06/09/2003 12:00AM

Wild Snitch finds spot. Again.


OCEANPORT, N.J. - Wild Snitch again will try to get her season underway Wednesday in a $39,000 allowance, the feature race at Monmouth Park.

Trainer Ben Perkins Jr. picked out two previous spots for Wild Snitch, but both fell through. The Dearly Precious Stakes June 1 did not fill and Perkins scratched Wild Snitch out of an allowance race when the track came up sloppy.

Wild Snitch last raced in September in the Grade 1 Matron Stakes at Belmont Park, finishing second to eventual champion Storm Flag Flying. Wild Snitch is unbeaten in two starts at Monmouth.

The ultimate goal is the Grade 1 Prioress Stakes at Belmont for 3-year-old fillies at six furlongs on July 4.

"She's been training great," said Chris Gardner, Perkins's assistant trainer. "She's eligible for the two-other-than and this race came up."

The unbeaten Many Smiles should provide the main competition. A 4-year-old filly trained by Maryland-based Gary Capuano, Many Smiles romped by six lengths in a Pimlico allowance race last month.

Her only other start was a 12 3/4-length blowout at Saratoga last summer. Both victories came on sloppy tracks.

Grass racing to begin yet again

Monmouth will try to run its first turf races of the meet Wednesday. The program includes split divisions of maiden claimers going 1 1/16 miles on the grass.

Helmsman's Hellion should be a major factor in one of the divisions if the race remains on the turf. He ran second in both of his races at Tampa Bay Downs, both on grass.

Biagio has the most turf experience in the other division, with 3 seconds and 3 thirds in 10 starts. He made his 2003 debut on April 25 at Aqueduct and raced gamely in maiden special weight company at this same distance on the grass. Biagio prompted the pace and took a slight lead in the stretch. He held on for third, beaten only three-quarters of a length.

Biagio, carrying a $40,000 tag, has Jose C. Ferrer listed to ride for trainer Alan Seewald.

Three more grass races were shifted to the main track Sunday, raising the off-the-turf tally to 23 for the meet. The surface changes trigger waves of scratches. Through Sunday, off-the-turf races here had led to 121 scratches.

The sun finally broke through Sunday afternoon after another rainy Saturday. The track for the first four races was "good" and upgraded to fast for the rest of the card.

The Sunday card also marked a comeback for the favorites. Favorites, which had won only seven races in the previous four days, clicked for five wins on the 10-race program.