08/24/2007 11:00PM

Any Given Saturday back to work


SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. - Approximately 12 hours before he could have loaded into the starting gate on Saratoga's main track for the $1 million Travers, Any Given Saturday was on the Oklahoma training track working a leisurely four furlongs in 51.19 seconds.

It was the first workout for Any Given Saturday since he romped to a 4 1/2-length victory in the $1 million Haskell Invitational on Aug. 5. Any Given Saturday is being pointed to the Grade 2, $150,000 Brooklyn Handicap at Belmont Park on Sept. 22.

Though Any Given Saturday would probably have been a strong second choice behind Street Sense in the Travers, trainer Todd Pletcher said he does not regret his decision to skip the Midsummer Derby to focus on the colt's fall campaign.

"We were committed to the Haskell as being our major summer objective, we were obviously pleased with the outcome," Pletcher said. "After that, we began focusing on the Breeders' Cup Classic. You can only have so many objectives and when we decided to focus on the Classic, the Travers didn't fit that agenda."

Pletcher said the Brooklyn is a better fit than the $750,000 Jockey Club Gold Cup run at Belmont on Sept 30 because it gives Any Given Saturday five weeks to the Classic, as opposed to 27 days.

"The Jockey Club is a more prestigious race, but we feel like the extra week will make a difference," Pletcher said. "If you look at a lot of the races last year, if you ran a blinder four weeks out from the Breeders' Cup, it was hard to come back and do it again."

Pletcher said he was unsure how long Any Given Saturday would continue to train at Saratoga, but he did say that the colt would have his final two works before the Brooklyn at Belmont.

Corinthian works toward Woodward

Corinthian, the Metropolitan Handicap winner, completed his major preparations for Saturday's Grade 1 Woodward by working seven furlongs in 1:27.06 over Saratoga's main track Saturday.

Saratoga clockers timed Corinthian going a half-mile in 48.20 seconds and six furlongs in 1:13.

"He doesn't bounce over this track like he does at the tracks at Belmont," trainer Jimmy Jerkens said. "I haven't had a horse go over there and work very fast all meet. It wasn't slow, but it is for him. I guess it was good."

The Woodward will be Corinthian's first start since he finished last as the 3-2 favorite in the Grade 1 Suburban Handicap at Belmont. Jerkens kept Corinthian in light training for a month before putting him back on the worktab.

"We didn't breeze him for a month, but we didn't take him out of training," Jerkens said.

Jerkens said he still doesn't have a concrete excuse why Corinthian ran so poorly in the Suburban.

"He's been strange from day one," Jerkens said. "I guess he'll always be strange."

Ice Cool Kitty heads Saratoga Dew

Ice Cool Kitty was ambitiously spotted for class and distance when she finished last in the Grade 2 Delaware Handicap at 1 1/4 miles last month.

Monday, she returns to more suitable conditions when she faces New York-bred fillies and mares in the Saratoga Dew at 1 1/8 miles over the main track.

Prior to the Delaware Handicap, Ice Cool Kitty, trained by Richard Dutrow Jr., had won three consecutive races, including a New York-bred overnight stakes by five lengths. If she handles the nine furlongs and the 124-pound weight assignment, Ice Cool Kitty will be tough to beat.

The top three finishers from the Fleet Indian Stakes for statebreds on Aug. 1 are back in here Monday. Lauren's Tizzy won that race by 3 1/2 lengths while carrying equal weights with Shady Lane. This time, Shady Lane is in receipt of six pounds.

Borrowing Base, Stolen Star, and Mama Theresa complete the field.

Dutrow is also live in the $80,000 Jena Jena Stakes for New York-bred juvenile fillies with Expect the End, who comes off a second-place finish in the Colleen Stakes at Monmouth Park.

Dutrow claimed Expect the End for $30,000 out of her debut May 16 at Churchill, a race that she won by three-quarters of a length while racing greenly. She came back in the Colleen Stakes at Monmouth, where she was beaten 2 3/4 lengths by heavy-favorite New York City Girl.

Dutrow also entered the first-time starter Jovanna.

Myakka, trained by Linda Rice, was very sharp winning her second start by 11 lengths here Aug. 9. She has since come back to work well.

Ginger Punch targets Ruffian

Trainer Bobby Frankel passed Friday's Personal Ensign Stakes with his steadily improving Ginger Punch, opting instead to run Sugar Shake who ultimately finished fifth after setting the early pace in the Grade 1 event.

"I thought after watching the race yesterday that Ginger Punch would probably have won," Frankel said while relaxing at his barn after training hours on Saturday morning. "I just felt she'd already run several races pretty close to one another and that it would be best to give her a little break."

Ginger Punch is coming off an easy six-length victory in the Grade 1 Go for Wand Handicap here on July 28. The outing was the third in six weeks for Ginger Punch who captured the Grade 2 First Flight by five lengths and also finished a sharp second behind Take D' Tour in the Grade 1 Ogden Phipps during that period.

Ginger Punch, who is owned by the Stronach Stables, earned herself an automatic bid into the Breeders' Cup Distaff with her one-sided triumph in the Go for Wand although she still must be supplemented to the race at a cost of $180,000.

"I think people tend to underestimate her," Frankel said. "Even though her numbers aren't bad, everyone seems to think it's a bad crop this year in the filly and mare handicap division. But she's a lot better than people think."

The Grade 1 Ruffian at Belmont on Sept. 8 is Frankel's present goal for Ginger Punch, although he said he could change those plans if Belmont Stakes winner Rags to Riches shows up in the same race.

"We've always got the Beldame three weeks later," Frankel said, referring to Belmont's Grade 1 race on Sept. 30. "Ginger Punch's next race is important because it will probably determine her status as far as the Breeders' Cup is concerned."

Fast Thought wins, bettors get refund

Fast Thought finished first in Saturday's third race, but it was those who wagered on second-place finisher Peace Mon who collected at the windows. Fast Thought was part of a Bobby Frankel-trained entry, but the other half, Borobudur, was scratched by jockey Edgar Prado and the track veterinarian during the post parade. In cases when half of an entry scratches, the other half of the entry may only run for purse money.

Thus, Peace Mon returned $8.60 to win for finishing second.

According to Dr. Anthony Verderosa, NYRA's chief examining veterinarian, Borobudur didn't warm up satisfactorily.

"They told me they shod him this morning, I suspect that had something to do with it," Verderosa said.

The entry was 7-2 at the time of the scratch. A total of $535,300 in wagers involving the entry was refunded.

- additional reporting by Mike Welsch