02/12/2002 12:00AM

Talented Bay Monster returns from layoff

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HOT SPRINGS, Ark. - Bay Monster, who was beaten by a nose by eventual Breeders' Cup Juvenile runner-up Repent in a maiden race last September, returns from a three-month layoff Thursday in the featured ninth race at Oaklawn Park.

The 1 1/16-mile allowance, for 3-year-olds and up who have never won two races, has drawn 10. Also in the field are Cope With an Image, second to the dominating Paloma Parilla two weeks ago for trainer Lynn Whiting, and Contested, a promising maiden winner for trainer Gary Hartlage.

Repent won the Kentucky Cup Juvenile one race after he defeated Bay Monster. Bay Monster won his maiden in his next start, and then finished fifth to eventual $150,000 Texan Juvenile winner Jeremiah Jack in a Keeneland allowance Oct. 21.

In his most recent start, Bay Monster ran third to the graded stakes-placed Thunder Days in a Churchill Downs allowance Nov. 16.

Two turns next for Medaglia D'oro

Medaglia D'oro, a 3-year-old El Prado colt who powered to an impressive 4 1/4-length win against older rivals in a six-furlong maiden race on Saturday, will try two turns in his next start, which is expected to come in allowance company.

"We're going to bring him along slow," trainer David Vance said. "If everything goes good for him, then we'll look at some of the better races late in the meet. I don't believe he'll have any problem with the distance. He's a big, easy-going horse with plenty of natural speed. And his pedigree says he'll go two turns."

Medaglia D'oro, who is from a stakes-winning mare, ran six furlongs in a quick 1:10.97 on Saturday. Later on the card, Spanish Glitter went the same distance in 1:10.95 to win the $50,000 American Beauty Stakes.

James Lopez, who rode both horses, is excited about Medaglia D'oro. "I was very impressed with his race," said Lopez, this meet's leading rider. "He did everything so easy."

Like mother, like daughter?

Western Side, a 4-year-old daughter of champion race mare North Sider by Gone West, will make her Oaklawn debut Saturday in the $50,000 Pippin, a 1 1/16-mile race for fillies and mares. As of Tuesday, the Pippin had eight possible starters, led by Devout Sinner, a winner of four stakes in her last four starts, and Victory at Sea, a Hialeah stakes winner last year for trainer Elliott Walden.

North Sider was successful at Oaklawn in 1987, when she won the Grade 1 Apple Blossom and the Oaklawn Breeders' Cup Handicap. During her career, she was a three-time Grade 1 winner and earned $1,126,400.

Western Side is stout in stature like her mother, and comes into the Pippin on the heels of a strong second-place finish in a one-mile allowance at Fair Grounds. "I thought her last race was huge," trainer Kenny Smith said. "The [winner] got out on an easy lead, and we came and challenged her a couple times, but there was nobody to ever challenge her early."

Before the Fair Grounds race, Western Side finished third to top regional sprinter Midge Too in the San Felipe Stakes at Sam Houston Race Park. She will be ridden by Tim Doocy in the Pippin.

The Pippin is one of two stakes to be run during an extended six-day holiday race week at Oaklawn. The feature Monday is the $50,000 Martha Washington for 3-year-old fillies, which is expected to draw $50,000 Dixie Belle winner Bedanken.

Cojet too much for rivals

Cojet appeared to be on automatic pilot Sunday, cruising to an 8 1/2-length win in a conditioned allowance race that drew five stakes winners. The apparent class of the field, he took the lead soon after the start and never looked back. Trainer Bob Holthus said the colt will likely start next in the $75,000 Southwest at Oaklawn on March 2.

* Trainer John Milliron, who won the Southwest in 1999 with Jim'smrtee, has been suspended for the remainder of the meet for presenting false workmen's compensation papers to the Oaklawn stewards.

* Jockey Anthony Lovato, who did not ride the nightcap last Sunday because he was kicked by a horse after dismounting earlier on the card, sustained no fractures in the incident, just bruises, said agent Jerry Reites.