06/20/2004 11:00PM

Restoration win opens doors for Frisky Spider


OCEANPORT, N.J. - Trainer Bob Durso has several options after Frisky Spider's impressive pacesetting win in last Saturday's $60,000 Restoration Stakes at Monmouth Park.

Frisky Spider made a smooth transition to the turf in the Restoration, a one-mile race for 3-year-olds, and won at a route for the first time. Given his past success in main-track sprints, Frisky Spider has now shown the ability to go long or short on turf or dirt.

"Where are we going next? I don't know," Durso said Sunday. "It's nice to be in that position."

The Restoration might position Frisky Spider for Monmouth's ultimate prize, the $1 million Haskell Invitational on Aug. 8.

"That is possible," Durso said. "Definitely possible. That means we'd have to run him in the Long Branch Stakes [July 3 at Monmouth] to get him back on the dirt again. We'd want to make sure he'll run as good on the dirt as he did on the grass."

The Restoration win was a double victory for Durso, who, along with wife Carol Dender, owns the majority of shares in Frisk Me Now, Frisky Spider's sire. The stakes win should increase interest Frisk Me Now.

"It was a double dip," Durso said. "It was a big plus for us."

Big success for small stable

Lloyd Kromann has not bought into the idea in racing that bigger is better.

Operating the same way for 26 years, Kromann continues to run a micro-stable of no more than two or three New Jersey homebred horses with his wife, Geraldine, who is the owner. The modest stable focuses on Monmouth, laying up the horses over the winter. It is essentially a one-man operation, and Kromann does most of the grooming himself.

The horses come from average broodmares booked to stallions that stand for $2,500 or less. Kromann currently has three horses at Monmouth, and, in a span of less than a week, all three scored wins.

"We were lucky to have each one win," Kromann said. "It's kind of exciting when the whole stable wins."

My Husband, fresh from a maiden win in an off-the-turf slop race, runs back Wednesday afternoon in the $39,000 allowance race feature at 1 1/8 miles on the turf. The race will be My Husband's second straight start in open company and, weather permitting, first on grass.

"The mare [Demonstration] has a little grass pedigree, and we wanted to breed to a grass stallion," said Kromann, who sent the mare to Husband. "We're finally in a grass race, and hopefully that will turn out well for us. Hopefully the turf will move him up a little more."

My Husband earned a career-best Beyer of 68 in that maiden win and will need continued improvement to contend with Pat the Winner, Sting Lear, Hot Soup, and Dynalympic, all of whom have registered career-best Beyer numbers in the 80's last time out.

Pat the Winner put up an 85 Beyer in a win on the Monmouth turf for a $20,000 claiming tag.

All eight starts of Sting Lear's career have been on grass. His last start resulted in an 85 Beyer, as he missed by only a head in his first start against winners.

Hot Soup ran an 86 Beyer in a seven-furlong turf sprint at Belmont Park. He pressed the pace before fading to fourth in a $35,000 claimer.

Dynalympic earned an 82 Beyer for his strong late run to get third in a turf allowance at Delaware Park.

Calling all 3-year-old sprinters

A pained expression creases Mike Melendez's face when the subject of the Grade 3, $100,000 Jersey Shore Breeders' Cup Stakes comes up.

Melendez, Monmouth's stakes coordinator, has been pounding the phones in an effort to drum up interest in Saturday's feature for 3-year-olds at six furlongs. So far, he has gotten only tepid feedback.

Gators N Bears beat five rivals when he won last year's edition. A similarly small group seems likely this year.

Possible runners include Pomeroy, the runner-up in the Grade 2 Saratoga Special last August, and Snub the Devil, who finished a neck behind Frisky Spider in the LaBelle Memorial at Delaware Park.