11/24/2004 12:00AM

Anthony J. might try hitting jackpot


MIAMI - After finishing a fast-closing second behind the speedy B.B. Best in the In Reality Stakes here last month, and with B.B. Best headed to Kentucky this weekend for the Kentucky Jockey Club Stakes, Anthony J. will be one of the favorites if he starts in the What a Pleasure Stakes at Calder on Dec. 4.

But trainer Bill Perry is thinking about greener pastures, as in dollar bills, for his stretch-running 2-year-old, who is also being considered for the $1 million Delta Jackpot at Delta Downs. The Delta Jackpot is also run on Dec. 4.

"Right now I think we'd like to take a shot for the big money," said Perry who has 10 horses bedded down at Gulfstream Park. "I won't completely rule out the What a Pleasure; it all depends on who is going to Louisiana for that race and if we can even get in there or not. But barring something unexpected he'll run one place or another that day."

Anthony J. has made four starts and continues to improve with experience. He rallied to a 4 1/4-length maiden win going six furlongs despite an eventful trip at Monmouth Park on Sept. 25, then followed the performance with an even better effort in the 1 1/16-mile In Reality, finishing full of run behind a loose-on-the-lead B.B. Best.

"I thought he could have won the In Reality with a better trip; he had to steady down the backstretch," said Perry, who trains Anthony J. for owner Bradley Cook. "He had a good breeze here at Gulfstream last week, and I plan to work him again this weekend. I also plan to put a set of cheaters on him for his next start. He doesn't need a full set of blinkers but he does have a habit of ducking from the rider's stick, and I need to get him to go on a straight line."

Anthony J. and B.B. Best were among the 20 juveniles nominated to the What a Pleasure Stakes. Among the other leading nominees for the What a Pleasure are trainer Bill White's pair of High Fly and D'Court's Speed, New York invader Better Than Bonds, and the undefeated Port Town.

The What a Pleasure is one of four stakes to be run on the Grand Slam I program on Dec. 4, along with its filly counterpart, the $100,000 Three Ring Stakes, and the My Charmer and Tropical Turf handicaps. Both the My Charmer and Tropical Turf are Grade 3 races and are scheduled to be run on the turf.

Alvarado arrives

Robbie Alvarado Jr. is the latest addition to the local jockey colony. Alvarado finished second for the second straight season behind perennial leader Ramon Dominguez during the recently completed Delaware Park meeting.

Alvarado will be aboard Thetactics Ofdance for trainer Allen Iwinski in Saturday's $100,000 Frances Genter Handicap and, according to his agent, Dan Nied Jr., will again ride first call this winter for trainer Scott Lake at Gulfstream Park.

Southern Cal's Mitchell gets stalls

Gulfstream racing secretary Dave Bailey said he has assigned trainer Mike Mitchell 18 stalls at Palm Meadows for the 2005 meeting. Mitchell, among the leading trainers on the Southern California circuit, could be joined here this winter by fellow Southern California trainer Jeff Mullins, who has also applied for stalls during the Gulfstream session.

"Mullins has 12 stalls if he wants them, although as of today I haven't heard whether he's going to accept them or not," said Bailey on Tuesday.