten just more than a length, in last year's Beh Cohen following an extended break.

"He looks fine coming back off the layoff," trainer Ben Feliciano Jr. said. "There was nothing wrong with him, he's just a turf horse, so he got the winter off."

Quest of Fate was eighth in the 2004 Ben Cohen making his second start off a layoff.

Yankee Wildcat beat optional claimers in his 2004 debut following a six-month break and is 4 for 7 lifetime over Pimlico's grass course.

"Last year, he came off a similar layoff and set a track record," trainer Tim Tullock said. "Ideally, we would bring him back in an easier spot, but there were no allowance races, so we entered him here."

The horse with the best recent turf form is Tacirring, trained by Scott Lake. Tacirring, 6, earned a career-high Beyer of 95 two starts ago at Gulfstream Park. Overall, he's 3 for 5 with 2 seconds in turf sprints.