02/10/2005 12:00AM

Beaten in sprint, B. B. Best may stretch out for Fountain


HALLANDALE BEACH, Fla. - Trainer Eddie Plesa Jr. was disappointed but not discouraged over B. B. Best's fourth-place finish in the Sunshine Millions Dash. After watching B. B. Best work five furlongs in 59.80 seconds at Calder under jockey Jorge Chavez on Thursday, Plesa is contemplating trying to stretch out his speedy 3-year-old in the Grade 2 Fountain of Youth Stakes on March 5.

B. B. Best failed to show his best speed in the Sunshine Dash, inexplicably dropping to the rear of the pack after the opening quarter-mile of the six-furlong stakes before passing more than half the field to finish fourth behind runaway winner Lost in the Fog.

"The Sunshine Millions was disappointing in the sense he did not run his race," said Plesa. "I have no real explanation for why he was last going down the backstretch other than the fact he might not have been grabbing hold of the track the first part of the race. If there was any good news it's that he closed some ground down the lane."

B. B. Best was among the best 2-year-olds stabled at Calder in 2004 when he won two of the three legs of the Florida Stallion Stakes, including the rich finale, the 1 1/16-mile In Reality. B. B. Best closed out the season by finishing fourth after an eventful start in the Grade 2 Kentucky Jockey Club Stakes at Churchill Downs.

"Right now the options are the Fountain of Youth or the Swale Stakes that same day," said Plesa. "A lot will depend on who goes where, but at the moment I'm leaning towards the Fountain of Youth because it's time to find out what kind of quality he really is."

Second of June may go to New Orleans

Two other Calder-based stakes winners, Second of June and Alix M, also worked Thursday. Second of June breezed six furlongs in 1:14.20 while Alix M went an easy half-mile in 51.20. Both Second of June and Alix M also ran last on Gulfstream's Sunshine Millions card.

Second of June suffered a fate similar to B. B. Best when he was shuffled to the rear of the pack during the early stages of the Sunshine Millions Classic before finishing sixth behind upset winner Musique Toujours.

"He went okay this morning, but what we'll do next I don't know," said trainer Bill Cesare. "The two logical options are to ship out for the New Orleans Handicap or stay here and run in the Gulfstream Park Handicap. If I had to lean towards one I would say the New Orleans would suit him better because it's an eighth of a mile shorter. The Gulfstream Park Handicap is at a mile and three-sixteenths, which means he would have to improve 110 yards more off his last race, and for now I would rather not stretch him out again."

The Grade 2, $300,000 Gulfstream Park Handicap will be run March 5 and the Grade 2, $500,000 New Orleans Handicap will be run at Fair Grounds on March 12.

Alix M is coming off the biggest win of her career, a 3 1/2-length upset of Bear Fan in the Sunshine Millions Filly and Mare Sprint.

"She just went easy this morning," said trainer Ron Spatz. "Right now I have nothing planned for her and I'll probably just give her a little break although we won't take her out of training."

Gulfstream Park Handicap next for Zakocity

Zakocity, who finished a close second to Musique Toujours in the Sunshine Classic, worked five furlongs in 1:14.60 at Palm Meadows on Thursday and is being pointed for the Gulfstream Park Handicap by trainer Pat Reynolds.

"Unless I want to go to Dubai, the Gulfstream Park Handicap looks like the next logical spot," said Reynolds.

Golf event to benefit Boulanger

A golf tournament to benefit injured jockey Gary Boulanger will be held on March 29 at Rain Tree Golf Resort in Pembroke Pines.

All proceeds from the golf tournament and silent auction will go to Boulanger, who suffered serious injuries in a riding mishap during the Mac Diarmida Jan. 30. Boulanger underwent emergency surgery to remove his spleen and a blood clot on his brain, and has continued to make slow but steady progress recuperating from the accident.

Among the prizes to be auctioned off are three half-hour lessons and rounds of golf with legendary golfer Gary Player. According to Dan Hurtak, who trains horses locally for Player, the winning bidders will be driven by limousine to the Ritz Carlton Country Club in Jupiter, Fla., where they will have lunch with Player, receive their lesson, and play a round of golf.

Hurtak also said that Player would try to be among the participants in the golf tournament if he does not have any other prior commitments that day.

The entry fee for the best-ball scramble format tournament is $150 per player. For additional information contact Mike Freglette at (800)346-5332 or Rosemary Homeister at (954)205-5626.