06/12/2001 11:00PM

Songandaprayer works for Jersey sprint


OCEANPORT, N.J. - Songandaprayer, the top 3-year-old on the grounds, worked out Monday, breezing five furlongs in 1:02.40.

"It was what we wanted," trainer John Dowd said. "He is coming up to his next race just fine. We are looking forward to July 4."

July 4 is the date slated for Songandaprayer's next start, the Grade 3, $100,000 Jersey Shore Breeders' Cup for 3-year-olds, run at six furlongs. From there, Dowd plans to send the $1 million colt, owned by Bobby Hurley and D J Stable, to Saratoga for the Amsterdam and the Grade 1 Kings Bishop. A long-term goal for Songandaprayer is the Breeders' Cup Sprint.

In Songandaprayer's workout, he covered three-eighths of a mile in 36 seconds and galloped out three-quarters of a mile in 1:13.

Songandaprayer, a son of Unbridled's Song, won his maiden here on June 15 last year, and then was sidelined with an injury. He returned in the winter to win the Grade 1 Fountain of Youth at Gulfstream Park, and then started in the Kentucky Derby on May 5. He set the lightning-quick pace in the Derby before fading to 13th. He has worked well since the Derby, and is definitely primed for a cutback in distances. "We've known all along that sprinting is in his range," Dowd said.

Make me a match

Saturday's Grade 3, $100,000 Vinery Matchmaker Handicap is the first graded stakes here since the Grade 3 Red Bank Handicap on Memorial Day. Filly turf specialist Gaviola heads the prospective field.

In addition to purse money, the Matchmaker awards future stallion services to the owners of the first three finishers. The race was contested at Atlantic City before being moved to Monmouth in 1997.

Gaviola, a 4-year-old trained by Billy Turner, has made 12 of her 13 lifetime starts on the grass. She has won eight of her turf starts, including the Grade 1, $250,000 Garden City Breeders' Cup Handicap last fall at Belmont. She previously won a Grade 2 and two Grade 3's. In her 3-year-old campaign, she had six straight wins before being stopped in the Grade 1 Queen Elizabeth Cup.

Gaviola took the Grade 3 Beaugay Handicap at Aqueduct in her last start, May 6.

Bravo ahead of the pack

Jockey Joe Bravo is distancing himself from the rest of the jockey colony in the pursuit of his ninth riding title. Through 12 racing days as of Sunday, Bravo had 18 wins, 10 more than his nearest competitors. Bravo had seven wins last weekend, four of which came on Sunday. He is winning races at a 29 percent clip.

"We had a real good week," Bravo said. "Things just clicked and hopefully they'll continue to click throughout the rest of the summer."

Jose Ferrer, Roberto Alvarado, and Eibar Coa are tied for second with 10 wins apiece.

My Jeff's Mombo works

Monmouth sprinting veteran My Jeff's Mombo worked over the strip here for the first time this spring Monday, breezing three furlongs in 39 seconds. My Jeff's Mombo had been laid up in the winter, with his last race coming Sept. 23 in the $75,000 Marfa Stakes at Turfway Park.

My Jeff's Mombo was tied for second in victories (four) for the 1999 meet, earning $173,200 for Runnin Horse Farms in five starts. Three of those wins came in stakes - the Longfellow, Shrewsbury, and Teddy Drone.

"I'll let him tell me when he's ready to run," said trainer Norman Pointer, "He's still 30 days away from coming back."

Jersey-bred feature

Jersey-breds are the focus of the Friday feature for the second week in a row, as eight horses are entered for the eighth race, a $45,500 nonwinners-of-one-other-than allowance for 3-year-olds and up at one mile and seventy yards.

The race is a good betting race, without a standout. Two horses with good efforts here this summer have live chances to hit the board in the allowance. Moorish Prince, trained by Glenn Thompson, placed in the same condition on June 2. That race might prove to be key, as Classical Drive, the third-place finisher, is also entered in the Friday feature. Classical Drive, trained by Deborah Bodner, will be ridden by Eibar Coa. Dale Beckner rides Moorish Prince.