04/08/2007 11:00PM

BC Classic is Premium Tap's prime goal


HALLANDALE BEACH, Fla. - Trainer John Kimmel spent his Easter Sunday at Gulfstream Park. A week earlier, Kimmel was halfway around the world, sending out Premium Tap to a game second-place finish behind Horse of the Year Invasor in the Dubai World Cup.

Kimmel will have to wait another seven weeks before reuniting with Premium Tap, who must spend 60 days in quarantine in Dubai before returning to the U.S., which is scheduled for May 29.

"He came out of the race in good order and was scheduled to return to the track Monday in Dubai," said Kimmel. "I thought he ran a very good race in the World Cup. Especially when you consider the problem he had at the gate.

"Kent [Desormeaux] barely got the blindfold off him when they were sprung, and he stumbled briefly, which might have cost him a length or two. We really didn't want to be on the lead. I'd have preferred to be stalking from the outside than be the speed on the inside, but there wasn't much we could do about that after drawing inside Invasor."

Invasor's time of 1:59.97 was the second-fastest in race history, Kimmel said, and it came over a racetrack that was less than lightning-fast.

"I think if you compare the final time of the Golden Shaheen sprint, which was 1:10.34, to the race record, which is 1:08 and change, that you can see the track was not super quick - and consequently just how well both Invasor and Premium Tap ran in the World Cup," said Kimmel.

The goal now is a rematch with Invasor in the Breeders' Cup Classic, Kimmel said. Premium Tap finished third behind Invasor and Bernardini in the 2006 Classic.

"We missed a prep before last year's Classic, and maybe it kept him from running his 'A' race that day," Kimmel said. "We didn't miss anything for the World Cup."

Kimmel said he will likely give Premium Tap two prep races before the Classic.

"The one thing we'd like to do is avoid Invasor until the Classic," said Kimmel. "I'll see how Premium Tap is once he returns to New York and then pick out a spot prior to the Breeders' Cup."

Kimmel also said that if all goes according to plan, Premium Tap will be kept in training at least through the 2008 World Cup.

"The main goal of the owner is to go back and win the King's Cup in Saudi Arabia for a second time and then try the World Cup again," said Kimmel.

Premium Tap is owned by the sons of King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz of Saudi Arabia.

Kimmel will keep a string of horses at Payson Park at least through the end of the meet, which closes on April 22. He has won nine races during the meet.

"We started off very well here this winter and then things slowed down a little," said Kimmel. "We put a few horses on the shelf to wait for Keeneland, and it's been a nightmare getting some of our maidens in on the grass here lately."

Adore the Gold off Derby trail

Trainer Mike Gorham said that Adore the Gold, a disappointing seventh after forcing the pace in the Grade 1 Florida Derby, has yet to return to the track and is definitely off the Kentucky Derby trail, even though he might have enough graded earnings to make the field.

"His white blood count was high and he came down with a slight temperature after the race, so we're kind of in a holding pattern with him now," Gorham said Sunday. "I was originally going to ship him back north later this week, but now I'll probably wait and send him up with my last group after the meet ends. I want to make sure he's okay before traveling."

Alvarado sidelined with shoulder injury

Apprentice jockey Junior Alvarado remains sidelined indefinitely after dislocating his shoulder during the running of Wednesday's eighth race. The 21-year-old Venezuelan said his shoulder popped loose when he went to hit his mount Pink and Sweet turning into the stretch.

Alvarado said that he wasn't sure how the injury happened but that it wasn't the first time he's had a similar problem with his shoulder. If necessary, he said, he might have surgery to correct the problem.

Alvarado, who has won 14 races this meet, joins fellow apprentice Jermaine Bridgmohan on the sidelines. Bridgmohan is out indefinitely after suffering gashes on his leg in the second of the two spills he's had at the meet.

* Exton will be the choice in a field of 10 entered for Wednesday's $46,000 allowance feature on the turf. Exton was beaten a length despite trouble under similar conditions in his last start. His sternest tests likely will come from Approved by Dylan, Pitchnicholas, and Rising Moon.

* Sneaky Bunnie was the hunch play on Sunday's nine-race Easter program. Sneaky Bunnie, making her turf debut for trainer Reed Combest, rewarded those who played her to show, or used her to complete the trifecta, when she rallied to finish third at 22-1 in a mid-priced maiden claiming event on the turf.