09/21/2005 11:00PM

'Rock Creek' scopes clean, so he's in

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Adam Coglianese/NYRA
Diabolical romped in his Belmont debut (above) but lost at 3-5 odds in the Grade 3 Sapling.

OCEANPORT, N.J. - Closing Argument helped put the NATC Futurity on the map when he captured last year's colt division for his first stakes victory. The NATC Futurity was one of the stepping-stones leading to his surprising second-place finish in the Kentucky Derby.

The next crop of 2-year-olds sold at auction this season can take a step toward greater glory Saturday when, for the first time, Monmouth Park hosts a pair of $200,000 NATC Futurity divisions for colts and fillies at six furlongs.

The races had been held at Delaware Park for the last three years.

The National Association of Two-Year-Old Consignors created the restricted futurity to promote awareness of their sales and to provide additional opportunities for 2-year-old purchasers to recoup some or all of their investments.

In the colt division, made the entry deadline Thursday only after he passed an endoscopic examination that morning.

Doug O'Neill, one of the leading trainers in California, sent Rock Creek Pass to Kelly Breen earlier this month.

Breen, on the verge of winning his first Monmouth training title, was impressed by what he saw when Rock Creek Pass worked five furlongs in 1:01.80 at Monmouth on Sept. 17.

"It was a dynamite workout," Breen said. "Every eighth was faster than the one before, but he scoped after the workout with a little bit of mucus."

The clean exam after Thursday's gallop put Rock Creek Pass, a son of Gilded Time, in the futurity.

"He's a very intelligent horse," Breen said. "He's bright and alert. The horse is doing great, and from what I know of the horse, he's a nice horse."

Rock Creek Pass makes his second start in the futurity. He debuted with a rallying second at Arlington Park on Aug. 31.

Other contenders in the colt division include , second to He's Got Grit by 8 1/4 lengths at 3-5 in Monmouth's Grade 3 Sapling Stakes; King Glacken, who captured an off-the-turf maiden race at Saratoga; Reignforest, a game second in his debut at Monmouth; and What's Your Edge, a solid winner against statebreds in his Saratoga debut.

In the filly division, the talented but whip-shy Those Shoes makes her third start for trainer Tim Hills in search of a maiden victory.

"She's a little green," Hills said. "She ducks from the whip."

debuted with a second on Aug. 4 at Monmouth.

"She was short first time out," said Hills.

Sent off the 3-2 favorite under Elvis Trujillo for her second start on Sept. 4, Those Shoes finished third in a trouble-filled race.

"She broke on top, but she ducked in so he had to straighten her. She was outrun early," Hills said. "She lugged in through the stretch from the whip."

As for the futurity, Hills said he doesn't think the field is terribly tough for a $200,000 race.

"We're going to take a shot," he said.

Other filly futurity runners include More Than Pretty, who stumbled at the start before recovering to miss by only a neck in the Mountaineer Juvenile Filly Stakes; Little Miss Zip, who beat New York-breds in the Lady Finger at Finger Lakes; Sparkling Pink, who has a win and second in two starts, and Peach Flambe, a debut winner at Monmouth.