04/22/2003 11:00PM

Shaanmer a new face for Clement


OZONE PARK, N.Y. - Now that turf season has begun in New York, it is safe for trainer Christophe Clement to come out of hibernation.

Clement, who winters in Florida with strings at Payson Park and Gulfstream, has shipped the bulk of his stable back to New York. Among the recent arrivals was Shaanmer, an Irish-bred colt who is expected to make his North American debut in Saturday's $100,000 Fort Marcy Handicap at Aqueduct.

The Grade 3 Fort Marcy, scheduled for 1 1/16 miles, is the first turf stakes of the year in New York.

Though Shaanmer went winless in five starts last year in Europe, he finished second four times. The combined margin of defeat in those races was fewer than 1 1/2 lengths. That included a neck loss to Rouvres, who has an allowance win and a neck loss in the Grade 2 Explosive Bid since coming to North America and Clement.

Shaanmer has not been out since last September when he finished second in the Group 3 Prix du Prince d'Orange at Longchamp. Clement has been pleased with his training.

"He's a lovely horse in the making. He's not yet at his peak, but we don't necessarily want him at his peak for this being his first start of the year,'' Clement said. "He'll appreciate good to soft ground and there is rain in the forecast.''

Shaanmer, who has been favored in all eight of his starts in Europe and has never been a price higher than 2-1, would be the starting highweight in the Fort Marcy at 116 pounds. Edgar Prado will ride. Also expected to run are Patrol (115), Statement (115), Whata Brainstorm (115), Devine Wind (114), Run to Victory (114), Sohaib (114), Union Place (114), Bowman's Band (113), Haggs Castle (113), Irish Colonial (113), Mystic Salse (113), and Turnback the Time (112). Saint Verre and Puzzlement are possible.

Voodoo Dancer likely for Beaugay

The Clement-trained Voodoo Dancer, who kicked off a successful 4-year-old campaign with an authoritative victory in the Beaugay Handicap, will seek to defend her title in next weekend's Beaugay, scheduled for 1 1/16 miles on turf.

Tuesday, Voodoo Dancer worked a half-mile in 50.20 seconds at Payson Park, the second fastest of 20 workouts at the distance over the deep surface.

"She had an extremely good work here [Tuesday],'' Clement said. "She's on her way to New York for the Beaugay. We're extremely excited.''

Voodoo Dancer ran first or second in six of seven starts last year, all graded stakes. In addition to the Beaugay, Voodoo Dancer won the Grade 3 Locust Grove at Churchill and the Grade 2 Palomar Handicap at Del Mar. She raced over six different turf courses last year.

Lord ofthe Thunder tops feature

Lord ofthe Thunder, who had the misfortune of running into Saarland in his last start, faces no such monster in Friday's $56,000 money allowance feature at seven furlongs.

Lord ofthe Thunder, a 4-year-old New York-bred son of Saint Ballado, has been sharp in two starts since returning from a layoff. On March 23, he won a second-level, open company allowance race by one length over Aqueduct's main track. On April 11, he finished a good second behind Saarland in a one-mile allowance race over a sloppy track. Though he finished 2 1/2 lengths behind Saarland, Lord ofthe Thunder was 10 lengths in front of the rest of the field.

"He ran very well. He's at the top of his game,'' trainer Jennifer Pedersen said.

Wednesday, Lord ofthe Thunder worked four furlongs in 47.05 seconds, the fastest of 10 workouts at the distance.

The horse to beat may be Date More Minors, a 5-year-old son of Mt. Livermore who has won his last two starts for leading trainer Mark Hennig.

Green Fee aimed at Jaipur

Trainer Danny Peitz was happy to get Green Fee back to Belmont Park after a fruitless winter in the south. Green Fee, who won the Grade 2 Kelso Handicap last fall, worked four furlongs Saturday in 49.19 seconds over Belmont's training track and is being pointed to the Jaipur Handicap May 26.

"He got a little sick when we shipped back up here,'' Peitz said. "``Originally, I was thinking about the Fort Marcy, but we missed a few days; he ran a bit of a temperature. The Jaipur is probably the perfect spot. Get him to track the track we know he loves.''

Green Fee is 6 for 12 at Belmont and 1 for 19 elsewhere. Following last year's Kelso, he finished fifth in the Breeders' Cup Mile to end his 6-year-old campaign. This year, he finished fifth in the Colonel Bradley Handicap at Fair Grounds and ninth in the John B. Connally Breeders' Cup Turf at Sam Houston.

"The race at Fair Grounds he was wide around both turns and finished fifth, but was only beaten 2 1/2 lengths,'' Peitz said. "We took him to Houston and ran him under the lights and he never ran a jump. He came back too good to make me thing it was something physical.''