06/25/2001 11:00PM

Abscess knocks Flute out of Saturday's Mother Goose

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ELMONT, N.Y. - Kentucky Oaks winner Flute popped an abscess in her right front foot over the weekend, forcing her out of Saturday's Grade 1 Mother Goose Stakes at Belmont Park, trainer Bobby Frankel said from California on Tuesday.

Frankel said Flute was scheduled to go back to the track on Wednesday after walking the shed for three days, but the abscess forced her to miss a Monday workout. Flute, who is based Hollywood Park, was scheduled to ship to New York on Tuesday.

"She's fine now," Frankel said. "She hasn't been out in a while, and with a horse like that, you don't want to take a chance."

Frankel said Flute would stay with him in California for the time being, but would make her next start on the East Coast. Her next race could be the Grade 1 Coaching Club American Oaks on July 21 or the Alabama Stakes at Saratoga on Aug. 19. Frankel said she could run in both races.

The defection of Flute freed up Jerry Bailey, who was to ride her in the Mother Goose. He was quickly snatched up by John Kimmel to ride Indy Glory in the Mother Goose. Indy Glory, a full sister to Stephen Got Even, is coming off a second-place finish behind Two Item Limit in the Grade 2 Black Eyed-Susan Stakes at Pimlico. Two Item Limit is also expected to run in the Mother Goose.

With Flute out, Fleet Renee will most likely become the Mother Goose favorite. Fleet Renee beat Golden Ballet, at the time the division leader, in the Ashland before finishing fourth as the favorite in the Kentucky Oaks.

Others expected to run include Acorn winner Forest Secrets, Fantasy winner Mystic Lady, Fair Grounds Oaks winner Real Cozzy, Bonnie Miss winner Tap Dance, Exogenous, Lady Katie, and Zonk.

Albert gets 123 for Suburban

Albert the Great, a 3 1/4-length victor in the Brooklyn Handicap, was assigned top weight of 123 pounds for Sunday's $500,000 Suburban Handicap. Include, who beat Albert the Great while in receipt of seven pounds in the Pimlico Special, was assigned 122. Unshaded, who beat Albert the Great by a nose in the Travers last year, was assigned 117.

Other assignments for those expected to run are Traditionally (116), Lido Palace (114), Perfect Cat (114), and Boston Party (113).

On Tuesday, Albert the Great worked five furlongs in 1:01.47 over Belmont Park's main track. Jorge Chavez, the colt's regular rider, was aboard for the move. Albert the Great got last eighth in 11.72 seconds.

"It was too hot, so I didn't want to do too much," trainer Nick Zito said. "Jorge was real happy; he came home really beautifully. I'm anxious to get by this race, anxious to get him up to Saratoga."

At Churchill Downs Tuesday, Unshaded breezed five furlongs in 1:01.

Shopping for Love strains ankle

Shopping for Love, who finished fourth as the 6-5 favorite in Sunday's Mount Vernon Handicap, came out of the race with "a slight ankle strain to the left front," trainer Ken Nesky said.

Nesky said X-rays were "clean" and that perhaps Shopping for Love stepped in a hole while racing wide during the race under jockey Norbert Arroyo.

"She went into the race perfect," said Nesky, who was bringing Shopping for Love back just two weeks after a hard-fought second-place finish in the Just a Game Breeders' Cup Handicap. "[Arroyo] said she tried to get out the whole way. That wasn't her, believe me. [It's] a disappointment, but she's not a machine."

Free of Love impresses

Rick Violette saw something in Free of Love after the colt's second start last summer that prompted the trainer to convince owner Ralph Evans to purchase him. He hadn't seen much of that something since.

But, after Free of Love rolled to a three-length victory in a second-level allowance race on Sunday, Violette is now convinced he has a solid 3-year-old in his barn.

"I thought it was a great race," Violette said. "He beat some nice horses, ran fast, and drew off. I was encouraged because it was the first time he had put two [good] races back to back. I thought he was a nice horse when we bought him last year. It's been kind of frustrating because he always trained like he could run."

After Violette obtained Free of Love, it took the colt six starts to clear his first allowance condition. After being soundly beaten in the Tampa Bay Derby and Flamingo, Free of Love ran a solid second behind older horse Casanova Star in a May 25 allowance race, earning a 99 Beyer Speed Figure. He earned a 94 for his win on Sunday. Violette said he would not rush back Free of Love in the Dwyer on July 8.

* Out of Sync, runner-up in last year's Grade 1 Frizette Stakes, breezed a half-mile in 50.93 seconds Tuesday over Belmont's main track. Her trainer, Zito, said that Out of Sync, who had an ankle chip removed over the winter, would probably return to the races at Saratoga.