10/09/2001 11:00PM

Shiny Band looks tops, rain or shine


ELMONT, N.Y. - There's no rain in the forecast, which is good news for the six older fillies and mares set to oppose Shiny Band in Friday's allowance feature.

The bad news is that Shiny Band has been unbeatable in one-turn races on fast tracks, too.

Shiny Band has compiled a perfect 4-for-4 record since trainer Allen Jerkens put her on Lasix in mid-June, graduating from the maiden ranks and moving steadily through her allowance conditions.

Friday's seven-furlong event is an advanced allowance for nonwinners-of-four other than maiden, claiming, starter, or restricted. Shiny Band, the only 3-year-old in the group, drew post 4, smack-dab in the middle of a seven-horse field. She has twice hit 100 on the Beyer Figure speedometer this season, each time over a Belmont strip labeled sloppy.

Shiny Band has also won twice sprinting on fast tracks, receiving Beyers Figures of "only" 93 and 98. In fact, Shiny Band's only defeat during the past four months came at Saratoga during opening week, when she tried a two-turn 1 1/8-mile route and finished fourth behind Kentucky Oaks and Alabama winner Flute.

Shiny Band hit the 100 mark wiring a three-other-than allowance mile three weeks ago, and since then she has continued to train swiftly, posting a bullet five furlongs in 59 seconds flat on Tuesday.

The trio expected to offer the main challenges to Shiny Band are French Teacher, who breaks from post 3 with apprentice Victor Carrero; Crescent Coast, who breaks from post 6 and is "first-time Dutrow" after sitting out the last 10 weeks; and Double Trick, who drew the outside post for her first start in nine months.

French Teacher looks like the main speed. She has been a typical success story for Richard Englander and Scott Lake, the nation's leading owner and trainer in terms of wins. Claimed for $15,000 at The Meadowlands 13 months ago, she has started six times for her current connections, winning twice, running second three times, and banking $77,435.

Crescent Coast fits seven furlongs at Belmont very well. She won under those conditions here June 1, taking a third-level allowance decisively. She was overmatched in two subsequent starts, but has been freshened and given over to Richard Dutrow Jr., who is a 36 percent winner with layoff types such as this.

Double Trick has been in mothballs since squandering a clear midstretch lead at 6-5 on Aqueduct's inner-dirt track Jan. 11. She is 2-1-0 from four starts at seven furlongs, however, and since the beginning of 2000 trainer Allen Iwinski is profitable with horses laid off six months or longer.

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