08/29/2001 11:00PM

Will Lasix revitalize John's Call at 10?


John's Call and Cetewayo, who have won two runnings of the Grade 1 Sword Dancer Invitational, are the headliners among the 11 grass runners entered in Saturday's $100,000 Sussex Handicap at Delaware Park.

The 1 1/8-mile Sussex is the fifth of sixth races in the 3-year-old and up turf division of the Mid-Atlantic Thoroughbred Championship Series. Neither John's Call nor Cetewayo has competed in the other events in the division.

John's Call failed in his attempt to defend his title in last month's Sword Dancer at Saratoga and finished last in the nine-horse field. The gelding's trainer, Tom Voss, said this week his 10-year-old should be forgiven the effort because John's Call doesn't thrive in hot weather and he bled.

For the first time in his career, John's Call will race with Lasix in the Sussex.

John's Call, a track record holder at Delaware, will be a short-priced favorite in the Sussex. The veteran is 4 for 5 over the strip, including wins in the last two runnings of the Cape Henlopen.

Jean-Luc Samyn, winner of the Grade 1 Ballerina last weekend at Saratoga aboard Shine Again, rides John's Call, who drew post 6 and carries 122 pounds as the highweight.

Cetewayo hasn't raced since winning the Grade 2 Red Smith at Aqueduct in November 2000, an effort that came in his second start following nearly 14 months on the sidelines. Cetewayo is trained by Michael Dickinson, who drew considerable praise for his efforts with Da Hoss, the winner of the 1996 and 1998 Breeders' Cup Mile, with only one start in between.

Cetewayo, who was assigned 118 pounds, drew the outside post for his run out of Delaware's turf chute. Dickinson named Mario Pino to ride.

Key Lory was placed on the turf for the first time in his career in his last start in the Grade 3 Oceanport Handicap at Monmouth Park on Aug. 5, and was meant to assure a fast pace for stablemate Ready to Roll. But in a surprise performance, Key Lory set legitimate fractions and went on to win his turf debut by a half-length over favorite North East Bound, the runner-up in last year's Breeders' Cup Mile.

Key Lory covered the distance of the 1 1/16-mile Oceanport in a quick 1:40.39. Key Lory, the likely pacesetter, drew well in post 1.