07/26/2002 12:00AM

Werner's also a whiz in turf sprints


OCEANPORT, N.J. - While trainer Ronny Werner is known for his expertise with 2-year-olds, he has been just as successful this meet with turf sprinters. Werner has won two $50,000 turf stakes at five furlongs this summer and he guns for his third with No Other Name in Sunday's feature at Monmouth Park, the $50,000 Klassy Briefcase Stakes for fillies and mares.

Werner, who has five wins in his last six starts here, already has the Crank It Up Stakes on June 9 and the Anderson Fowler Stakes last Saturday under his belt. While those two victories were with 3-year-olds, he sends out the 4-year-old filly No Other Name to face a tough field of 10 on Sunday.

No Other Name has two wins in four starts on the turf, including a stakes as a 2-year-old. Her last start was a third-place finish in a $62,500 claimer at five furlongs on the turf June 26 at Churchill Downs.

No Other Name's turf victories have come wire-to-wire and her front-running style should fit the Monmouth grass course well. In the past two weeks, speedsters have been quite successful on the grass.

"There are some really tough sprinters on the turf here," said Werner, who is stabled at Monmouth for the first time. "I feel good about our filly; she's been doing really well here. She likes a fast surface, so she'll be out there winging it with them on the front."

If Merry Princess runs in the Klassy Briefcase, she is surely the one to beat. Merry Princess, trained by Kathleen Demasi, was cross-entered in Saturday's Local Thriller Stakes at Delaware. Merry Princess, a turf sprinting specialist, was beaten a neck in the Thomas J. Malley Stakes here May 26, but has returned with a money allowance score here June 19 and then a victory in the Buckland Stakes at Colonial Downs on July 6. In 20 turf starts, Merry Princess has nine wins and has only been out of the money three times.

Completing the field are Sparkling Number, Amber's Way, Naughty Mambo, A.P. Andie, Oh Say Vicki, Cloud City, Slewgenes, and To Marquet. Tra La is entered for the main track only.

New apprentice on the grounds

Apprentice Rachel Goodgame is a new face on the Monmouth backside. She has been exercising horses since arriving here and should be resume riding within the next two weeks.

Goodgame started her professional career on the northern California fair circuit three years ago, but two major injuries have sidetracked her career. Goodgame still holds her weight allowance for another five months, and that will be useful when she begins riding at Monmouth because of the absence of a solid apprentice colony here.

Goodgame, who grew up in northern California, broke her collarbone at Golden Gate Fields at the beginning of 2000 and returned to riding at Philadelphia Park last year with good success. Goodgame said she rode for two months at Philly Park, winning about a dozen races, before suffering a bad spill in August. She broke her left ankle in the spill and also suffered a broken tibia. Goodgame said she is completely recovered from the injury and anxious to return to riding at Monmouth.

"I shipped in here last year for a race and I liked the surface," she said. "I really enjoyed it here, and this is a good opportunity for me to come in and ride."

Wildcat Heir has breathing problem

Wildcat Heir was the most impressive 2-year-old maiden winner this meet, and he surely showed his talent with a runner-up finish to Whywhywhy in the Grade 2 Sanford at Saratoga on Thursday.

Trainer Ben Perkins Jr. said Wildcat Heir vanned back from Saratoga on Friday and came out of the race well, but Perkins said he had a breathing problem during the race and would need to get that checked out before planning his next start. The Grade 1 Hopeful at the end of the Saratoga meet has been the long-term goal for Wildcat Heir since winning his maiden.

"Jerry [Bailey] said he was making a little noise through the stretch," Perkins said. "We'll have to get that breathing problem fixed with some medication."

Bailey said after the race that Wildcat Heir had a problem getting all of his air.

Wildcat Heir, sent off as the 8-5 favorite, was shuffled back at the start, but then moved up within striking distance on the backstretch. Turning for home, he took the lead before Whywhywhy stormed home the winner.

Cool N Collective headed to Laurel

Cool N Collective has made only two starts, but trainer Dennis Manning really likes what he has seen so far. Since moving to Manning's barn after being with Steve Asmussen, Cool N Collective has an allowance win at Delaware and a runner-up finish in a four-other-than allowance at Delaware on July 15.

Based on his solid starts off an extended layoff, Manning said Cool N Collective would start next in the Lexington Park Stakes going nine furlongs at Laurel on Aug. 4. Manning said Cool N Collective, who ran second in the Grade 2 Pegasus at The Meadowlands two years ago while being trained by Reade Baker, will aim for the Canadian-bred $100,000 Elgin Stakes at Woodbine on Sept. 2.

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