10/30/2003 1:00AM

Badge of Silver back in training


LOUISVILLE, Ky. - Badge of Silver, the speedy colt who was scratched from the Blue Grass Stakes in April because of a cannon bone fracture, has returned to training at Fair Grounds in New Orleans and will be ready to breeze in several more weeks, said trainer Ronny Werner.

"He's doing just great," said Werner, who trains Badge of Silver for Ken and Sarah Ramsey. "He had a screw inserted into the leg, and it's healed perfectly. I sent him to New Orleans a couple of weeks ago from the Ramseys' farm, and he was already pretty fit from the prep work they had gotten done with him."

Badge of Silver, by Silver Deputy, earned a Beyer Speed Figure of 108 with an eye-popping victory in the Risen Star Stakes in February, making him one of the leading candidates for the Kentucky Derby before he finished a disappointing sixth in the March 9 Louisiana Derby. Werner had hoped the Blue Grass would provide a spot for redemption, but that plan went awry when the leg injury was diagnosed two days before the race.

"It'll still be a while before he runs," said Werner, who said the New Orleans Handicap would be an ideal long-term goal. "The good thing is it looks like we'll have him back in perfect shape."

Eugene's Third Son wins by seven

Eugene's Third Son, making his first start in 6 1/2 months, posted a highly impressive victory Thursday when he drew off to win a second-level allowance race by seven lengths under Shane Sellers.

Owned by Richard Nip and trained by Pat Byrne, Eugene's Third Son finished seven furlongs in 1:22.44 over a fast track. He paid $3.40 as a heavy favorite.

"We were expecting a big effort," Byrne said. "The track hasn't been very fast, so that's a good time."

Eugene's Third Son, by Indian Charlie, had finished second to Sir Cherokee in his last start, the April 12 Arkansas Derby. After that race, Eugene's Third Son was diagnosed with a fractured splint bone, which was surgically removed.

Byrne said the Dec. 26 Malibu Stakes at Santa Anita is his winter goal for the colt. "There are several possibilities in between," he said.

Take Charge Lady has lung infection

Take Charge Lady, sixth in the Breeders' Cup Distaff last Saturday, exited the race with a lung infection that trainer Ken McPeek said "was a 1 or 2 on a scale of 5" in terms of severity.

This makes the third time in as many years that Take Charge Lady has come out of a Breeders' Cup race with a lung infection. "The only thing I can think of is that she's run back in the Breeders' Cup in three weeks every time," McPeek said. "Maybe that's too quick, I don't know, but it's all I can come up with."

McPeek said Take Charge Lady most likely will not run next Saturday in the one-mile Churchill Distaff but is probable for the Nov. 27 Falls City Handicap. McPeek said a decision on whether to race Take Charge Lady next year as a 5-year-old "will depend on what happens in the next month."

Marina de Chavon arrives for Pocahontas

Until he walked through the gates Wednesday, Joe Catanese had never been to Churchill Downs. "I like to stay close to home," said the Florida-based trainer.

Catanese hopes his stable star, Marina de Chavon, will experience fewer problems Saturday in the Pocahontas Stakes than the trainer did upon arriving here. "I couldn't get a hotel room," he said.

The reason: Louisville hosted its annual convention of the Future Farmers of America this week, bringing tens of thousands of school-age youngsters and their chaperones to town. Churchill officials ultimately found Catanese an empty hotel room.

As for Marina de Chavon, the Exploit filly won an August maiden race by 11 1/2 lengths at Calder, then won the $100,000 Brave Raj Stakes via disqualification in her lone subsequent start.

"She ought to run big here," Catanese said.

At least nine expected for Iroquois

Like its sister race, the Pocahontas, Sunday's $100,000 Iroquois Stakes is shaping up as a deep and competitive race. At least nine 2-year-old colts and geldings are expected, led by Grand Score, with Pat Day to ride; The Cliff's Edge, Shane Sellers; and Pro Prado, John McKee.

Other probables for the one-mile Iroquois are Affirmlode, Blushing Indian, Five Card Monty, Korbyn Gold, Mutachi, and War Image.

Blanc to ride at Calder and Gulfstream

Jockey Brice Blanc will ride at Calder and Gulfstream Park for the first time this winter, said his agent, Steve Bass. "We'll start at Calder as soon as this meet ends" on Nov. 29, Bass said.

Blanc, 30, rode in Southern California for more than six years before moving his wife and son to Kentucky last winter. He rode the last two months of the Fair Grounds meet last winter and rode at Saratoga this summer.

Simulcast camera has technical difficulties

Because of the temporary arrangements forced by the ongoing renovation project at Churchill, the camera that provides the main images for the track's outgoing simulcast signal has suffered some technical problems.

The camera occasionally has been shaky and out of sync with its intended focus. Phil Taylor, site manager for Charlson Broadcasting Technologies, the television contractor at Churchill, said the problem is "something that we'll be struggling with for the next three meets. The cameras are located on temporary scaffolding, so obviously we're at the mercy of Churchill's reconstructive efforts. We're dealing with the situation as best we possibly can."

Replay show offers weekly contest

Churchill is offering a contest each Saturday through its race replay show. Contestants are required to select the superfecta in the Saturday feature, with the closest selections winning $100 and a variety of giveaway items. The show airs at 10 p.m. Eastern on Channel 24 in Louisville and at 11 p.m. on Channel 70 in Lexington.

* Jockey Robby Albarado took off all mounts on the latter half of the Wednesday program and all day Thursday because of an unspecified illness. He was expected back in action Friday.