08/16/2002 11:00PM

Yatsko making up for lost time


FORT ERIE, Ontario - Yatsko will be going for his third stakes score in under a month here on Tuesday at Fort Erie in the $60,000 Peninsula Stakes.

A 6-year-old gelding with four wins in 33 lifetime starts, Yatsko heads a field of nine. Scheduled for seven furlongs on the turf, the event is for Canadian-breds who have started at least twice at the current meeting.

Yatsko won the Benburb Stakes by a half-length on July 21, and the Cool Reception by a neck on Aug. 5. Go Figure finished second in both races.

Go Figure, a 4-year-old gelding, will have another go at Yatsko on Tuesday.

Ralph Biamonte, who owns and trains Yatsko, is confident of victory.

"After the Benburb, Yatsko came out of it good. After the Cool Reception, he came out of it excellent," said Biamonte. "He's on his game and he's cocky - probably because he's a horse that hasn't done much winning during his life. Now he's on a roll and knows it. People can't tell me that horses don't know when they have won."

Biamonte, who won five straight training titles here in the 1990's, said that Yatsko's recent wins weren't as tough as they looked.

"Yatsko is not the type that wins by three, four, five lengths," he said. "He won the races easily. He wants the challenge and is the type that waits for a runner.

"Once he was battling a runner on the inside, when way on the outside a horse he didn't see came down the middle and caught him at the wire. But as soon as he spotted him he picked it up and was five in front. He's a kid."

Leading trainer Layne Gilliforte will saddle his turf sprint specialist Doran in the Peninsula.

"He's 4 for 4 going five-eighths on the grass," said the trainer. "He's in good form and deserves a shot."