01/16/2003 12:00AM

Added Edge with Team Valor's plan


HALLANDALE BEACH, Fla. - Of all the many qualities that distinguish the Thoroughbred racehorse, few are held in higher regard by horsemen than consistency.

The ability to put good races back to back speaks volumes for a horse's determination and his willingness to go to great lengths to overcome adversity. In that regard, Added Edge looks very attractive as the probable favorite for Saturday's $100,000 Holy Bull Stakes for 3-year-olds, a steppingstone to the Florida Derby and the spring classics.

Added Edge, owned by the Team Valor Stable and Robert Wilson, has a spotless record of four consecutive victories. He enhanced his credentials considerably in his last outing, a convincing win in the Nashua Mile at Aqueduct two months ago. He benefited from a subsequent freshening, has trained smartly for Mark Casse, and appears ready to add to his laurels despite the competitive tone of the Holy Bull.

Wilson, a real estate developer from Indianapolis and a long-time patron of Casse's stable, purchased Added Edge as a 2-year-old for $27,000. He ran him once for an impressive score at Woodbine, and sold a two-thirds interest in the son of Smart Strike to Team Valor at private terms. Smart Strike is a Mr. Prospector stallion. Sweet Nostalgia, the dam, is a stakes winner of more than $200,000 and is a stakes producer.

An April 29 foal, Added Edge was immature in appearance last season. He has developed considerably in the interim, however, encouraging his connections to look ahead.

"We'll let him tell us how to proceed," said Barry Irwin, Team Valor's president. "We expect him to run well in the Holy Bull, and it may be that he won't need another race before the Florida Derby on March 15. His temperament is one of his strengths. Nothing seems to bother him. He acts like he's been here before."

Team Valor has been here before, capturing the 1997 Florida Derby with Captain Bodgit. In 2000, they won the Santa Anita Derby with The Deputy, who they purchased in England. It's a record of consistent judgment.

Sunshine Millions looking good

Indications are that next weekend's inaugural running of the Sunshine Millions will get off to a rousing start.

According to the Gulfstream Park racing office, 18 Florida-based horses will fly to California on Tuesday to compete at Santa Anita. Similarly, 18 California-based horses will fly here on Wednesday to compete at Gulfstream.

Horses who travel to participate are assured of $10,000 to cover expenses, either through purses won, direct payment, or a combination of the two.

Television coverage of portions of the racing programs from the two tracks will be provided by NBC, and officials from Santa Anita and Gulfstream report that interest in the Sunshine Millions is running high.