08/15/2005 11:00PM

Top Shoter returns to scene of past success

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Stephanie Van Minos/Tom Cooley
Finger Lakes-based Top Shoter is seeking a victory at Saratoga for the fourth consecutive year.

SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. - It wouldn't be Saratoga if Top Shoter didn't show up and win a race at the meet.

On Thursday in the $65,000-added John Morrissey, Top Shoter will try to win for the fourth consecutive year at Saratoga.

Top Shoter, 4 for 5 at Saratoga, is among eight New York-bred males entered in the 6 1/2-furlong Morrissey.

Top Shoter is owned and trained by Charlton Baker, who is based at Finger Lakes. , 6, who has a ton of early speed, won his first two starts at Saratoga in 2002 by a combined margin of 13 1/2 lengths. The gelding won a race at Saratoga in 2003 and another in 2004. Top Shoter, a winner of four restricted stakes at Finger Lakes, seeks his first Saratoga stakes win in the Morrissey.

John Velazquez rides Top Shoter from post 4. He carries 123 pounds, two fewer than the highweights, Papua and Chowder's First, who is a stakes winner at Saratoga.

Regarding the distance of the race, Baker pointed out that Top Shoter's highest Beyer Speed Figure, 108, was earned last year in the mud in a seven-furlong race at Saratoga.

"Six might be his best distance, but six and a half won't be a problem," Baker said.

Top Shoter has suffered from tender shins throughout his career.

"That's his only problem," Baker said. "He's a fast horse and pretty easy to train. I couldn't tell you how he does it."

, last year's Morrissey winner, defeated Top Shoter in the seven-furlong General D. MacArthur at Belmont last year. In the MacArthur, Clever Electrician stalked Top Shoter, who set a fast pace, and drew clear in the stretch for a 1 1/2-length victory. The same scenario could take place in the Morrissey.

Clever Electrician has two very sharp works at Saratoga in preparation for the Morrissey.

Ramon Dominguez rides Clever Electrician for trainer Bruce Levine. Clever Electrician will break directly to the outside of Top Shoter.

, another horse in the field with speed, owns the highest Beyer, 110, and is capable of winning this race.

Papua will have a difficult assignment, carrying 125 pounds in his first race since March.

has been beaten by both Jet Prospector and Top Shoter.

The blinkers go back on , who is 0 for 7 this year and without a win in four starts at Saratoga.

Seeking the Money completes the field.