06/01/2004 11:00PM

B. B. Best tops juvenile field


MIAMI - Racing secretary Bob Umphrey was hoping he might fill one of the two races for 2-year-old winners that he had written for Sunday's program. So the usually reserved Umphrey was positively ecstatic when he was able to make both of his juvenile races go, one with an eight-horse field and the second with seven.

"It's only June 1 and we're already able to fill a couple of winners' races for 2-year-olds," Umphrey said. "I think it's a great accomplishment and a credit to everybody involved. In fact, the way entries have gone during the first five weeks of this meet have been fantastic. I look around the country and I'd put our cards up against anybody's, and we're working with a lot less purse money than most of the bigger tracks."

The first of the two juvenile races on Sunday is named for Wynn Dot Comma, one of the top 2-year-old sprinters on the grounds here in 2003. Wynn Dot Comma continued to flourish this season, upsetting Eurosilver in Gulfstream Park's Swale Stakes in March only to break down not long after during a routine morning gallop.

The Wynn Dot Comma drew a field of eight colts and geldings led by B. B. Best, a Yes It's True colt who turned in an eye-catching 14 3/4-length victory when launching his career here on May 22. Trained by Eddie Plesa Jr., B. B. Best earned an 87 Beyer Speed Figure for his debut win.

Five of B. B. Best's seven rivals in the five-furlong Wynn Dot Comma are also undefeated, including his uncoupled stablemate Vinotech and Devils Disciple, both of whom registered easy maiden victories.

Seven undefeated juvenile fillies, each of whom captured their debut by margins ranging from one to 8 1/2 lengths, will meet under first-level allowance conditions in Sunday's 10th race. Punch Appeal, who registered the most impressive of those debut victories, will likely be favored over Leona's Knight and Lit'l Deuce Coupe.

Mary Murphy to Princess Rooney

Umphrey is also starting to get excited about the upcoming Summit of Speed program on July 10. Among the prospective starters for the Summit of Speed is Mary Murphy, who earned her way into the $500,000 Princess Rooney Handicap with an impressive victory in Sunday's Sugar N Spice Stakes.

Mary Murphy overtook the 3-5 Holy Bubbette entering the stretch before pulling away to her second straight overnight stakes victory. She had won the Goldarama Stakes earlier in the session.

Mary Murphy, who missed most of 2003, has won four of her last five starts and is 5 for 8 over her home track. She is owned and was bred by former major league pitcher Rob Murphy's M375 Thoroughbreds Inc. and trained by Joe Waunsch.

"She missed a lot of last year with a lot of different little things, including foot problems," Murphy said.

The Princess Rooney is one of six sprint stakes on the $1.7 million Summit of Speed program and will share top billing along with the $500,000 Smile Sprint Handicap. Among the fillies expected for the Grade 2 Princess Rooney is Lady Tak, winner of Churchill Downs's Winning Colors Handicap on May 22.

Mr. Livingston heads full field

No major stakes races are scheduled here this weekend. Saturday's feature will be the $40,000 Lord Juban Stakes for older horses on the turf.

Mr. Livingston, easy winner of the Carterista Handicap on May 8, will head a full field of 12 that also includes Marco's Word and Joey Blueeyes.

Top prospects for Stallion Stakes

The 2004 Florida Stallion Stakes has closed with 837 2-year-olds eligible for the series. The Stallion Stakes series, now in its 23rd season, is restricted to 2-year-olds sired by stallions standing in Florida and kept eligible through payments as weanlings, yearlings, and 2-year-olds.

Among the prominent nominees are Lunarpal, easy winner of Churchill Downs's Three Chimneys Juvenile Stakes on Kentucky Derby Day, and Chandtrue, who remained undefeated with his recent victory in Hollywood Park's Willard L. Proctor Memorial.

B. B. Best is among the locally based runners eligible for the series.

Cesare and star celebrate birthdays

Second of June quietly celebrated his birthday on Wednesday along with his trainer, Bill Cesare. Both were born on June 2.

Second of June was one of the top members of the 3-year-old division this winter until he suffered a condylar fracture during his second-place finish in the Fountain of Youth Stakes. He has returned to light training but is not expected to start again until late summer or early fall.