05/16/2005 12:00AM

Tashdeed's closing kick a key factor

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ELMONT, N.Y. - After two failed attempts at nine furlongs, Tashdeed perhaps found his niche as a closing sprinter when he cut back to win a seven-furlong allowance race last month at Aqueduct.

If he unleashes the same powerful stretch kick Wednesday, Tashdeed could very well be the one to beat in the $60,000 Light the Fuse Stakes for 3-year-olds. The Light the Fuse, run at 6 1/2 furlongs, is the featured event on Wednesday's Belmont Park card, which includes a pick six carryover of $40,300.

A field of 11 was entered for the Light the Fuse, but some will scratch. Trainer Billy Turner said there is a better spot for in the next condition book. Trainer Richard Dutrow entered three but must scratch either Tip City or Byanosejoe, because he named John Velazquez on both. Allen Jerkens said he was uncertain whether he will run Magoo's Magic.

, a son of 1994 champion sprinter Cherokee Run, gave trainer Kiaran McLaughlin the impression that sprinting is what he would do best. Tashdeed won a maiden race at a mile over Aqueduct's inner track, but he was not nearly as effective when stretched out farther. On April 22, he beat a decent field of entry-level allowance horses by a neck, earning a career-best Beyer Speed Figure of 90.

"It looks like he's better as a closing sprinter, not to say we won't try to try stretch him out again at some point, but this looks like what he wants to do," McLaughlin said. "He had the kick going long, but he didn't get there. Going short they go faster and his kick works better."

Tashdeed is well drawn toward the outside and will be ridden by Fernando Jara.

is 2 for 2 at six furlongs, 0 for 3 going longer. He was beaten by only 1 1/2 lengths by Survivalist in the Grade 3 Gotham at one mile, and by three lengths while weakening in the stretch of the nine-furlong Federico Tesio.

Dutrow also sends out , one of many horses he has picked up from Buckram Oak Farm. Silver Train was an impressive maiden winner at Saratoga last summer on Travers Day, but he has not been able to duplicate that race. Dutrow hits at 40 percent with new acquisitions.

will have to work out a trip from the rail, but he is coming off a very fast win at 5 1/2 furlongs for the hot trainer Mike Hushion. Around the Cape, second to Lost in the Fog in the Swale, could be the main speed under Jerry Bailey.