04/17/2006 11:00PM

Silver Train preps for Met Mile

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OZONE PARK, N.Y. - The objective for Silver Train since his victory in last October's Breeders' Cup Sprint has always been next month's Grade 1 Metropolitan Handicap at Belmont Park.

It has become quite clear that is a different racehorse at Belmont than he is anywhere else. That's why handicappers may want to tread lightly in Thursday's third race when Silver Train preps for the Met Mile by running in a six-furlong classified allowance race at Aqueduct.

Five consistent sprinters are entered against Silver Train in a race with a $56,000 purse that also carries an optional claiming clause of $100,000. The Student and Spooky Mulder, two halves of a Scott Lake-trained entry, are both offered for $100,000, as is Redskin Warrior.

In his seasonal debut, Silver Train finished sixth in the Grade 2 Richter Scale Breeders' Cup Sprint Handicap at Gulfstream Park on March 4. The race confirmed his disdain for Gulfstream, where he is 0 for 3.

Trainer Richard Dutrow Jr. entered Silver Train in the Grade 1 Carter on April 8 at Aqueduct, but scratched when the track came up sloppy. Silver Train also had a substandard three-furlong blowout two days before the race.

Two days after the Carter, however, Silver Train showed his old self by drilling six furlongs in 1:11 over a fast main track. He followed that up on Monday with a half-mile move in 49.21 seconds. Dutrow is confident Silver Train likes Aqueduct, because he trained so well there last fall leading up to the Breeders' Cup.

"He's trained very good on this track, but I'm not going to be disappointed if he doesn't run his race; I'm not going to let it get to me,'' Dutrow said. "I know what he likes, but he's doing very, very good.''

Mike Smith has the call on Silver Train, who is actually getting weight from three of his five rivals.

may be Silver Train's toughest rival in this heat. An 8-year-old gelding, Spooky Mulder has been in excellent form through the winter and is 3 for 7 over the main track. That includes a 13 3/4-length win in November 2003 in which he earned a lifetime-best Beyer Speed Figure of 116.

Spooky Mulder is coupled with The Student, who has won nine of his last 14 starts.

made a successful return to the races last month, winning an allowance race over the inner track. He would add to the pace scenario.

Primary Suspect, who won the 2005 Toboggan Handicap over the inner track, completes the field.