10/05/2006 12:00AM

Vosburgh matches Silver Train vs. Henny Hughes


ELMONT, N.Y. - At $400,000, the has the smallest purse among the five Grade 1 races being run Saturday at Belmont Park. But with Silver Train and Henny Hughes in the five-horse field, the Vosburgh may have the highest intrigue among the day's marquee events.

Silver Train, a 4-year-old son of Old Trieste, is the defending Breeders' Cup Sprint winner and a horse who has won his last five starts at Belmont Park, including this year's Grade 1 Metropolitan Handicap and Grade 2 Tom Fool. Henny Hughes, a 3-year-old son of Hennessy, is considered by many the favorite for this year's Breeders' Cup Sprint based on his monster victories in the Grade 3 Jersey Shore Breeders' Cup and Grade 1 King's Bishop.

The supporting cast isn't bad either. War Front, trained by Allen Jerkens, won the Grade 2 Vanderbilt Handicap at Saratoga and nearly upset Silver Train in the Tom Fool. Attila's Storm was fourth in last year's Breeders' Cup Sprint, and makes his first start since overcoming a hind leg injury suffered in January. Who's the Cowboy has won four in a row and 11 of 22 overall, though not against this company.

While Richard Dutrow, the trainer of Silver Train, and Kiaran McLaughlin, the trainer of Henny Hughes, expressed respect for each other's horse, both believe they have the faster animal.

"I think anybody that's been involved in racing has to be impressed with him," Dutrow said of Henny Hughes. "I'm not afraid of him; I think we're the horse to beat.

"We have faster numbers than him," Dutrow added. "It seems like we have a more determined horse than him, too. Silver Train ain't going to let you get by him. The last three times he's run here at Belmont he's won them all at the wire. He's determined. Henny Hughes is going to have to deal with that factor."

Silver Train will break from post 5 under Edgar Prado.

"I respect the older horses because they're older horses, but when they go in the gate I think we'll be the favorite and rightfully so, and hopefully we run our race," McLaughlin said. "I feel like we're the fastest horse. You have to respect Dutrow and that horse at Belmont anyway, but I wouldn't trade places with anybody; we have a serious animal here."

Henny Hughes drew the rail and will most likely be the one to catch under John Velazquez. In the King's Bishop, Henny Hughes easily disposed of the other speed horses en route to a 5 1/4-length win. Attila's Storm looks like the only other horse who could apply pressure to Henny Hughes early.

Dutrow concedes the fact that Silver Train will have to run down Henny Hughes.

"Going three-quarters he doesn't have that kind of early speed that those fast sprinters do," Dutrow said. "But he can come get them, especially on this track."

Dutrow purposely gave Silver Train the summer off after winning the Tom Fool. Dutrow believes his horse benefited from the time.

"I don't know since I've had him if he's ever come to a race this way for us before," Dutrow said. "I'm very confident about him running at Belmont, as everybody knows. I'm very confident having Edgar on him. He's going to have to show up the right way again. I'm sure he will."

If either Henny Hughes or Silver Train falters, War Front is more than capable of springing the upset. He ran a dynamite race in the Tom Fool off a five-month layoff and followed that with a win in the Vanderbilt and a good second to Pomeroy in the Grade 1 Forego.