10/13/2006 12:00AM

Sweetnorthernsaint entered at Laurel


Sweetnorthernsaint, who finished seventh as the favorite in the Kentucky Derby, will return to the races next Thursday in a third-level allowance race at Laurel Park. The seven-furlong race will be Sweetnorthernsaint's first start since he finished second to Bernardini in the Preakness on May 20. Sweetnorthernsaint drew post 4 in an eight-horse field and will be ridden by Ramon Dominguez.

Following the Preakness, trainer Michael Trombetta gave Sweetnorthernsaint 60 days off before returning him to training at Laurel in early August. Sweetnorthernsaint, owned by Joseph Balsamo and Ted Theos, has worked several times at Laurel, including a six-furlong move in 1:11.60 on Tuesday.

"I wanted to try and get a race back under him at our home track before the logical thing happened that you wind up having to travel," Trombetta said. "He's been training good here. His last work he turned in a pretty solid one, so it's time to go ahead and run."

Sweetnorthernsaint won the Illinois Derby by 9 1/4 lengths in April, a performance that eventually sent him off as the lukewarm 5-1 favorite in the Kentucky Derby. Sweetnorthernsaint didn't have the best of trips in the Derby finishing seventh, 13 lengths behind Barbaro. He came back two weeks later and got caught in an early speed duel before being swallowed by Bernardini in the stretch.

Trombetta said he has no specific goal in mind for Sweetnorthernsaint this fall.

"To be very honest with you, I haven't looked a day past Oct. 19," Trombetta said. "I just want to get back to the groove and get him back to the races."