05/21/2003 11:00PM

Rain puts stakes up in the air


MIAMI - The sun was shining brightly and Calder's turf course was in perfect condition on Tuesday afternoon when entries were drawn for Saturday's $75,000 Simply Majestic Stakes. But that all changed within 48 hours as heavy rains softened the course so much it seemed unlikely as of Thursday that the Simply Majestic would go on the grass as scheduled.

A change in surface would have a profound effect on the outcome of the Simply Majestic, a 1 1/16-mile race for 3-year-olds.

Hear No Evil and The Name's Bond could prove the major beneficiaries if the Simply Majestic is run on the main track, while the connections of Sea Pleasure and Millennium Storm are hoping it stays on turf.

Hear No Evil and The Name's Bond have both won on dirt and grass, although their best performances came over the main track.

Hear No Evil extended the then-undefeated Region of Merit to deep stretch before finishing third in his two-turn debut, the Grade 3 Tampa Bay Derby. He switched to grass for the first time three weeks later and won in a much weaker field in Tampa's Sophomore Stakes, but then could not carry his abundant speed beyond the eighth pole and finished eighth as the 2-1 favorite in the Gleaming Channel Stakes on turf here May 5.

The Name's Bond also tailed off dramatically in the Gleaming Channel. He had won two straight races, included an easy three-length decision in the Ocala Breeders' Championship Stakes on March 17, before finishing 10th in the Gleaming Channel after being hung extremely wide.

Sea Pleasure has won twice on dirt but has had his best success on grass, including a 2 3/4-length win in the Gleaming Channel. A son of Mecke, Sea Pleasure also proved competitive despite trouble in a pair of turf stakes at Gulfstream last winter.

Two of Millennium Storm's three wins have come on dirt, although his two most impressive performances came over the local turf course. He scored by a head to close out his 2-year-old campaign in the Mecke Stakes, and he finished second behind Nothing to Lose to open his 3-year-old season in the Grade 3 Tropical Park Derby on New Year's Day.