03/13/2003 12:00AM

Another rabbit in his hat


NEW ORLEANS - Trainer Ronny Werner has been caught in the media maelstrom that comes with having a Kentucky Derby hopeful, but as he fields question after question about Badge of Silver, he has another stakes-class 3-year-old flying under the radar.

Most Feared turned in a good five-furlong workout at Fair Grounds on Thursday. He has come back more quickly than expected from an injury he sustained in late January - so quickly that Werner hopes to start him either in the Arkansas Derby or the Blue Grass Stakes next month.

Most Feared won the Arlington-Washington Futurity at Arlington Park last September and was a good third Nov. 30 in the Grade 2 Kentucky Jockey Club. Then, he finished 10th on Jan. 25 in the Lecomte Stakes here, his 3-year-old debut, and emerged from the race with a stress fracture in his right foreleg.

"I thought it'd be at least two months before he'd come back," said Werner, who trains Most Feared for owner Tom Durant. "But they said 30 days, and he's 100 percent. We X-rayed him and it was fine. He's just doing excellent."

Werner said Most Feared was "full of run" during Thursday's five-furlong work, which was timed in 1:03 over a wet track. The breeze was Most Feared's first since he resumed training, and now Werner will bear down on Most Feared to get him ready for a Kentucky Derby prep race.

"We'll crowd these works together pretty close now and see how quick he gets ready," Werner said. "At the very latest, he'll run in the Coolmore" Lexington Stakes on April 19.

Saintly Look to race in Lane's End

Trainer Dallas Stewart said Saintly Look, winner of the Lecomte Stakes, will make his next start on March 22 in the $500,000 Lane's End Stakes at Turfway Park.

Saintly Look set the pace in the Risen Star Stakes but faded to fifth after he was passed on the far turn by Badge of Silver, the runaway winner. But Saintly Look turned in a strong workout here Monday that has Stewart hoping for a rebound.

Saintly Look was credited with a five-furlong breeze in a bullet 1:00.20, though Stewart timed the work as six furlongs in just more than 1:13.

"We need to run him and see if he's where he needs to be," said Stewart.

Beau's Town returning

Trainer Cole Norman runs only a handful of horses at Fair Grounds each winter, but on Thursday, Beau's Town was en route from Norman's Oaklawn base to New Orleans, where he will start Sunday in the $150,000 Pelleteri Breeders' Cup Handicap.

Beau's Town shipped here last season and won a first-level allowance race by more than four lengths, his second win in a six-race winning streak. Beau's Town wound up last season with back-to-back losses, including a disappointing fifth-place finish in the Aug. 11 Vanderbilt Handicap at Saratoga.

"He tailed off and wasn't doing good like he normally does," said Norman. Beau's Town got a 90-day freshening before Norman began readying him for this year's campaign, and his comeback race Feb. 1 at Oaklawn was a rousing success. Beau's Town won the King Cotton Handicap by more than four lengths, running six furlongs in an outstanding time of 1:09.16.

Beau's Town will receive weight from two horses in Sunday's race - Bonapaw, the 122-pound starting highweight, and Mountain General, who carries 121 pounds after a pair of stakes wins here this meet. Kazoo, Dash for Daylight, and Doctor Mike also are expected to start.

Run to Victory stakes-bound

Run to Victory scored such an impressive turf allowance win here last weekend that his connections plan to jump the horse into stakes company when he starts next.

A 4-year-old half-brother to Victory Gallop, Run to Victory showed promise last spring when he won consecutive turf races in New York, but he struggled later in the year.

He was sharp, though, in Saturday's 10th race, a third-level grass allowance at about one mile. He raced at the back of the field before making a wide, sweeping run on the far turn that propelled him to the lead turning for home. Such a move often is premature on this turf course, but Run to Victory still won by more than two lengths.

Trainer Billy Badgett said three upcoming stakes are under consideration: the Explosive Bid here on March 23, the Maker's Mark Mile on April 11 at Keeneland, and the Fort Marcy Handicap on April 26 at Aqueduct.