09/08/2003 11:00PM

22-length win has Norman thinking big


Cole Norman might have a third horse for the Breeders' Cup next month after Mass Media, a 2-year-old colt he trains for Gary and Mary West, won an entry-level allowance by 22 lengths Sunday at Louisiana Downs.

Mass Media earned a Beyer Speed Figure of 100, which is tied for the second highest Beyer among 2-year-olds in 2003. The highest is a 103 earned by Cuvee.

Norman, who already has Beau's Town for the Breeders' Cup Sprint and Wacky Patty for the Juvenile Fillies, said Mass Media could make his next start at Keeneland on Oct. 4 in the Grade 2, $400,000 Breeders' Futurity.

With a good performance, Mass Media would be pointed for the Juvenile.

Mass Media's huge race Sunday was his second consecutive blowout win. He won his debut by 11 1/4 lengths Aug. 1, earning an 85 Beyer Figure for the six furlongs, which he covered in 1:11. Mass Media returned to run six furlongs in 1:10.20 on Sunday under Jamie Theriot.

The win is believed to be the largest margin of victory in the 30-year-history of Louisiana Downs.

"Jamie said he got chills down the lane when he looked back and didn't see anybody there," said Norman. "I got chills, too. He just cruises out there."

The Breeders' Futurity will be the two-turn debut for Mass Media, a son of Touch Gold and the Forty Niner mare Sultry Allure, who is a half-sister to Grade 1-winning millionaires Sultry Song and Solar Splendor.

Norman believes the added distance will suit Mass Media because of his pedigree, and that he relaxes in his races.

"He does everything perfect," said Norman. "He acts like he's a 3-year-old."

Sir Cherokee on comeback trail

Sir Cherokee, who was forced to withdraw from this year's Kentucky Derby because of a small condylar fracture, is tentatively being pointed for the Grade 3, $150,000 Oklahoma Derby at Remington Park on Nov. 16, said his trainer, Mike Tomlinson.

Sir Cherokee, who is scheduled to have his first work since April in the next 10 days or so, is based at Trackside Training Center in Louisville, Ky.

"At this point in time, we've just had him back in training for a couple of weeks, but we sent him to an Aquasizer" - an underwater treadmill - "for 30 days, so we got a head start on his conditioning," said Tomlinson. "If he comes around as quickly as I think he will, we would point for some sort of allowance up here, hopefully three weeks out of the Oklahoma Derby.

"That is the tentative plan. This is all dependent on him."

Sir Cherokee won the Grade 2, $500,000 Arkansas Derby at 55-1 on April 12 with an explosive closing kick that made him an intriguing candidate for the Kentucky Derby.

But a the day before the race, a small fracture was discovered in Sir Cherokee's lower right hind leg. It was determined surgery was not necessary because the fracture was non-displaced. Sir Cherokee had 30 days of stall rest, followed by 45 to 60 days of being hand-walked. He then used the Aquasizer before being returned to Tomlinson's barn.

"He is going very well," said Tomlinson. "He's happy to be back, and attitude-wise and soundness-wise he's looking great."

Tomlinson is looking at the Oklahoma Derby because of its timing. "I like the idea of running him back in a straight 3-year-old race that late in the year," he said.

Sir Cherokee has won 3 of 10 starts and $393,975.