11/07/2001 1:00AM

Say Florida Sandy visits Jersey for $100k stakes


EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. - Now that he is the king of New York-breds, Say Florida Sandy looks to expand his kingdom to neighboring New Jersey with a start in Friday's $100,000 Chief Pennekeck Stakes at The Meadowlands.

Say Florida Sandy and his connections will be looking for a rebound in the six-furlong contest, following a troubled loss at 4-5 in the Henry Hudson Handicap at Belmont Park in his last race. The runner-up performance was still good enough to make him the highest-earning runner bred in New York, pushing his bankroll to $1,750,925.

Trainer Juan Serey and owner John Rotella took advantage of Say Florida Sandy's reputation to scare away competition the last time he was entered in a Meadowlands stakes race. Fellow Rotella runner Run Kush Run came away victorious in the Skip Trial Stakes Oct. 19 after Say Florida Sandy scratched to run in the Hudson later that weekend. Only the troubled trip under jockey Richard Migliore kept the plan from success.

This time Run Kush Run is the horse with options later this weekend. He has again been entered with his more accomplished barnmate, but this time has a chance to run against fellow 3-year-olds Saturday in the $100,000 Great Falls Stakes. Jose Bermudez has been named to ride Run Kush Run. Shaun Bridgmohan is slated to replace Migliore on Say Florida Sandy.

Longtime rivals are expected to show up in the Chief Pennekeck, including veteran stakes winner Oro de Mexico for trainer Phil Serpe. The presence of front-running specialist Rudirudi should ensure a fast pace.

Mid-Atlantic stars Governor's Pride, trained by Tim Ritchey, and Grangeville, trained by Jonathan Sheppard, are scheduled to make the trip up from Delaware to compete, as is stakes warrior Loaded Gun for trainer Janice Gerace.

Jersey Futurity devalued

The fat supplemented purses for this season have taken some of the luster off what is usually an important stakes event, the New Jersey Futurity.

Run since the track opened in 1977, the race has often had the chance to crown a top statebred 2-year-old and has had a purse in the six figures, including My Phillipe's win in 1985, when the purse was $144,755.

This year, the added money from nominations will likely make the six-furlongs stakes worth about $80,000 - about $20,000 below what every other overnight stakes has been worth since the track's latest purse increase last month.

The Futurity will be split into a filly and colt divisions, scheduled as races 6 and 9 on the Friday card.

* The Meadowlands will be the simulcast center that never sleeps Friday and Saturday nights with Hong Kong racing running from midnight until 3 a.m. The 27 cards from Hong Kong will generally be held once a week through the winter and spring during the upcoming harness racing season.

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