08/28/2003 11:00PM

Band Is Passing's racing career is over


MIAMI - Band Is Passing, a two-time winner and the reigning champion of the Grade 3 Miami Mile Breeders' Cup Handicap, will not be back to defend that title on Monday. In fact, Band Is Passing's owner-breeder-trainer Stanley Ersoff has decided to retire Band Is Passing at the age of 7.

"I think that's going to be it for his racing career," Ersoff said. "Basically, it's the wear and tear of old age. He's been much too good to me to risk getting him injured at this point in his life."

Band Is Passing defeated Hurrahy and Tiger Shark to win the 2000 Miami Mile. Last year he rallied to a two-length victory over 8-5 favorite Pisces in the race, despite having been idle nearly six months coming into the race. He would make only more start, winning the Flying Pidgeon Handicap six weeks later.

Band Is Passing, a son of Pass the Line and Fairforband, also won the Pete Axthelm Handicap in 1999 and the Grade 3 Tropical Turf Handicap in 2001, and finished second in the Grade 2 Gulfstream Park Breeders' Cup Handicap in the winter of 2002. He will retire with a record of 29-13-7-3 and earnings of nearly $775,000.

Ersoff said he is exploring opportunities to put Band Is Passing into stud next season.

Ms Brookski a favorite in Nanarchus

Ms Brookski will make her second start since returning to trainer Reed Combest's barn earlier this summer, as one of the the favorites in Sunday's $40,000 Nanarchus Stakes.

Ms Brookski rallied to finish fourth following an eventful start in the 6 1/2-furlong Kims Country Diamond Stakes on Aug. 3. It was the first time Ms Brookski had run for Combest since she finished fifth in the Grade 2 Bonnie Miss Stakes during the winter of 2002.

Combest and his son Phil sold Ms Brookski privately to owner Gary Tanaka following her victory in the Grade 2 Davona Dale Stakes three weeks before the Bonnie Miss.

Ms Brookski was badly outrun in four subsequent starts, including the Grade 1 Kentucky Oaks, after leaving south Florida during the spring of her 3-year-old campaign.

"She needed her first start. It was a good tightener, and she's training great," said Phil Combest. "This race should give us a good idea where we stand with her at the moment."

The Nanarchus drew a field of 10 older fillies and mares, and will be run at 1 1/16 miles. Gentille Alouette, who won the Liberada Handicap on June 1, is the only member of the field to win a stakes this season.

Familiar riders not staying long

Two familiar faces, jockeys Horacio Karamanos and Abel Castellano Jr., have been in town riding the past couple of weeks, but are here only on a temporary basis. Both are expected to return to the Maryland circuit at the end of the Timonium meet, which runs through Labor Day.

Another veteran rider, Vernon Bush, will also ride here for the next several weeks, while racing on the New England circuit breaks for the Northampton Fair.

* The fall racing schedule goes into effect next week with Tuesdays and Wednesdays dark through the week of Dec. 15. As a result, the racing office has changed its entry schedule with no entries to be taken on either dark day. Entries for Thursday's card will be drawn on Sunday. Friday's programs will be drawn on Mondays. The remainder of the entry schedule is Thursday for Saturday, Friday for Sunday, and Saturday for Monday.