02/26/2002 1:00AM

Ten-pound weight shift isn't enough


ALBANY, Calif. - Weight is often an issue around the racetrack, and it could be a big issue in Thursday's feature at Golden Gate Fields.

The two top contenders, Sharp Park and Glittering Stone, finished a nose apart when they met on Feb. 6 in a six-furlong race with a $25,000 claiming tag, which was similar to Thursday's race.

Sharp Park finished second, a nose ahead of Glittering Stone, with both carrying 117 pounds. On Thursday, Sharp Park will carry 122 pounds to Glittering Stone's 112. The question is, does the 10-pound weight shift add up to more than the nose by which Glittering Stone was beaten last time?

Not only is the weight shift intriguing, but also of note is a jockey switch as well.

Top local apprentice Kevin Krigger rode Sharp Park last time, but he will be on Glittering Stone this time.

Russell Baze, who is leading the nation in victories this year, moves from Glittering Stone to Sharp Park.

Talk of weight usually centers around stakes races, with trainers typically complaining about the impost assigned to their horses or their main rivals. But weight also is an issue in races like this one, in which weight is assigned and then allowances are made depending upon recent performance.

Sharp Park has won 4 of 9 starts and had won three races in a row before finishing second in the Feb. 6 race. Because he has won two races since Nov. 15, according to Thursday's conditions he gets no weight allowance.

Glittering Stone has won only once in 11 starts, and thus gets the benefit of a five-pound weight break from Sharp Park. Krigger's five-pound apprentice allowance brings the weight advantage for Glittering Stone to 10 pounds.

Meanwhile, Floating Meeting and Houston's Wicked both carry 119 pounds in the race because both have recorded victories this year. Fair Victory gets in at 117 pounds because he has no wins since Nov. 15.

Nick N Court and Peepsight are in at 115. Neither has won a race since Nov. 15, with both getting two additional pounds off because they run for a $22,500 claiming tag instead of the $25,000 tag the others are running for.

Will the 10-pound shift move Glittering Storm in front of Sharp Park? The guess here is no.

Baze is 2 for 2 aboard Sharp Park, who has already won carrying 122 pounds.

The weight break may not mean as much for Glittering Stone as a clean trip would mean. A beaten favorite in the Feb. 6 race, he was involved in a three-way pace battle and jumped shadows approaching the three-eighths pole and dropped out of contention.

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