06/26/2006 11:00PM

Weather could wash out Diabolical

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OCEANPORT, N.J. - Weather permitting, Diabolical will make his first start since the Preakness on Thursday at Monmouth Park in a $40,000 second-level allowance race on the turf.

The one-mile contest drew a full field of nine with two also-eligibles. Monmouth's new turf course already absorbed a lot of rain over the weekend, with more showers predicted this week.

Trainer and co-owner Steve Klesaris will reconsider the race for Diabolical if it comes off the turf.

"We were looking to get a turf race underneath him at a middle distance, and with the rain, it looks like it might not happen," said Klesaris.

The race was appealing because of the surface and the distance.

is stakes-placed on grass, having run second to Kentucky Derby winner Barbaro in the Laurel Futurity last November. He was fourth in his season debut, the Grade 3 Palm Beach Stakes on the grass at Gulfstream Park.

Diabolical's latest effort, an eighth in the Preakness after chasing the pace along the inside, was an experiment that didn't pan out.

"He came out of the Preakness in good order," Klesaris said. "It was just too much distance for him. We were suspicious of that going in, but we were willing to take a shot."

Klesaris is now looking to spot Diabolical in races ranging from six furlongs up to a mile.

A one-mile grass race also looks ideal for Transit of Venus, who, like Diabolical, trains at the Fair Hill Center in Maryland. Transit of Venus, trained by John R.S. Fisher, is 2 for 3 at the distance on the turf. The lone loss came last time out in the Grade 3 Hill Prince Stakes for 3-year-olds at Belmont Park, where Transit of Venus chased the pace on a soft course before fading to sixth.

, at 6 the oldest runner in the field, is very effective in these spots. He has a win and a second in three one-mile turf races at Monmouth for trainer Alan Goldberg.

Trainer Glenn Thompson took advantage of the recent all-turf cards at The Meadowlands to get back on the grass. The New Jersey-bred responded with a rallying third in an identical one-mile second-level allowance spot. Lightning Power comes out of the same race, where he saved ground before coming on to get second in a solid effort.

Completing the field are Presious Passion, Approved by Dylan, Kansas City Boy, and Punch the Odds. Cool Cat Interview and Partition are on the also-eligible list.