08/23/2001 12:00AM

Shavelson back with a winner


OCEANPORT, N.J. - Pam Shavelson doesn't ship horses to Monmouth often from her Philadelphia Park base, but when she has in the last three weeks, her horses have been deadly.

Shavelson has won with her last three starters here after losing with her first three this summer. The first horse to get Shavelson on the board was Atlanticcitydancer, who makes a return trip in the $50,000 Thomas J. Malley Stakes at five furlongs on the turf for fillies and mares Saturday. Atlanticcitydancer captured a third-level allowance here Aug. 10 sprinting on the turf. Since then, Shavelson has sent out a 21-1 winner Aug. 12 and a 4-1 winner five days later. Victor Molina gets the return call for Saturday's feature.

Persian Silver, trained by Barbara Beagle, won a conditioned allowance at Churchill Downs in late June, her only race at five furlongs on the turf. Jose Velez Jr. rides the 3-year-old filly.

Threeminuteappeal enters the Thomas J. Malley undefeated in turf sprints. The Michael Matz-trained filly won two races at Hialeah this winter, and went wire-to-wire at Colonial Downs in her last start, Aug. 6. Saturday's race is her second off a layoff, and she should be one of the favorites coming in off her recent form. Matz named Delaware jockey Enrique Jurado aboard for the stakes.

Tim Hills, the leading turf trainer here, sends out Curious Treasures off a runner-up finish in a five-furlong turf money allowance June 30. Curious Treasures has run well over the Monmouth grass in the past; she receives the services of top jockey Eibar Coa on Saturday.

Go Carolina, Wilma Lee, Elegant April, Prairie Princess, Radiant, Maypole Dance, and Malie's Princess complete the field.

Handle still on upswing

Since Saratoga and New York OTB's have taken the Monmouth card, total handle here has soared.

Right before New York began taking Monmouth state-wide, total handle here was up 9 percent from last year. Since Monmouth was added in New York, total handle has gone up 26.5 percent from last year, with $3.85 million wagered on Monmouth every day, encompassing live and simulcast betting.

"It has been a huge boost," said Bob Kulina, Monmouth's general manager.

The attendance here has risen 10 percent from last year, as this summer's attendance is averaging 10,756. The quality of racing is at its highest in recent years, enhanced by the purse supplement that has turned around the product here. Furthermore, with the signing into legislation of phone betting and OTB in New Jersey, the future looks bright.

"This could be the benchmark meet for New Jersey racing," Kulina said. "Hopefully, it's the beginning of a decade of growth in the state."

North East Bound may go in Iselin

North East Bound, a graded-stakes winner on turf and dirt, is a strong possibility to return to the main track in Sunday's Grade 2 $350,000 Iselin Handicap. North East Bound, runner-up in the 2000 Breeders' Cup Mile on the turf, also won the Grade 2 Meadowlands Cup and the off-the-turf Grade 3 Oceanport Handicap on the dirt last year. In his last start, the Oceanport on the turf, he ran second to Key Lory as the heavy favorite.

"It looks like a short field and he's doing well right now," Perry said. "I'm seriously considering the Iselin.

"But there are some good stakes horses in there, like Broken Vow and Sir Bear, and First Lieutenant has looked great here and is improving."

North East Bound, if he runs, would have to carry 118 pounds, one less than Broken Vow and one more than three-time Grade 1 winner Sir Bear.

The Iselin is likely to draw a five- or six-horse field. Others possible for the race include Polish Miner, Call It Off, and Knock Again.

The Iselin will be televised on ESPN as part of a one-hour show scheduled to air from 5 to 6 p.m. The Iselin, with its probable post time at 5:45 p.m., will air with the Ballerina Handicap from Saratoga.

Coa pulling away

With eight days remaining in the meet, Eibar Coa has only lengthened his lead in the jockeys' standings, and is a strong lock to take the title in his first riding stint here. After Thursday, Coa had 70 wins. The most interesting battle may be for second, as Chuck Lopez leads apprentice Victor Carrero by five wins, 58-53, after Thursday. Lopez rode at Saratoga Wednesday, and returned with two wins on Thursday to increase his lead. Carrero won one race Thursday. The injured Joe Bravo is in fourth with 49 wins, and may soon be passed by Roberto Alvarado (42 wins) by the end of the meet, rounding out the top five.

In the trainers' standings, Ben Perkins Jr. remains atop the standings with 24 wins through Thursday. J. Willard Thompson and Tim Hills are sitting one back, as Hills was the only one of the three to win a race on Thursday. Perkins and Thompson have each won training titles, while Hills is looking for his first.

* Just Le Facts, an impressive maiden winner here Aug. 2, fired the fastest half-mile workout Thursday. His workout of 47.80 was the fastest of 27 workouts. Just Le Facts, who recorded an 86 Beyer Speed Figure in his debut, will be pointed for a juvenile allowance by the end of the meet, according to his trainer, Dennis Manning.