07/10/2006 12:00AM

12 enter Va. Derby, but not big horse


Colonial Downs's multimillion-dollar bonus for its Grand Slam of Grass racing series is officially by the boards.

Showing Up, the winner of the Grand Slam's first leg, the Colonial Turf Cup on June 25, was not entered on Monday to the second leg of the series, the Grade 2, $1 million Virginia Derby at Colonial Downs in Virginia this Saturday. Still, the race drew 12 entries, including the second- and third-place finishers in the Turf Cup, Kip Deville and Go Between. Also entered was Steppenwolfer, whose most recent starts resulted in a third-place finish in the Kentucky Derby and a fourth-place finish in the Belmont.

The Virginia Derby is restricted to 3-year-olds and will be run at 1 1/4 miles on Colonial Downs's 180-foot wide turf course.

Showing Up won the $1 million Colonial Turf Cup in course-record time in his first start on turf and the fifth start of his career. His trainer, Barclay Tagg, said last week that he did not intend to enter Showing Up in the Virginia Derby because the three weeks between the Turf Cup and Saturday's race did not afford the horse enough time between starts.

As the winner of the Turf Cup, Showing Up was the only horse eligible to win a multimillion-dollar bonus sponsored by Colonial. Showing Up would have had to have won the Virginia Derby, the Secretariat Stakes at Arlington, and the Breeders' Cup Turf to collect the bonus, which was designed to give the owner of the winning horse a total of $5 million including the purses of the four races.

The Virginia Derby will give Kip Deville another shot at a $1 million purse, just three weeks after he nearly shocked the Turf Cup field at 28-1 with a front-running effort that fell short late. Ridden by Quincy Hamilton in the Turf Cup, Kip Deville started from post 14, had a 15-length lead down the backstretch, and was eventually swallowed up by Showing Up in deep stretch. Hamilton has been replaced by Rafael Bejarano in the derby, and Kip Deville will start this time from the post 6.

Go Between, trained by Bill Mott, came late in the Turf Cup to finish third, beaten a total of four lengths. Garrett Gomez is back in the saddle from post 2.

The field, in post position order, is: Seaside Retreat, Go Between, Spider Power, Steppenwolfer, Manchu Prince, Kip Deville, Prodinsky, Readily, Sir Classic Chris, Genre, Roman Dynasty, and Yate's Black Cat.