06/18/2003 11:00PM

Trupon On should love a wet main track


OCEANPORT, N.J. - Three-year-old fillies will take the spotlight Saturday afternoon at Monmouth Park in a pair of stakes, the $60,000 Post Deb and the $50,000 Crank It Up.

Both were well-supported. The Post Deb attracted 10 fillies and the Crank It Up drew 11 as trainers had the option to send their horses long or short.

The Post Deb is set at one mile and 70 yards, while the Crank It Up, originally slated for five furlongs on the turf, will be run at the same distance on the main track.

The race office officially left the Crank It Up on the grass but advised all trainers at the time of entry of the surface change as rain continued to soak the Jersey Shore on Thursday morning.

The move to the main track, and the possibility of a wet surface, enhanced the prospects of Trupon On in the Crank It Up.

She faced her only off track in her most recent start and clearly relished the wet footing. Trupon On rolled to a four-length victory in a Monmouth allowance race in the mud June 5.

"Originally I nominated just to keep our options open," said trainer Tim Hills. "As it gets closer, we're more and more definite. My filly ran real well in the mud the other day."

The adaptability of Trupon On did not surprise Hills.

"She's the kind of horse that does everything well," Hills said. "She's a very classy filly."

Trupon On served notice of that talent in her very first start. She battled gamely to win a maiden special weight in January at Gulfstream Park and followed with a speedy fourth-place finish against allowance company.

"Her two races at Gulfstream were exceptional," Hills said. "It's unusual for me to win first time out with a horse unless they are real aggressive horses. She is a real serious horse as far as training."

Had the race remained on the turf, Hills harbored doubts about running.

"You're always curious about how they'll perform on the grass," Hills said. "She doesn't jump out at me as specifically being a grass horse. Sooner or later, you want to try them on it once."

Trupon On drew the outside post - 11 - with Abdiel Toribio aboard.

In addition to Trupon On, the field includes three fillies who also won their last start on wet tracks: Trick Again, Uphill Skier and Travelator.

Forever Partners has the most stakes experience in the race. She won the Colleen Stakes at Monmouth last summer and ran second in the Grade 1 Spinaway at Saratoga.

Forever Partners most recently finished third in the Grade 3, $100,000 Miss Preakness Stakes at Pimlico where she missed by less than a length in a troubled trip. Chuck Lopez has the mount for trainer Anthony Dutrow.

Shippers dominate the Post Deb as only two fillies, Skipper's Mate and Comeback to Me, are based at Monmouth,

Double Scoop should be the solid favorite following a runner-up effort in the Grade 3, $100,000 Dogwood Stakes at Churchill Downs. She has not finished worse than second in four career starts.

There have been only two days of grass racing this meet, and the prospects for turf races in the near future look bleak with more showers and thunderstorms in the forecast.

Molly Pitcher taking shape

The Grade 2, $300,000 Molly Pitcher Breeders' Cup Handicap, the first major stakes for females on the Monmouth schedule, takes place June 28.

The racing office expects a field of about six fillies and mares for the 1 1/8-mile race.

Summer Colony heads the list of likely starters. She ran second in last year's Molly Pitcher to Atelier as the 7-10 favorite.

Summer Colony most recently was second in the slop in the Pimlico Breeders' Cup Distaff Handicap.

Other probable starters include Enjoy, Moonlightandbeauty, She's Got the Beat. Wild Spirit, and Winning Chance.

* Joe Bravo, the leading rider at the meet, continues to close in on a significant mark. He needs only 11 wins to become the first rider to reach 1,000 at Monmouth, according to Equibase statistics.

* All paid admissions at Monmouth on Sunday will receive a free cooler bag from Miller Lite. The "Family Fun Day" afternoon also includes pony rides, face-painters, and assorted amusements for children.

* In keeping with the Molly Pitcher theme, Monmouth will hold "Ladies' Day at the Races" on June 28. There will be a lunch, a fashion show, and drawings for prizes. Tickets cost $55. For more information, contact the special events office at (732) 571-5547.