05/27/2005 11:00PM

Procreate one of the main monsters


In October 2002, Procreate ran for a $2,500 claiming tag at Charles Town. And he didn't even win that race.

Flash forward to Memorial Day 2005 and , now age 7 and in a different barn, could be the horse to beat in the $100,000 Turf Monster Handicap at Philadelphia Park.

The five-furlong turf sprint drew a field of 12 older horses, but because several ran in Saturday's Ben Cohen at Pimlico, no more than eight runners are expected to actually compete in the Turf Monster.

Since coming under the care of trainer John Zimmerman last year, Procreate has won five races, including his last three in a row, all at Gulfstream Park. Moving up through the claiming ranks and a starter allowance, Procreate was given a shot in the Yankee Affair Stakes. He responded by cruising to a 5 1/4-length victory with a career-best 110 Beyer Speed Figure.

If Procreate, coming off seven-week layoff, can come anywhere close to his last performance, the others will be running for second money.

Two other intriguing entries, also returning from a freshening, are Worldwind Romance and Rudirudy.

won 4 of 5 starts in 2004, including back-to-back turf sprint stakes at The Meadowlands and Churchill Downs. He has been idle since February after finishing fifth in two starts on grass at Fair Grounds.

The 10-year-old owns 16 lifetime victories and has earned $633,474. He's still dangerous in turf sprint stakes, as evidenced by his win in the 2004 Pennsylvania Governor's Cup at Penn National and a second-place finish when the first three horses were separated by a nose in the My Frenchman at The Meadowlands. Although 0 for 4 at Tampa Bay Downs this season, Rudirudy is liable to improve returning to Philly Park, where he has been no worse than third in six starts on the grass course.

is primarily a dirt sprinter, but the last time he tried turf he dead-heated for second with Rudirudy in the My Frenchman. Cumby Texas, who comes from the solid connections of trainer Lupe Preciado and jockey Tony Black, has a win and two seconds over Philly Park's grass course.

, a 3-year-old who won the Fred Capossela at Aqueduct in February, nearly always flashes high early speed, but has never tried turf. His trainer, Uriah St. Lewis, has won with two of the last five horses he has started making their first start on grass.