08/15/2003 11:00PM

Zawzooth and Raging Fever top allowance feature


SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. - In the absence of a stakes, a $56,000 money allowance, showcasing Grade 1 winner Raging Fever, is the feature on Monday at Saratoga.

Five fillies and mares entered the six-furlong dirt race that goes as the fifth. Raging Fever faces Zawzooth, Lilah, Belle Artiste, and Literary Light.

Raging Fever, a winner of $1,448,783, is having a fairly quiet year by her standards. Now 5, Raging Fever's lone win in five starts is the Grade 3 Bed o' Roses Breeders' Cup Handi-cap at Aqueduct on April 19.

Although it was a defeat, one of Raging Fever's best career races came at Saratoga in last year's Grade 1 Ballerina, when she finished second to Shine Again, who won the seven-furlong race for the second year in a row. Raging Fever was nominated to this year's $250,000 Ballerina on Aug. 24, but it is unlikely she would be wheeled back that quickly.

In her last start, Raging Fever, who is trained by Mark Hennig, finished fifth in the Grade 3 Honorable Miss on Aug. 1.

Jerry Bailey rides Raging Fever, who drew post 4.

Raging Fever might be the favorite based on her accomplishments, but Zawzooth looks like the horse to beat.

Zawzooth, 4 for 4 at six furlongs, is coming off a winning effort for the meet's leading trainer, Todd Pletcher. Zawzooth won an overnight stakes at Belmont Park on July 16 in her second start following a layoff. An Unbridled's Song filly, Zawzooth stalked the pace and won the six-furlong race by three-quarters of a length. She earned a career-best Beyer Speed Figure of 98.

"I thought it was a super race," said Pletcher, who hopes to use Monday's race as a stepping-stone to the $100,000 Floral Park Handicap at Belmont Park on Sept. 13.

Edgar Prado rides Zawzooth, who has tactical speed and drew post 5.

Lilah has been on quite a roll for trainer Allen Jerkens and apprentice Shannon Uske. The mare has won her last three starts, including an allowance race here on July 31.