07/24/2005 11:00PM

At the windows, Hammered will live up to name


OCEANPORT, N.J. - Hammered has already passed this test, yet he gets a free ride at the same allowance condition in Wednesday's featured $51,000 race for New Jersey-breds at Monmouth Park.

Having already been here and done this, Hammered should be a very short-priced favorite against six rivals going six furlongs.

Hammered is a 3-year-old gelding making his fourth start for Penn National-based trainer Todd Beattie. Each race was more impressive than the one that preceded it.

He debuted against open company in March at Aqueduct and made an inside move to get third. His next two starts produced romping victories at Monmouth against statebreds.

Hammered won his maiden by 13 3/4 lengths on opening day. In an aggressive move, Beattie jumped Hammered to a second-level allowance race on June 23. He dueled for the early lead before pulling away under a hand ride from Stewart Elliott for a 3 1/4-length win and a race-high 94 Beyer Figure.

"That was quite a jump," Beattie said. "At least now he's got a little more experience. I feel a lot stronger about this time than the last."

Now he gets to do it again at the same level.

Hammered should be on his toes following a bullet five-furlong work in 1:00.40 on July 20.

"Everything is going good," Beattie said. "We like our spot. We had a good training session coming into it, and we expect another good effort."

Beattie has taken his time with Hammered, spacing his Monmouth races about a month apart.

"We don't want to knock him out," Beattie said. "We've had a lot of hot weather, so we gave him this amount of time until I thought my pencil was sharp again."

Hammered faces three horses he beat last time out in Sherwood Forest, Findee's Keepee's, and Punch the Odds.

Garcia breaks collarbone in spill

Jockey Alan Garcia suffered a broken collarbone in a fourth-race spill Sunday at Monmouth.

It was the second such injury in four days at the track. Leading rider Joe Bravo broke his collarbone in a spill on Thursday. Both Bravo and Garcia will be out four to six weeks, according to Dr. Angelo Chinnici, the track's medical director.

Garcia was taken to Monmouth Medical Center for X-rays. Unlike Bravo, Garcia did not require hospitalization.

Garcia broke his clavicle on the right side when he was unseated from Fire When Ready.

Garcia and his mount were on the receiving end of a sequence that began when Diaphanous and Stewart Elliott came out and bumped Abyssinian Cat, who in turn bumped Don'tcussthefiddle into the path of Fire When Ready. Garcia's horse clipped heels and went down.

Diaphanous, who finished seventh, was disqualified and placed last. Fire When Ready was uninjured.

Garcia "was feeling okay this morning," his agent, Bruce Golub, said Monday. "He wasn't in too much pain. Thank goodness the collarbone was all it was."

At the time of the accident, Garcia had won 15 races from 137 mounts for 11th place in the standings.

Soft fractions help Cherokee's Boy

Cherokee's Boy stole an easy opening quarter that proved pivotal in his front-running victory Sunday in the Grade 3 Salvator Mile Handicap.

When Cherokee's Boy got away with an unpressured first quarter of 24.82 seconds, he was well on his way to a third straight win.

"He really went into the first turn in nice fashion," Gryder said. "I knew from there he should be tough. When I turned for home and no one pressured me, I knew we'd be tough to catch and we were in real good shape."

Cherokee's Boy finished off the mile in 1:36.79.

While Cherokee's Boy set his own clip, Gygistar was spinning his wheels. The 1-5 favorite, Gygistar settled into third and that's where he finished, 3 3/4 lengths behind the winner.

"After they ran the first quarter, I knew we were in trouble," said Rob Rader, who trains Mark Hennig's Monmouth division. "They went too slow and we got caught up in a bad deal. They went too slow and we couldn't catch up."

Gygistar, a 6-year-old winner of more than $1 million, won the Grade 3 Westchester Handicap at Belmont Park in early May and most recently ran second to Limehouse in Belmont's Grade 2 Brooklyn Handicap.