08/10/2003 12:00AM

Private Horde upsets Vanderbilt


SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. - Trainer Joe Cain made his first trip to New York a memorable one on Sunday by sending out Private Horde to a shocking upset of Shake You Down in the Grade 2, $200,000 Alfred G. Vanderbilt Handicap at sloppy Saratoga.

With Mike's Classic pressing a lackluster Shake You Down through fractions of 22.18 seconds and 44.72, Private Horde, under Jason Lumpkins stalked the pace in third, before rocketing past Mike's Classic inside the sixteenth pole and drawing off to win by five lengths. Mountain General rallied from last to be second, a head in front of Mike's Classic. Shake You Down, the 1-2 favorite, finished fourth, four lengths ahead of State City.

Private Horde, who was sent off the longest shot in the field at 10-1, returned $22. With $166,899 out of $201,710 in the show pool wagered on Shake You Down, the show prices were big. Private Horde returned $12.80, Mountain General returned $12.40 to show and Mike's Classic returned $9.70.

Private Horde, a 4-year-old son of Brunswick owned and bred by Billy Tucker, was coming off a second-place finish to Shake You Down in the Grade 3 Smile Sprint Handicap at Calder in which he was beaten 8 1-4 lengths. But Cain felt Private Horde had enough trouble in the race to warrant another try.

"Down there we had a real rough trip, he broke bad, had a bunch of ground to make up then he had to check him a couple of times down the lane," said Cain, who maintains a string of 40 horses at his farm in Russell Springs, Ky. "I thought we had a shot. When this horse is good I feel like he can run about as fast as a horse can run."

A sloppy racetrack certainly didn't hurt Private Horde's chances. He is now 5 for 8 over an off track.

Shake You Down had won five consecutive races since being claimed in March by Scott Lake including two wins over wet tracks. Shake You Down had handled pace pressure in the past, but wilted beneath the heat applied by Mike's Classic.

"He had a horse breathing on him, but he was still in hand," said Mike Luzzi, the rider of Shake You Down. "I couldn't kick away from them, He's usually gamer than that. The sloppy racetrack is a little tiring. He came back in one piece; he'll live to fight again."

Race cancelled due to weather

Sunday's third race, a maiden special weight event for 2-year-old colts, was cancelled due to unsafe track conditions created by heavy rain that fell prior to the race. Track officials were concerned with a spot on the track near the five-sixteenths pole. Maintenance crews worked on the spot for about 20 minutes and the fourth race did not go off until 3:27 p.m., an hour after it was scheduled.

A total of $1,338,501 was refunded on the race, approximately $295,000 on-track. Bettors with a pick-three ticket that began with the second race, were given credit for having the winner of the third. The pick-3 that began with the third, was cancelled.