03/29/2006 12:00AM

Add Deputy Glitters to Wood

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Adam Coglianese/NYRA
Achilles of Troy is over whatever was ailing him in the Gotham Stakes. So says owner Ernie Paragallo, who liked the colt's work on Wednesday.

OZONE PARK, N.Y. - The Wood Memorial lost one Strong Contender this week, but picked up another in Deputy Glitters, the Tampa Bay Derby winner.

On Wednesday, trainer John Ward announced that the undefeated and untested Strong Contender would skip the $750,000 Wood on April 8 to run in the Blue Grass at Keeneland one week later. Meanwhile, trainer Tom Albertrani

said that Deputy Glitters, who upset Bluegrass Cat in the Tampa Bay Derby on March 18, would run in the Grade 1 Wood, contested at 1 1/8 miles over Aqueduct's main track. Deputy Glitters had also been under consideration for the Blue Grass.

"The Wood is a better spot," Albertrani said. "The timing is better for us. We have a little extra time to get him ready for the Derby. I do like the extra week."

Deputy Glitters, a son of Deputy Commander, won his maiden in a claiming race last summer at Saratoga. His victory in the Tampa Bay Derby was his first since then, though he ran a good second behind Bluegrass Cat in the Sam. F. Davis Stakes at Tampa on Feb. 18.

Deputy Glitters, who has been based at Payson Park for the winter, will ship from Florida to New York on Sunday, Albertrani said.

"I don't want to make the mistake of going too early," Albertrani said. "One time when I was working for Godolphin, we left Dubai on April 10, and when we got to New York there was a half-foot of snow on the ground and it was 35 degrees. The horses went from having slick coats to long hair in a week."

That is unlikely to happen this year. Temperatures hit the low 60's on Wednesday and were expected to remain there through the weekend.

As of Wednesday, 7 of the 45 3-year-olds nominated to the Wood were considered definite to run. With riders, they are: Bob and John (Garrett Gomez), Deputy Glitters (Jose Lezcano), Greeley's Legacy (Eibar Coa), Keyed Entry (Edgar Prado), Like Now (Fernando Jara), Scanlon's Song (Ramon Dominguez), and Showing Up (Cornelio Velasquez).

Like Now iffy for Derby

While Like Now, upset winner of the Gotham, will most likely run in the Wood, his connections aren't necessarily keen on running in the Kentucky Derby. Like Now is a gelding and his front-running style may not necessarily be the way to go in the 1 1/4-mile Derby.

Of course, if Like Now were to run a huge race in the Wood, then trainer Kiaran McLaughlin and owner John Dillon would most likely pursue the Derby.

"We're going to look at the Wood pretty strongly," said McLaughlin, who added that Dillon "is not sold on the Kentucky Derby. [Like Now] is a gelding, so it's not a big issue. We just need to make money."

Achilles of Troy back on the trail

In his most rigorous exercise since being vanned off following his fifth-place finish in the Gotham Stakes on March 18, Achilles of Troy worked six furlongs in 1:16.71 Wednesday morning over Aqueduct's main track.

While not a pretty move, the workout at least showed that Achilles of Troy is sound enough to remain on the Triple Crown trail. Ernie Paragallo, the authorized agent for his family-run Paraneck Stable, said the Arkansas Derby on April 15 is likely to be the colt's next start.

Equipped with blinkers, Achilles of Troy got aggressive with exercise rider Kevin Grau galloping through the stretch before the work. Grau tried to take a hold of the horse, but Achilles of Troy took off and actually was in breeze mode well before he hit the three-quarter pole.

From that pole, Aqueduct clockers timed Achilles of Troy in fractions of 12 seconds, 24.40, 37.20, 50.60, meaning he got his last quarter in 26 seconds. He galloped out an additional furlong in 15.80 seconds and actually was not pulled up until the 4 1/2-furlong pole. Grau did get after Achilles of Troy through the stretch.

"He got a little tired coming down the stretch," Paragallo said. "He breezed a mile and an eighth. He was only supposed to break from the three-quarter pole. At the finish line he threw his head up and Kevin didn't want to fight him. He was very, very strong."

Paragallo said he believes that Achilles of Troy is over whatever back issues that may have ailed him coming out of the Gotham.

"There's not a thing wrong with him; he's sound as a dollar," Paragallo said. "You don't take off like that if there's something bothering you."

Paragallo said Ramon Dominguez would likely work the colt next Wednesday and that Achilles of Troy could ship to Arkansas at least a week before the race.

Meanwhile, Scanlon's Song, who has disappointed in allowance company after an eye-catching maiden win, worked six furlongs in 1:13.01 in preparation for the Wood.

Migliore to ride Funny Cide

Richard Migliore has picked up the mount on Funny Cide for Saturday's Grade 3, $200,000 Excelsior Breeders' Cup Handicap, a race Funny Cide won in 2004.

Migliore replaces Edgar Prado, who had ridden Funny Cide in his three previous starts this year. Prado will be at Gulfstream Park on Saturday.

Funny Cide, who arrived from Florida on Tuesday, is one of nine horses expected for the Excelsior, run at 1 1/8 miles on the main track. Also likely to run are Bahama John, Colita, Evening Attire, Go Now, Infinite Glory, Liquor Cabinet, Watchmon, and Your Bluffing.

* loom the major threats to Delta Sea, who breaks from the rail under Mike Luzzi.

* Sir Greeley, runner-up in the Grade 2 Richter Scale Breeders' Cup Handicap on March 4, drilled five furlongs in 59.65 seconds over Belmont Park's training track Wednesday morning. Sir Greeley, trained by Jimmy Jerkens, is being pointed to the Grade 1 Carter Handicap on April 8.

Others being considered for the Carter are Big Apple Daddy, Mass Media, Silver Train, and War Front.

* Kyle Kaenel was to begin serving a seven-day suspension on Thursday for a careless riding infraction that occurred on Dec. 7, 2005.

- additional reporting by Jay Privman