08/28/2002 11:00PM

Servis doing a rain dance


Aside from farmers in the Garden State whose crops have withered during this summer's drought, no one may have been happier to see steady rains falling at the New Jersey shore than trainer John Servis.

Servis has entered Tempest Fugit in Saturday's $50,000 Bob Harding Stakes at Monmouth Park. But Servis will run Tempest Fugit only if the one-mile turf race is shifted to the main track.

Based on how much rain pelted the Jersey Shore on Thursday, when entries were taken, and forecasts for more heavy rain Friday and showers Saturday, it's quite likely the Harding will be contested on dirt. Or perhaps even mud.

If that's the case, then Tempest Fugit, who will be ridden by the meet's leading rider, Eibar Coa, becomes a standout. The last time Tempest Fugit caught an off track, in the June 15 Oceanport, he cruised to a three-length victory and earned a 110 Beyer Speed Figure. He had to defeat only two opponents that day.

If the Harding remains on the grass, it would feature an intriguing showdown between American Freedom and Autonomy, who have combined to win their last seven races.

American Freedom has won four in a row, including the Lincroft in his most recent start on Aug. 11. He earned an 88 Beyer for that effort.

Autonomy is riding a three-race winning streak, highlighted by a win in the Aug. 4 Battlefield at 1 1/8 miles. Notably, that race was run over a soft course, which could well be the case on Saturday if the race remains on grass.

The program's co-feature is the $50,000 Miss Woodford Stakes for 3-year-old fillies. Bold World looks like a standout against six others going six furlongs.

Earlier this season, Bold World established herself as the top 3-year-old filly sprinter on the grounds by winning two stakes. She then went to Calder for the Summit of Speed and earned a career-high 102 Beyer winning the Azalea.

Trainer Ron Taylor, who has tinkered with the idea of trying Bold World on turf, sent her to Saratoga for the Grade 1 Test, but she faded to fifth after flashing speed for a half-mile against top-shelf runners You and Carson Hollow.

If the track comes up muddy and Bold World is withheld from the Miss Woodford, Redhead Riot appears to be sharp enough to handle the rise into stakes company. She has won her last two starts, earning a 95 Beyer for her most recent race at Saratoga on Aug. 4.