07/06/2001 11:00PM

Silver Tornado passes test


OCEANPORT, N.J. - It was a day of firsts for the lightly raced Silver Tornado at Monmouth on Saturday. First time on the turf. First time going two turns. First time in a stakes.

And Silver Tornado was up to all challenges as she raced gate to wire to win the $100,000 Reeve Schley Jr. Stakes for 3-year-old fillies. Owned by Harry Quadracci and trained by Linda Rice, Silver Tornado remains undefeated, with four career wins, the first three of which came on the dirt.

"Linda [Rice] thought all along that she would run well over the turf," said assistant trainer Samantha Randazzo. "She was pressured today, but just kept on going."

Silver Tornado ($7) went right to the lead in a field reduced to five by three scratches. Jockey Jose Ferrer kept a tight hold on the filly all the way around, with Marq of Beauty tracking in second the entire way. The two raced that way to the wire, as Silver Tornado won by 1 1/4 lengths, covering 1 1/16 miles in 1:42.70. Platinum Tiara, the second-place finisher in last year's Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies, was sent off as the 3-5 favorite, but did not fire around the final turn, and finished third, three-quarters of a length behind Marq of Beauty.

Silver Tornado returned from an eight-month layoff to win a dirt allowance here June 6. The Reeve Schley was her first start since. Haitian Vacation and The Goddess Athird completed the order of finish.

* First Spear ($8.20) sat off a quick pace under Joe Bravo and closed strongly to win the $75,000 Lamplighter Handicap over five other 3-year-olds at 1 1/16 miles over a good turf in 1:41.94. Spruce Run made the lead in the stretch, and held on for second. Tremmor, trained by Bill Mott, was third. River Rush, the 9-5 favorite, set the early fractions but faded to last in the stretch.

First Spear, trained by Todd Pletcher, won his second race in a row on the Monmouth grass for owner John Fort of Peachtree Stables. First Spear will now be pointed to the Hall of Fame Stakes at Saratoga in August.