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Menifee still going strong

Charismatic is likely still the favorite to be named 3-year-old of the year after winning the Kentucky Derby and Preakness Stakes, but Menifee has begun making things interesting after winning the Grade I Haskell Invitational last weekend at Monmouth Park.

Menifee, runner-up in the Derby and Preakness, had not raced since an eighth-place finish in the Belmont Stakes. His fourth win over Cat Thief at the Haskell gave Menifee three wins and three places in seven starts this year.

"It was so disappointing in the Belmont when Menifee finished eighth," trainer Elliott Walden told the Associated Press. "This was the true Menifee that showed up today."

One of the main edges Menifee has over Charismatic is that he can continue racing and impressing voters. Charismatic, which finished 4-2-1 in 10 starts, was put out to stud after career-ending breaks to ankle bones in the Belmont. Menifee is expected to next run Aug. 29 in the $1-million Travers Stakes at Saratoga.

Jockey Pat Day, who rode Menifee in the Haskell, seems convinced of who's best.

"Earlier in the year, I thought (Menifee) was the best, and I still think he's the best," he told the Associated Press.

CHILUKKI AGAIN: Chilukki, a Bob Baffert-trained 2-year-old filly, remained undefeated on Saturday with another relatively easy victory in the $150,000 Sorrento Stakes at Del Mar.

Ridden by David Flores, Chilukki led by just a head early in the 6{-furlong race, but steadily ground away to win by 6 lengths in 1 minute, 16 seconds.

Chilukki won her first three starts _ all at Churchill Downs _ by a combined 19 lengths, including a resounding Kentucky Breeders victory against colts. She is expected to run next Aug. 28 in the Del Mar Debutante.

November Slew finished second in the Sorrento with She's Classy 9 lengths behind Chilukki.

FASIG-TIPTON: A Kingmambo filly out of Lassie's Lady was the most expensive purchase Tuesday in the first night of bidding in the 79th annual Fasig-Tipton Select Yearling Sale at Saratoga.

The purchase helped push the first-day gross sales total to $14.5-million for 49 yearlings, a 10 percent improvement from 1998, when 58 yearlings went for $13.1-million.

NTRA POLL: Victory Gallop, the 4-year-old colt who won the Whitney Handicap in a head-bob over Behrens, still leads the 5-year-old in the latest National Thoroughbred Racing Association poll.

Victory Gallop, trained by Walden, commanded 16 of 21 first-place votes and amassed 205 points. Behrens received four first-place votes and earned 187 points.

TERMS: Horse racing is a jargon-laden sport, and learning some of the terms involved is crucial to understanding it. Below are some common ones, as defined by the Maryland Jockey Club Web site (http: // glossary.html):

Condition book _ Book issued by the racing secretary and officers of each track. The book explains rules and regulations regarding eligibility for entering races. Each day's racing conditions are spelled out for the program of the day.

Cool out _ Walking a horse after a race or workout to cool it down.

Coupled _ Two horses entered by the same trainer in a race. Listed in the program as 1 and 1A. If two trainers couple horses, the second group will be listed as 2 and 2B.

Crop _ Jockey's whip, sometimes referred to as a bat.

Crowding _ One horse forcing another into the inside rail of the track.

_ Information from other news organizations was used in this report. Brant James can be contacted at