05/21/2005 12:00AM

Twilight Road likely favored to repeat


MIAMI - Take a look at the past performances of the dozen horses nominated to next Monday's $100,000 Memorial Day Handicap and you might want to recheck the conditions of the race. Five of the 12 older runners eligible for the Grade 3 race made their last start on turf, and another, defending champion Twilight Road, is a graded winner on grass.

The 1 1/16-mile Memorial Day Handicap may have a bit of an identity crisis, having been decided on grass seven times in its 30 year history, while the 2005 edition, like the last six before it, is carded for the main track.

Twilight Road is the oldest member of the lineup but still going strong at the age of 8. He will likely be favored to defend his title successfully, coming off a third-place finish in the Grade 3 Texas Mile and a second in the Grade 3 Skip Away. Twilight Road ran down and fellow longshot Hear No Evil to post an easy win in the 2004 Memorial Day.

Hear No Evil is one of the five who would be making the turf-to-dirt switch if they start next Monday. A speedy son of Carson City, he led throughout to upset the Chris Thomas Turf Classic at Tampa Bay Downs on May 7, his first victory since he captured the Unbridled Handicap here during the summer of 2003.

Among the other potential Memorial Day starters who would be going turf to dirt are Runnintothealter, Biblical Scholar, Demeteor, and Flirt With Fortune. Biblical Scholar, trained by Henry Collazo, blew out an easy three furlongs over a tiring main track here Saturday in 36.80 seconds.

Super Frolic, whose turf career likely ended following his 11th-place finish in the Side Bar Stakes here last August, finished fourth, nearly seven lengths behind Twilight Road, in the 2004 Memorial Day. But he has since won 4 of his 8 main-track starts in the 12 months that have passed since that encounter.

Follow-up to a blowout

Appealing Pond will attempt to prove her 18-length allowance victory here on May 3 was no fluke when she steps up against slightly tougher opposition in Monday's $30,000 main event. The optional claiming/ allowance is carded at one mile.

Appealing Pond earned a career best Beyer Speed Figure of 92 after leading throughout on a sloppy track to register the most lopsided victory of the meet. The race had originally been scheduled for the turf.