06/18/2001 11:00PM

Serey speed goes deep


ELMONT, N.Y. - Trainer Juan Serey has an excellent sprinter on his hands in Say Florida Sandy, a former claimer who won the $150,000 True North Handicap on the Belmont Stakes undercard. Serey has another gutsy sprinter in his Aqueduct barn, Unreal Madness, who has proven to be a gem in some tough spots against allowance runners this year.

Thursday at Belmont Park, Serey shoots for another win with Unreal Madness, a 6-year-old and a winner of $646,073, in a $52,000 money allowance race for older horses. Seven entered the six-furlong dirt race, the fifth on the card.

Unreal Madness ran for a $100,000 claiming price in his last start on June 7 and finished second, 1 3/4 lengths behind Nevada Strip, after contesting a swift pace. The six furlongs that day was run in a quick 1:08.63.

Claimed by Serey for $50,000 on June 30, 1999, for owners James Riccio and Vincent Scuderi, Unreal Madness has a record of 3-4-3 from 11 starts so far in 2001.

Apprentice Julian Pimentel will ride Unreal Madness, who should be a presence early, from post 6.

Unreal Madness is coupled with Tamarillo, an 8-year-old, who is back in Serey's barn after the trainer lost him to Mitch Friedman for $60,000 earlier this year. The entry last faced each other in April, Unreal Madness was the winner, with Tamarillo 2 1/4 lengths behind in third.

Richard Dutrow Jr. entered Appealing Danger and Rich Reward, but named John Velazquez on both, so only one can start. Both of Dutrow's horses also were entered at Monmouth Park on Thursday.

If he starts, Appealing Danger is likely to seize the early lead from his rail post. In his last race, Appealing Danger finished third at a similar condition, but was moved up to second because he was interfered with by the winner, Unreal Madness, during a bumpy stretch run.

Shadow Caster must atone for three consecutive flops this year. Trainer John Terranova has removed the blinkers from Shadow Caster, who put forth a career-best effort to upset last year's Grade 2 Forego Handicap at Saratoga.

On June 14 at Belmont, Shadow Caster had a sharp five-furlong work in 59.65 seconds, handily, the fastest of 12 moves at the distance.

If the track is wet, and there are showers in the forecast, watch out for Oro de Mexico. The last two races won by this classy sprinter were over wet tracks.

Edgar Prado rides Oro de Mexico.

Valiant Halory, who has been meeting stakes horses for much of the year, completes the field.