06/13/2001 11:00PM

Thistyranthasclass tough vs. N.J.-breds


OCEANPORT, N.J. - Thistyranthasclass took Monmouth by storm last summer when he left the state-bred ranks - where he recorded three victories - to capture the $100,000 Long Branch Stakes against a tough group of 3-year-olds. One start later, he stumbled badly at the start of the Grade 1 Haskell, but recovered to set the pace and eventually finish fifth.

In Saturday's $50,000 Jersey Breeder's Handicap at a mile for 3-year-olds and up, Thistyranthasclass takes on six New Jersey-breds for the second time this meet, after easily winning the John J. Reilly Handicap on opening day. He is looking to duplicate the result of that race, and regain the top form that he displayed last summer.

"We are not so much looking to run him against Jersey-breds," said trainer John Tammaro III, "but to run him longer distances. Everything we do now is a stepping stone to the Salvator Mile."

The Salvator Mile, a Grade 3 that carries a purse of $150,000, will be run on Aug. 5, Haskell Day. The Salvator Mile was run two weeks before the Haskell last year, but was moved to the Haskell undercard this year. A win on Haskell Day would reward the connections of Thistyranthasclass with a repeat of last year's strong performance, in which the J-bred had a head in front turning for home.

"What we're trying to do is get him physically to the point where was he last year, when he was at his best," Tammaro III said.

Skywriting pointed for stakes win

Saturday's fifth race is the $50,000 Captive Miss Stakes for 3-year-old fillies at 1 1/16 miles on the turf. Skywriting, trained by Michael Machowsky, ships in from California, after a stakes placing in her last race, the Bay Meadow Oaks May 19.

"I want to win a stakes with her," Machowsky said. "Monmouth has a good stakes program, and I think she fits there. If she runs well Saturday, she'll stay at Monmouth for the graded stakes [Grade 3 Reeve Schley] on July 7."

Javier Castellano will ride Skywriting, a daughter of Jeblar, and carry 112 pounds. The filly has an allowance win on the turf, and ran well despite encountering trouble in the Bay Meadow Oaks at the same distance as the Captive Miss.

"The rider lost his inside iron early in the race and she bumped into the rail," said Machowsky. "She could never reach the winner."