03/10/2005 12:00AM

Shake You Down back in top form


OZONE PARK, N.Y. - If Shake You Down's performance in an allowance race last month was a true indication of where he's at physically, then he will very tough to beat in Saturday's $100,000 Toboggan Handicap at Aqueduct.

Shake You Down will meet five rivals in the Grade 3 Toboggan, to be run at six furlongs over the inner track. The Toboggan, originally scheduled for seven furlongs over the main track, will only have four betting interests because of a three-horse entry. Thus, it will be run as race 3 on the nine-race card.

, a multiple graded stakes winner and earner of more than $1.3 million, will be favored over the entry of Papua, Houston's Prayer, and Jets Fan. In fact, Primary Suspect could go off second choice. Super Fuse will likely be the longest-priced betting interest.

After a dismal month of January in which he bombed in the Mr. Prospector Handicap at Gulfstream and the Sunshine Millions Dash at Santa Anita, Shake You Down looked strong winning an allowance race by 4 3/4 lengths over the inner track on Feb. 20.

Trainer Scott Lake explained that Shake You Down did not train well in south Florida. A lack of sweating, he said, indicated something was amiss with the 7-year-old gelding.

"When he would train you could tell he was scared to death," Lake said. "He was panicking, he was nervous, doing stupid things in the morning like going sideways.''

Shake You Down is effective from both on and off the pace. The only other horse in the field with early speed is Primary Suspect, who ships in from Florida. Shake You Down, the 122-pound highweight, breaks from post 2 while Primary Suspect drew the 4.

Primary Suspect's best race came over Aqueduct's main track when he won a second-level allowance on the front end by 3 3/4 lengths, earning a Beyer Speed Figure of 107. There is potential for an off track, and that would be detrimental to Primary Suspect, whose two worst races came over off tracks.

Barry Schwartz owns Papua, Ed Wachtel owns Houston's Prayer, and both own a piece of Jets Fan, which explains why the three horses are coupled in the wagering. Papua loves the inner track and has recorded 9 of his 10 wins at six furlongs. Trainer Mike Hushion believes he won the Hollie Hughes with something left.

Houston's Prayer, trained by Allen Iwinski, would be dangerous if able to duplicate either of his two efforts over the inner track earlier this winter.