09/14/2006 11:00PM

Siphon City tries to rebound

Email

OCEANPORT, N.J. - Siphon City, swallowed up by the big boys in the Grade 1 Whitney Handicap at Saratoga, looks to regroup Sunday in the $70,000 Formal Gold Stakes at Monmouth Park.

Siphon City carried a three-stakes winning streak into the Whitney, including a career-best victory in the Grade 2 Cornhusker Breeders' Cup Handicap at Prairie Meadows. He was taking a large leap in class in the Whitney, where he faced some of the leaders of the division. After setting the pace, Siphon City faded to eighth, finishing 17 lengths behind Invasor.

The competition won't be as tough in the Formal Gold, in which a refreshed Siphon City takes on five rivals at 1 1/16 miles.

After the Whitney, Florida-based trainer Dan Hurtak sent Siphon City to Peter Walder's Monmouth barn with the goal of running in the Grade 3 Philip Iselin Stakes here Aug. 19. Walder advised passing on the Iselin and setting a new target: the Grade 2, $500,000 Meadowlands Breeders' Cup Stakes on Oct. 13. The Formal Gold is the prep for the Meadowlands Cup, which is New Jersey's richest dirt race for older horses.

"I thought the horse looked a little tired," Walder said. "The smart thing to do coming off the Whitney was to run in the Formal Gold to get his confidence back and then take a shot at the Meadowlands Cup."

Siphon City, a former claimer, has bounced back strongly with a pair of bullet works at Monmouth. His latest drill was four furlongs in 47 seconds on Sept. 9.

"He worked really good and came back good," Walder said. "He's training great, and he's heading into this race in the right direction."

Among the other contenders, Miracle Man is back on the main track after running in two turf races at Monmouth, including an allowance victory two starts back.

Colita and Contante make their first starts since June. Colita most recently finished third as the pacesetter in Monmouth's Point Given Stakes. Contante's finest moment this season was a neck loss at 25-1 in the Grade 2 Gulfstream Park Handicap on March 4.

The Meadowlands might get dime supers

The Meadowlands plans to introduce a 10-cent superfecta with a 15 percent takeout when the Thoroughbred meet starts Sept. 29.

One superfecta will be offered per card, on the last race.

"With the recent change in the racing laws and racing commission rules, wagers under $1 are now permitted on New Jersey races," said Meadowlands vice president Chris McErlean. "There has been interest in the wager based on availability at other tracks, and we felt this would be a good test during the Thoroughbred meet."

The 10-cent superfecta still requires the approval of the New Jersey Racing Commission. The bet would join a wagering format that includes win, place, show, exacta, and trifecta wagering on all races; two daily doubles (first two races and last two races); a pick three starting in all but the sixth race; a pick four in races 6 through 9; and the Choose Six, which starts in the first race and continues through the card, as long as six races remain.

* The $60,000 Majestic Prince for 3-year-olds, which had been set for Sunday at Monmouth, drew only four entrants and did not make the cut. The race was rescheduled for Wednesday.