06/05/2001 11:00PM

Band Is Passing making noise


MIAMI, Fla. - Band Is Passing proved he again is ready to take on the elite of the turf division, returning from a brief layoff and handling nine overmatched rivals in Sunday's Blazing Bart Stakes.

"He ran four tough races this winter so I just decided to freshen him up a little and then looked for a spot to try to find out where I stood with him since he only worked a couple of times coming into the Blazing Bart," said Ersoff. "Actually, I was hoping to make the Red Bank at Monmouth on Memorial Day but unfortunately the race got there before he did. Now it looks like we'll have to head up north since there really isn't much for him here this summer."

Band Is Passing and Ersoff suffered a frustrating winner after finishing second four times in as many starts, three of the losses coming in graded races, including a neck defeat at the hands of Associate in defense of his title in Gulfstream Park's Grade 2 Appleton Handicap.

"He ran a good race each time out there and I couldn't have been more pleased even though he didn't win any of those starts," said Ersoff. "In fact, I'm always pleased with him because I know he tries hard every time I send him out."

Ersoff said he hasn't picked any races out for Band Is Passing at this time, although mentioned races in New York and Delaware as possible options.

"In a perfect world we'll make it to the Breeders' Cup Mile," said Ersoff. "But for right now I'll take it slow and try to work our way up to that level if we can."

Pavillon eyeing Casear Rodney

Pavillon, who shipped up from Calder to win the Red Bank at Monmouth, may make his next start in Delaware Park's $150,000 Caesar Rodney Handicap at Delaware Park according to trainer Marty Wolfson. He also said that he is seriously considering Hollywood Park's Grade 2 Honeymoon Breeders' Cup Handicap for his talented 3-year-old filly grass specialist O K to Dance, who won Keeneland's $100,000 Palisdales Handicap on April 22.

Gold for My Gal, trainer Manny Estevez's multiple stakes winning filly, made her first local start since winning the Flying Concert Stakes here last October and registered a popular victory over Cash's Pride in Monday's Hurricane Viv Handicap.

Gold for My Gal, a 4-year-old daughter of Gold Alert owned by the Morises Farm, was overmatched in Grade 1 competition in the Apple Blossom Handicap in her previous start. She opened her 2001 campaign with an impressive win in Fair Grounds's Truly Bound Handicap. But like Band Is Passing, she may also be forced to look out of town this summer, with the next main-track distance stakes for older fillies and mares not scheduled here until Aug. 25.

Rene Douglas has won two of the first three stakes on the 2001 Calder season, after guiding Built Up to an impressive victory in Saturday's $60,000 Simply Majestic Stakes. Douglas won the Calder Breeders' Cup Handicap aboard Silver Bandana the previous Saturday.

Built Up was making his turf debut in the Simply Majestic for trainer Enrique Alonso and owner Raymond Susi. A son of Homebuilder, Built Up went postward the favorite - despite making his first start on grass - and paid just $7.60. That was in sharp contrast to his maiden victory March 11 at Gulfstream, when he returned $200.20 to win.