08/22/2006 11:00PM

Smart N Classy ripe for Eatontown repeat

Bill Denver / EQUI-PHOTOS
Smart N Classy won last year's Eatontown, but is 0 for 5 this season.

OCEANPORT, N.J. - Tough luck and a series of paceless races have kept Smart N Classy winless in five starts this season.

The 6-year-old Smart N Classy will try to regain the winning touch Saturday in Monmouth Park's Grade 3, $150,000 Eatontown Stakes, a race she won last year.

Smart N Classy got up by a nose in last season's running of the 1 1/16-mile race for fillies and mares on the turf.

This season has not been a total loss. Smart N Classy did get seconds in two stakes this season: the Dahlia at Laurel and the Politely at Monmouth.

"She's been running good but things haven't turned out right for her," said trainer John Tammaro III. "In turf racing, you run your race but you still need a little break."

Smart N Classy is a deep closer who needs a lively pace to set up her rally. She didn't get it in her last three, starting with the Grade 2 New York Breeders' Cup Handicap at Belmont Park on June 24. Smart N Classy, caught inside on a soft course, finished sixth.

"We didn't have the best trip in the world being inside where the going was a little deep," Tammaro said.

Her next two starts came at Monmouth: the Politely and a fourth-place finish in the Grade 3 Matchmaker.

"We caught two races here with no pace," Tammaro said. "That isn't her best trip."

Smart N Classy did catch one break along the way when an injury she incurred in the Politely was not serious. Smart N Classy got clipped by a rival during the race and sustained a puncture wound.

"Blood was running down and it was scary," Tammaro said. "It hurt her, because she didn't pull up right. We X-rayed it and it was clean. She never missed a day of training."

Other probable Eatontown runners include Art Fan, Bright Abundance. Brunilda, Pommes Frites, Prop Me Up, Sixty Rockets, Thetactics OfDance, and Wrapped Up in You, according to stakes coordinator Mike Melendez.

The Grade 2, $300,000 Molly Pitcher BC Stakes for fillies and mares on the main track tops the Sunday card.

Probable runners include Round Pond, Capeside Lady, Friel's for Real, and La Reason.

Park Avenue Ball No. 5 all-time

Park Avenue Ball, with the win last Saturday in Monmouth's Iselin BC Stakes, moved into fifth place on the all-time earnings list among New Jersey-breds.

Park Avenue Ball has earned $931,600 with 7 wins in 17 starts. The Iselin victory gave the 4-year-old Park Avenue Ball a graded stakes victory in each of his three racing seasons.

Park Avenue Ball can add to the bankroll in his next scheduled start: the Grade 2, $500,000 Meadowlands BC Stakes on Oct. 13.

Open Mind, winner of the 1988 Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies and the Kentucky Oaks and Alabama the following year, is the all-time New Jersey-bred leader with $1,844,372.

The sprinter Friendly Lover is second with $1,247,670. He ran 66 times in a career that spanned 1990-96.

Zoffany, who started his career in England before winning stakes in New York and California, earned $1,194,925 from 1983-1987.

Sewickley, a top sprinter for trainer Scotty Schulhoffer from 1987-90, banked $1,017,517.

* Jose Lezcano had four wins and a third from five mounts Wednesday.

* Retainage, third last time out against open company, returns to face New Jersey-breds Friday in the $53,000 first-level allowance feature for fillies and mares at 1 1/16 miles. Trained by Tim Hills, Retainage battled for the lead last time and took a slight advantage on the final turn. She faded to third, beaten 10 3/4 lengths.