09/02/2006 12:00AM

Switch to dirt would aid many


MIAMI - Two of the six runnings of the $80,000 Carterista Handicap have been rained off the turf. A similar fate is likely to befall Monday's seventh renewal, considering the amount of precipitation that has fallen on south Florida since Tropical Storm Ernesto passed through the area.

A full contingent of 16 horses was entered for the 1 1/16-mile Carterista, many of whom would benefit from the expected change in venue to the main track. A maximum of 12 can start. Three of those main-track specialists reside under the shed of trainer Frank Gomez, who entered Rehoboth, Anglers Reef, and Weekend Weather in the Carterista even though none has ever won a race on grass.

Rehoboth is the strongest of the Gomez threesome and comes off a game neck victory in the one-mile American Dreamer Stakes here two weeks ago. The win was the second in the last four starts for Rehoboth, who finished seventh when he tried turf for only the second time in his career here earlier in the meet.

Anglers Reef and Weekend Weather are coming off allowance wins over the main track. Anglers Reef is in the best form of his career, having captured two of his last four starts. He was beaten only a head and a neck in his two losses during that span.

A surface switch in the Carterista would also benefit How's Your Halo and Blazing Rate.

How's Your Halo exits a gate-to-wire 5 1/4-length decision in the six-furlong Eillo Stakes on Aug. 13. He proved he could also handle a distance of ground when he led throughout to post a 13 3/4-length second-level allowance triumph earlier in the session. The speedy 3-year-old figures to face some early pace pressure in the Carterista from Runnin to the Bar, Nacascolo, and Keep Cool if he goes.

Blazing Rate has yet to race on turf but did win a pair of stakes around two turns over the main track here as a 2-year-old in 2005, including the In Reality division of the Florida Stallion Stakes. A son of Exchange Rate, he is winless at 3, with his best effort a third-place finish in the Grade 2 Carry Back Stakes.

Nacascolo, 5, is a versatile sort who is in the best form of his career. He led throughout to win The Vid Stakes at a mile on

July 30, then could not quite overcome an unlucky start and finished third turning back to five furlongs for the Turf Sprint handicap six days later. He will likely vie for favoritism with Magic Mecke and Knight in Flight if the Carterista does go as scheduled on grass.