09/14/2005 11:00PM

Which Master of Disaster will show?


ELMONT, N.Y. - He was dominant in the spring and disappointing in the summer. As fall arrives, handicappers wonder what to make of Master of Disaster, who returns to action in Saturday's $300,000 at Belmont Park.

Master of Disaster, a son of Dance Master trained by Steve Klesaris, caught people's attention with a 13 1/4-length maiden victory at Delaware Park in which he equaled the track record for 4 1/2 furlongs (51.86 seconds) while earning a Beyer Speed Figure of 97.

He went more than two months before his next start, finishing second to Henny Hughes in the Grade 2 Saratoga Special on July 28. Henny Hughes earned a 105 Beyer for that race, but was upset by First Samurai in the Grade 1 Hopeful.

Klesaris said that Master of Disaster sustained a bruised foot a couple of weeks before the Saratoga Special. Coming out of the Saratoga Special, Master of Disaster shed a frog, the bottom part of the foot that acts like a shock absorber, and missed some training time.

"Henny Hughes ran a super race to beat him," Klesaris said. "If you believe in figures and you look at figures, no [juvenile stakes] race has run faster than that race this year. It was a big race on Henny Hughes's part and my colt's part. . . . My colt needed the time to regroup and get over this issue. The foot is very healthy as we speak."

Master of Disaster, who will break from the rail under John Velazquez, shows three sharp workouts from Sept. 1-11 at Fair Hill, a training center in Maryland. Klesaris said he also put several long gallops into Master of Disaster.

"He's got the foundation under him," he said.

Klesaris also entered Diabolical in the Futurity - to be run at seven furlongs for the first time since 1993 - but that horse is likely to scratch and run in the $200,000 NATC Futurity at Monmouth Park on Sept. 24.

Private Vow is the only member of the Futurity field to have won more than a maiden race. Private Vow, trained by Steve Asmussen, won two races at Saratoga under Jerry Bailey while on the lead. He came from off the pace when beaten a half-length by Sorcerer's Stone in his debut. Sorcerer's Stone will be among the choices for Sunday's Arlington-Washington Futurity.

Private Vow will likely stalk the pace from post 6.

Union Course, Changing Weather, Dixiewink, and Disco's Son complete the field.