07/04/2007 12:00AM

Shuffling Maddnes at mercy of pace


ELMONT, N.Y. - Though most of his success has come against New York-breds, Shuffling Maddnes has run well enough to be more than competitive against open company. He will get that chance Friday when Shuffling Maddnes meets five rivals in a second-level allowance race that serves as the feature event on Belmont Park's nine-race card.

Shuffling Maddnes has not been out since winning the restricted Champagneforashley Stakes over Aqueduct's inner track in February. Since the colt had been going nonstop for 14 months, trainer Del Carroll decided to give him a freshening.

"I just wanted get him off the track for a little while," Carroll said. "We sent him to the farm for 40 days, and about the last 10 days of that we put the tack back on him before he returned to the track."

Carroll was originally planning to point Shuffling Maddnes to the Evan Shipman Handicap here on July 22, but said the horse got ready so quickly, "I didn't know if I could hold him on the ground all the way till then."

Perhaps the only thing working against Shuffling Maddnes on Friday could be a lack of pace. He has developed into a one-run closer, and the pace in this one-mile race may be only moderate.

"We were always at the mercy of pace, but then he started to get a little more tractable in his latter races," Carroll said. "I'm hoping with that pattern and with that little freshening, hopefully that will work to our advantage and we won't be spotting them so much daylight early."

Eibar Coa, the leading rider at this meet, has the call on Shuffling Maddnes from post 5.

City Attraction, trained by Richard Dutrow Jr., looks like the main speed from the rail under Cornelio Velasquez. City Attraction has finished second in two consecutive tries at this condition.

Two starts back he was beaten four lengths by Flashy Bull, who used that race as a springboard to victories in the Grade 3 William Donald Schaefer and Grade 1 Stephen Foster handicaps. In his most recent start, City Attraction was beaten a neck by He's a Pioneer, who was winning his second straight allowance race.

Memphis Mon, trained by Jimmy Jerkens, is 2 for 2 at Belmont, including a first-level allowance score at this distance last out. Our Sacred Honor gets blinkers as he returns to the races for the first time since he finished sixth in the Grade 3 Withers. Pink Viper, who won the Count Fleet over the inner track in January, completes the field.