09/07/2003 11:00PM

Barbara stock suddenly has gone up


ELMONT, N.Y. - It isn't surprising that trainer Bobby Barbara didn't sleep a wink on Sunday night.

Barbara, 50, had every right to be keyed up. The trainer, who saddled his first winner at Aqueduct in 1984, was coming off the biggest weekend of his career. On Sunday, Barbara won his first Grade 1 with Indy Five Hundred in the Garden City Breeders' Cup at Belmont Park. On Saturday, Buy the Sport was turned over to Barbara after winning the Grade 1 Gazelle.

Buy the Sport, who returned $98 and beat a solid field that included Lady Tak, Spoken Fur, and Island Fashion, was making her first start in this country for owner Peter Minikes, who also owns Indy Five Hundred. Buy the Sport, a New York-bred who raced in Europe this year for trainer Brian Meehan, was bought by Minikes about a month ago. Meehan was listed as the trainer for the Gazelle.

"Sunday I had one Grade 1 filly in the barn," Barbara said, referring to Buy the Sport. "[Monday] I have two Grade 1 horses right next to each other. These are classy fillies. I was shocked by Buy the Sport, but not about Indy Five Hundred because I knew she was a talented filly. Still, it's shocking how it all turned out this way."

On Monday, Barbara said he received an invitation from Keeneland officials for Indy Five Hundred for the Grade 1 Queen Elizabeth on Oct. 11, and he plans on running in that race. Barbara said it was unlikely that Indy Five Hundred would run back two weeks after the Queen Elizabeth in the Breeders' Cup Filly and Mare Turf at Santa Anita.

As of Monday, plans for Buy the Sport's next race were up in the air. Barbara said Minikes had planned to wait until Saturday's Gazelle "to see what she was all about."

Minikes, 33, is a financial adviser at the Manhattan-based investment firm Neuberger-Berman and races under the name Georgica Stable. He became an owner three years ago and was introduced to Barbara through the son of one of Barbara's owners, Joseph Greeley.

Barbara said Minikes, who has five horses in training, has been quick to learn about the business.

"He wanted to learn everything, and he has learned a lot and listened," Barbara said. "He's done a lot of his own homework. Through a bloodstock agent he found Buy the Sport and wanted to buy her last year, but she didn't vet out because of a soft-tissue issue. He left it, but when she ran four times this year, he figured she had to be okay. She vetted out this time without a problem."

House Party pointing for Gallant Bloom

House Party, the winner of Saturday's $200,000 Endine Handicap at Delaware Park, will be pointed to the $150,000 Gallant Bloom Handicap on Oct. 5.

House Party won the Endine in 1:08.20 for six furlongs, tying a track record. She won the Grade 1 Prioress in July. Allen Jerkens, House Party's trainer, said the 3-year-old filly continues to impress him.

"She's good - there is no question about that," Jerkens said. "She beat some pretty good fillies. I didn't think she was going to turn out to be near that good of a filly."

This year, in addition to the Endine and Prioress, House Party also won the Grade 2 Nassau County Breeders' Cup, the Legal Light, and the Old Hat Stakes.

On Monday, Jerkens worked Passing Shot, who won the Grade 1 Personal Ensign last month at Saratoga. Passing Shot worked seven furlongs in 1:26.40 on the main track and will run in Saturday's Grade 1 Ruffian Handicap.

A small field is taking shape for the 1 1/16-mile Ruffian. The likely starters, with weights, are Sightseek (123 pounds), Passing Shot (115), Nonsuch Bay (113), and She's Got the Beat (113). Devon Rose (115) is a possibility.

Jerkens said that Puzzlement, who finished third in Saturday's Grade 1 Woodward, would run next in either the $1 million Jockey Club Gold Cup on Sept. 27 or the $750,000 Hawthorne Gold Cup the following day. Puzzlement was beaten nine lengths by the Woodward winner, Mineshaft.

Evening Attire works, but next race up in air

Evening Attire, who won two allowance races at the Saratoga meet, worked five furlongs in 1:00.60 over the main track on Monday.

"He went a lot faster than I wanted," trainer Pat Kelly said. "But he has hardly done much since he ran at Saratoga."

Kelly is considering the Jockey Club Gold Cup, Hawthorne Gold Cup, and the $400,000 Meadowlands Cup on Oct. 3 for Evening Attire's next start. Kelly said he isn't eager to face Mineshaft in the Jockey Club Gold Cup, a race Evening Attire won last year.

"For a million we might try it," Kelly said. "[Mineshaft] will be hard to beat. I wouldn't imagine he would have a big field to run against."