10/15/2003 11:00PM

Quantum Merit can win at this trip


ELMONT, N.Y. - Irish Colonial and I'm All Yours, the highweights in Saturday's $150,000 Mohawk Handicap, are each coming off layoffs, making the white-hot Quantum Merit the horse to beat.

Twelve New York-bred males entered the 1 1/8-mile Mohawk, which will be run on the inner turf. My Legal Alien is an also-eligible.

Irish Colonial, the 122-pound highweight, hasn't run since finishing seventh in the Grade 1 Manhattan Handicap on June 7. The 4-year-old has been sidelined with a popped splint. Earlier in the week, Irish Colonial's trainer, Randy Schulhofer, said he wasn't sure whether he would run in the Mohawk because he was behind in his training of the colt.

Irish Colonial, who will be ridden by Jose Santos, has won off longer layoffs. He drew post 2 and figures to be involved early.

I'm All Yours, who won the Mohawk in 2001, hasn't run since finishing ninth in the Grade 2 Knickerbocker last November. Since then, I'm All Yours, who will carry 120 pounds, has had knee surgery.

"We weren't quite ready a month ago to run him in a prep," said Todd Pletcher, trainer of I'm All Yours. "He has had two good seven-furlong works on the turf and should be pretty fit. He runs well fresh."

I'm All Yours and jockey John Velazquez drew post 12.

Quantum Merit has won his last two starts at the Mohawk distance, including a 3 3/4-length win in the Ashley T. Cole on Sept. 20 at Belmont. He controlled the pace in the Ashley T. Cole.

"The hat trick is always tough, but he is doing really good," said Del Carroll II, Quantum Merit's trainer. "He's a big-striding horse, and the pace will dictate where he will be. He doesn't have to be on the lead."

Richard Migliore rides Quantum Merit, who will start from post 9 at 118 pounds - three more than he carried in the Ashley T. Cole.

Statement, the runner-up in the 2001 Mohawk, finished eighth in the Ashley T. Cole after racing several lengths off the pace set by Quantum Merit.

"It was a dawdling pace, and we paid the price," said John Kimmel, Statement's trainer. "If the pace is dawdling, he will have to be put in contention."

Jerry Bailey rides Statement from post 8.

Last year's Mohawk winner, Quiet Ruler, is 0 for 8 in 2003.

Dynamic Lisa returns in Ticonderoga

The $150,000 Ticonderoga Handicap, which drew 12 fillies and mares and three also-eligibles, is wide open. Marc's Rainbow was entered main-track-only in the 1 1/8-mile turf race.

Last year, Dynamic Lisa ran a bang-up race in the Ticonderoga to finish third at odds of 47-1. Since then, Dynamic Lisa has won two races, including a division of the Yaddo at Saratoga, her first stakes win.

In her last start, Dynamic Lisa finished 10th in the Grade 3 Noble Damsel at Belmont on Sept. 20.

"She was ridden the opposite way I wanted her to be; she was too close to the pace," said Scott Schwartz, Dynamic Lisa's trainer. "She should be very tough back with New York-breds."

John Velazquez rides Dynamic Lisa, the 121-pound highweight, from the rail.

Exchange Bay, a 3-year-old, makes her stakes debut against seasoned horses, but is in top form and likely to run a good race. Jerry Bailey rides.