09/09/2005 12:00AM

Shaniko expected to scratch from Woodward


Provided Saint Liam and Commentator both remain in the race, Shaniko will be scratched from Saturday's Grade 1, $500,000 Woodward Stakes at Belmont Park, trainer Todd Pletcher said.

Shaniko would then be pointed to the $350,000 Kentucky Cup Classic at Turfway Park on Sept. 17.

"In order for him to win [the Woodward], he's got to step forward," Pletcher said of Shaniko, who has yet to win a stakes race. "We'd rather take a shot at winning a stake as opposed to being Grade 1 placed."

If Shaniko scratches, that would leave a five-horse field in the Woodward, with three being trained by Richard Dutrow Jr. and two by Nick Zito. There will be only three betting interests: Saint Liam, the Commentator/Sir Shackleton entry, and the Crafty Player/Show Boot entry.

If Shaniko scratches, the New York Racing Association will offer win and daily double wagering only on the Woodward, which goes as race 10 on the 11-race card. The Woodward is also the last leg of a pick-four wager with a $500,000 guaranteed pool.