07/31/2008 12:00AM

Two try to prove their turf ability


It's too soon to tell whether Termsofengagement or Kris Appeal has a future on turf. The two 3-year-olds may provide some answers when they run in Saturday's $75,000 Nick Shuk Memorial Stakes at Delaware Park.

The 1 1/16-mile Shuk serves as the local prep for the Grade 3, $500,000 Kent Stakes at 1 1/8 miles on Aug. 30.

Termsofengagement, an encouraging third facing older horses in his only try on grass, and Kris Appeal, a dominant winner in two races scheduled for turf but moved to the main track, are among a field of 12, including four main track-only horses.

A winner of the off-the-turf Woodlawn over a muddy track at Pimlico on May 16, Termsofengagement made a late move to finish third of six in a third-level optional $50,000 claimer in his grass debut two starts ago. He ran the last three furlongs of that 1 1/8-mile race in an excellent 35.20 seconds, an indication that he's well suited to the surface. Trained by Nancy Alberts, he's eligible to move forward in his second start on grass while facing his 3-year-old peers instead of older horses.

Kris Appeal was claimed for $50,000 by trainer Mike Pino out of an off-the-turf maiden race at Gulfstream in March, and in his next start romped by nearly 12 lengths in a first-level allowance taken off the turf May 13. He comes back less than two weeks after finishing second in a dirt route at Philadelphia Park, his first race in two months.

The field also includes Mr Macool, 2 for 2 on turf at Churchill Downs; Knight in Armour, who outran his 32-1 odds when he finished second in an overnight stakes a month ago; and El Churruca, a dominant wire-to-wire winner facing older first-level allowance runners three starts ago at Philly Park who most recently ran second in a Pennsylvania-bred turf stakes at Penn National.