03/15/2008 12:00AM

Teide must deal with Giant Deputy


HALLANDALE BEACH, Fla. – What would be more appropriate than a guy named McLaughlin winning the $41,500 allowance feature on Monday's St. Patrick's Day program at Gulfstream Park? Trainer Kiaran McLaughlin will saddle the likely favorite Teide in the one-mile entry-level allowance test for older colts and geldings.

The lightly raced Teide exits a third-place finish under similar conditions on a sloppy track here Feb. 21. A 4-year-old son of Mt. Livermore, Teide rallied from off the pace to join the leader entering the stretch only to falter gradually and finish 1 1/4 lengths behind the ultimate winner, Giant Chieftain. That race was Teide's 2008 debut, his first start in three months, and just his second since he led throughout to win his maiden by nine lengths at Aqueduct in February of 2007.

Kent Desormeaux will ride Teide for the first time on Monday.

Teide figures to face his stiffest challenge from Giant Deputy, a well-bred Giant's Causeway colt who has not started since finishing third behind stakes winners C P West and Buffalo Man in the Wild Again overnight stakes at Aqueduct on Nov. 1. In his previous start, Giant Deputy earned a Beyer Speed Figure of 96 winning his maiden by more than three widening lengths at Belmont Park.

Giant Deputy, trained by Stanley Hough, has worked steadily for his return, posting six works at the Palm Meadows training center since Jan. 31, including a black-letter five-furlong drill of 1:00.40 from the gate on March 2.

Maria's Charm also looms a top contender off a game three-quarter-length maiden victory in his local debut on Jan. 28. Maria's Charm overcame trouble at the start to wear down the leaders in early stretch en route to his first victory in four career starts.

The unpredictable Solemn Promise also demands respect if he is able to run back to the type of form he used to post a Beyer Figure of 100 when he ran second a year ago in the WinStar Derby, a race sponsored by his owner, the WinStar Farm LLC.

Solemn Promise, who won his maiden impressively last winter at Gulfstream Park for trainer Dale Romans, was transferred to Richard Mandella's barn later at 3 but failed to reproduce his best effort in two starts over the synthetic surface at Hollywood Park. He has subsequently been reunited with Romans and will return to conventional dirt for the first time since the WinStar Derby on Monday.