06/23/2005 12:00AM

Battle Won sharp for Aristides


LOUISVILLE, Ky. - Trainer Chuck Simon knows that turning back from seven to six furlongs can be very tricky for a racehorse. But Battle Won is so fast and so versatile, and Simon has been so aware of the potential pratfalls, that he feels Battle Won is fully prepared for the six-furlong Aristides Breeders' Cup Handicap on Saturday.

"We've been pointing to the Aristides ever since the last race," said Simon, referring to an upset victory in the seven-furlong Churchill Downs Handicap on the May 7 Kentucky Derby undercard. "I've geared his training so that we're prepared to be a little sharper, which is what you usually need when you turn back like this."

, owned by Jay Manoogian, will have Mike Smith aboard when he faces five other older horses in the 17th running of the Grade 3, $150,000 Aristides at Churchill. A 5-year-old gelding who specialized last year in turf sprints, Battle Won has become a potential force among dirt sprinters.

"Obviously he's very good on turf, but the money is just better on the dirt, and Jay and I feel like he's capable of being very competitive with some of the top horses around," said Simon.

Battle Won showed speed aplenty in his CD 'Cap victory, laying close to the pace before using an impressive burst at the top of the stretch to put the race away. He may need a similar spurt to prevail Saturday, as several of his rivals ran very well in their most recent starts, most notably Jet Prospector, who earned a 110 Beyer Speed Figure in a May 21 allowance win at Monmouth Park.

Steve Margolis is the new trainer of Jet Prospector, a 4-year-old New York-bred gelding who had been trained by Richard Dutrow Jr., currently serving a suspension for medication violations.

"From what I've seen, the horse couldn't be doing any better, so we thought we'd take a shot with this big money and short field," said Margolis.

; and Kelly's Landing.

The Aristides is carded as the ninth of 10 Saturday races. First post is 1:15 p.m. Eastern.