07/18/2003 12:00AM

Pletcher has a fast one for Tyro


OCEANPORT, N.J. - Todd Pletcher's stable is a busy operation that constantly shuttles horses to and from bases at Belmont Park, Saratoga, and Monmouth Park.

The fact that it works smoothly serves as a testimony to Pletcher and his staff.

"Todd is very sharp," said Anthony Sciametta Jr., who runs the Monmouth division. "The whole system runs well. Everything is done the way it should be. It helps because we have so many horses moving in and out. We're on top of everything and it shows in the record."

Overall, Pletcher is winning with 24 percent of his starters, and he recently set the record for wins at Belmont's spring-summer meet. The New Jersey operation has been humming along, having already captured one of Monmouth's two Grade 1 races, the $750,000 United Nations Handicap.

Pletcher aims for another Monmouth prize in the Tyro, the first 2-year-old stakes of the meet. The Tyro and the Anderson Fowler for 3-year-old turf sprinters top Monmouth's Sunday card. Both carry $50,000 purses.

Pletcher sends out Deputy Storm in the 5 1/2-furlong Tyro.

"He's pretty quick," Sciametta said. "And he breezed good here."

Deputy Storm ran twice at Belmont, catching wet tracks both times. He was fourth in his debut and rolled to a commanding gate-to-wire win in his most recent outing.

"This guy is rapid." Sciametta said.

Pletcher shipped Deputy Storm to Monmouth, where he worked five furlongs in 1:01.40 in company on Monday.

D. Wayne Lukas, Pletcher's former mentor, will run Hasslefree for owners Bob and Beverly Lewis.

Hasslefree has competed twice in Grade 3 stakes at Belmont and hit the board both times. He was second in the Flash and third in the Tremont.

Knightsound, Kipper's Night, Mighty Awesome, and Super Stroke complete the field

The Tyro serves as the traditional prep for the Grade 3, $100,000 Sapling at six furlongs on Aug. 9.

My Boy Kyle has big advantage in Fowler

While much of the 3-year-old focus at Monmouth these days focuses on the Haskell, 3-year-olds who would rather sprint on the turf go in the Anderson Fowler.

My Boy Kyle looks tough in this spot, having won a grass allowance race at the same five-furlong distance at Colonial Downs. Trained by John E. Salzman Sr., he has won 3 of 6 starts on the grass.

That gives My Boy Kyle a substantial edge. Most of the other runners, such as Only the Best, have little turf experience.

Only the Best has faced stakes company on the East and West coasts. His best effort was a second-place finish in the Grade 3 San Miguel at Santa Anita in January.

He tried the grass only once and wound up soundly beaten in the Grade 3 Baldwin Stakes at Santa Anita in February. Trainer Bryan Lynch will equip Only the Best with blinkers for the Anderson Fowler.

Completing the field are Rockin on Ready, Second in Command, Who's Bluffing, Wild Bill Hiccup, and Tender Toes.

Funny Cide assigned 123 for Haskell

Funny Cide will shed three pounds for his first start since running third in the Belmont Stakes.

Mike Dempsey, Monmouth's racing secretary, released the weights Friday morning for the Grade 1, $1 million Haskell Invitational on Aug. 3.

Funny Cide, the Kentucky Derby and Preakness winner, toted 126 pounds in each jewel of the Triple Crown.

Funny Cide and Empire Maker were both given 123 pounds for the Haskell, North America's richest invitational race.

Funny Cide is the projected starting highweight for the 36th running of the 1 1/8-mile stakes. Empire Maker will likely skip the Haskell to run in the Jim Dandy that same day at Saratoga.

Peace Rules, Empire Maker's stablemate in the Bobby Frankel barn, comes next at 121. The winner of the Grade 1 Blue Grass Stakes, Peace Rules is expected for the Haskell.

Among the other likely Haskell runners: Sky Mesa (118), a top 2-year-old last season before suffering an injury prior to the Breeders' Cup, and Ohio Derby winner Wild and Wicked (118), who is unbeaten in three starts.

* Monmouth backstretch veterinarian Keith Evringham won the Amateur Jockey Association National Championship Series race Friday. Evringham guided Little Boy Lost ($7.20) to the victory over Show of Force, ridden by Eric Cohn, the 2000 series champion. Monmouth trainer David Nunn finished third with Tiber Tiger.