03/02/2002 12:00AM

Seattle Glory has star potential


NEW ORLEANS - After a glorious debut on Mardi Gras Day, the 3-year-old colt Seattle Glory can take another step toward stakes company Monday at Fair Grounds. Seattle Glory stretches out to two turns in his second career start, and faces nine rivals in a first-level allowance race over one mile and 40 yards.

If Seattle Glory runs as well in a route as he did in his sprint debut, and there is little reason to think he won't, the colt could be bound for stakes races.

"We're taking things one step at a time," said trainer Todd Pletcher. "He's behind schedule as far as throwing your hat into the ring as a Kentucky Derby horse. But if he runs like we hope he does, we'll start looking around at the bigger races."

Seattle Glory, a Seattle Slew colt owned by Anstu Stable, made his debut here Feb. 12 in a six-furlong maiden race that attracted a full field. He broke last from an inside post, threaded his way through traffic down the backstretch and around the turn, swung wide for the stretch, and finished powerfully to win going away by a length.

"He's a pretty smart colt," Pletcher said. "But it's not often you see a horse break slowly and run like that."

Pletcher said his stable has been high on Seattle Glory for a long time, and that the colt was at Saratoga last summer. Seattle Glory was nearly ready to race when he came up with minor problems in his hind end.

"We just gave him some time," Pletcher said.

The way Seattle Glory ran the last furlong of his sprint race strongly suggests that he should run well at longer distances.

"He's a colt that's bred to run farther," Pletcher said. "At a different venue you might try seven-eighths or a mile, but here it's either six furlongs or two turns."

There's other talent in Monday's field. Crittenden earned a high Beyer Speed Figure winning his debut in a two-turn off-the-turf race here Jan. 19, while Forty Nine Deeds has been third in two allowance routes since winning his maiden at first asking here. Bien Sur, a filly, won her debut by three lengths in a sprint.