05/13/2007 11:00PM

Sports Town tough on cutback


ELMONT, N.Y. - Sports Town trains like a horse with unlimited potential. But in his last two starts, Sports Town found his limitations, failing to successfully negotiate two turns in stakes at Aqueduct and Turfway Park.

His connections aren't sure that a breathing problem wasn't the cause for his ineffectiveness going long. Regardless, a seemingly healthier Sports Town returns to sprinting Wednesday in the $65,000 Ogygian Stakes at Belmont Park. A field of six was entered for the Ogygian at 6 1/2 furlongs. It's the eighth race on the card, and the fifth in a pick-six sequence that begins with a $44,079 carryover.

Sports Town, a son of Belong To Me, won 2 of his first 3 starts - all sprints - before finishing third in the Whirlaway, a 1 1/16-mile race in February. He came out of that race with an illness, but returned to run in the Grade 2 Lane's End at Turfway Park at 1 1/8 miles. Again, he stopped, finishing 14 1/2 lengths behind eventual Kentucky Derby runner-up Hard Spun.

It was after the Lane's End that Sports Town was diagnosed with inflammation of his airway passage. Through medicine and a different feed program, Sports Town has his connections breathing easier entering Wednesday's race.

"I think we got him right," trainer John Terranova said. "We just changed how we feed him, how we do some other things - nothing dramatic - and he responded great."

Sports Town has trained very well since the Lane's End, including a three-furlong blowout in 35.43 seconds Monday morning at Belmont.

Several others will be attempting to bounce back from subpar efforts. Wafi City, the Gotham runner-up, finished ninth behind Flying First Class in the Derby Trial on April 28.

"We'll just throw out the last race because he's training real well," trainer Kiaran McLaughlin said. "He might not have liked Churchill and/or that pace scenario. He was up there third or fourth in a very fast pace."

Wollaston Bay won the Fred "Cappy" Capossela in February, but was well beaten in both the Gotham and the Bay Shore. Trainer Gary Sciacca is adding blinkers to Wollaston Bay's equipment on Wednesday.

Silver Source, a troubled sixth in the Aventura, makes his first start for Richard Dutrow Jr. His maiden win at Gulfstream on Feb. 24 makes him a contender in here.