01/23/2007 1:00AM

A year later, Tacirring back


HALLANDALE BEACH, Fla. - Trainer Scott Lake, who earlier this week completed serving the second of two consecutive 30-day suspensions for medication violations, starts his first horse at the 2007 Gulfstream Park meet on Thursday. Lake's return coincides with the comeback of his multiple stakes-winning speedster Tacirring, who has not raced since finishing second to Bordonaro a year ago in the Sunshine Millions Sprint.

Despite the long layoff, Tacirring will be one of the choices in Thursday's seventh race, an optional claiming race for fourth-level allowance horses and those running for a $100,000 claiming tag. The 8-year-old Tacirring is the only member of the seven-horse field who is in for the claiming price.

Tacirring rallied from just off the pace to finish second, three-quarters of a length behind the favored Bordonaro to end his abbreviated campaign in the 2006 Sunshine Millions Sprint. The previous season, Tacirring won 7 of 12 outings, including five stakes, all at five furlongs. He also won twice at Gulfstream, once on the turf and once on the main track.

"He pulled a suspensory while getting ready for a stakes at Tampa last winter after the Sunshine Millions so we gave him plenty of time, got him geared up, and he should be plenty fit and ready to go on Thursday," said Lake. "He's eight now so we wanted to find a good spot for him to start back, and with the injury and his age we'll just let him dictate where he'll go from here."

Three horses - Dark Cheetah, Valid Notebook, and Qureall - are all skipping a condition as they are still eligible for a slightly easier third-level allowance race. Of the group, Dark Cheetah may be the most dangerous, as he returns to allowance company off a pair of stakes tries, including the Grade 2 Nearctic over the Woodbine turf.

If Tacirring doesn't show his usual high speed off the bench, Lucky Frolic will be the one to catch coming off a wire-to-wire third-level allowance win going seven furlongs.

Thursday's co-featured third race, a one-mile allowance for 3-year-old fillies, drew a talented field of six that includes Grade 3 winner Lisa M and once-beaten Woodbine stakes winner Sealy Hill.