06/25/2001 11:00PM

Beautiful Pleasure will race into shape


ELMONT, N.Y. - It was back to work Monday morning for Beautiful Pleasure, who returned to the track just 41 hours after finishing last in Saturday's Grade 1 Hempstead Handicap at Belmont Park.

Normally, horses get two or three days off after a race. But, Beautiful Pleasure jogged a mile and lightly galloped another mile under Donna Ward, trainer John Ward's wife and assistant.

"I got a jump on her calorie count and we're going to stay in front of it,"' trainer John Ward said.

Ward was referring to the fact that Beautiful Pleasure has been carrying excess weight this spring and summer and was fat heading into Saturday's race. Donna Ward said Beautiful Pleasure did lose some weight, but is still not in top shape.

"She's still fat," Donna Ward said."She's not as fast as she was."

In her first start since last November's Breeders' Cup Distaff, Beautiful Pleasure set the pace in the Hempstead for six furlongs before giving way. She finished last, beaten seven lengths by Critical Eye.

"She got a lot out of that race," John Ward said. "`When they get to that age of life you got to run them to get fit. A few more starts before the big event. Remember, the Breeders' Cup Distaff will be her fifth start of the season. Monarchos [Kentucky Derby] was in his fifth start of the year and Point Given's big race in the Belmont was his fifth start of the season."

Donna Ward said in watching the replay of the Hempstead she noticed that Beautiful Pleasure switched back to her wrong lead down the backside and that contributed to her tiring so badly.

The Wards said Beautiful Pleasure could make her next start in either the $600,000 Delaware Handicap on July 22 or the $250,000 Go for Wand at Saratoga on July 29.

Donna Ward wasn't thrilled with Mike Smith's ride aboard Darling My Darling, who ended up fifth, beaten 5 1/4 lengths. Ward said Smith should have stayed on the inside instead of trying to go wide."``He gave her an impossible task," she said.

Darling My Darling did not return to the track Monday and will likely be pointed to whichever race Beautiful Pleasure does not run in.

Monarchos gallops; limps home

Kentucky Derby winner Monarchos gave the Wards some anxious moments Monday morning after galloping over Belmont's main track. Exercise rider Bryan Beccia felt something amiss and jumped off Monarchos on the walk back to the barn. Monarchos was ponied back to the barn.

"He stiffened up behind, nothing odd," John Ward said. "`[Sunday], he galloped real slow and today he got a little more aggressive and his muscles weren't ready for it. Muscles go through changes and that's why you don't go back and work them right away."

Ward also revealed that Monarchos grabbed a quarter in his right front foot while playing in a round pen last week. The grab wasn't severe.

Ward is hoping to get four workouts into Monarchos - beginning with a three-eighths breeze next week - prior to running him in the Grade 1 Jim Dandy at Saratoga on Aug. 4.

Hero's Tribute, Forest Secrets work

The Wards will be active in graded stakes here the next two weekends with Forest Secrets in Saturday's Grade 1 Mother Goose and Hero's Tribute in the July 8 Dwyer Stakes. Working by themselves, they both were timed in 1:00 for five furlongs, equaling the fastest of 19 moves on the day.

Hero's Tribute worked in a regular shoe for the first time in quite a while and John Ward reported that the foot held up well. Hero's Tribute wore a bar shoe to protect a quarter crack on his left front foot when he won the Peter Pan Stakes on May 26.

Forest Secrets, meanwhile, is coming off a gritty neck victory in the Grade 1 Acorn. She went a little faster than Donna Ward was looking for,"``but she did it easy," Ward said.

Jorge Chavez will ride Forest Secrets in the Mother Goose.

Critical Eye in division hunt

By winning the Hempstead, Critical Eye made a statement that she could be in the hunt for year-end honors in the older filly division.

"She's definitely a Breeders' Cup candidate and the object is to get her there the best way we can," trainer Scott Schwartz said."``She's got to be considered one of the top few fillies around and she wants to go further than she did."

Schwartz said Critical Eye came out of the Hempstead in excellent shape and will most likely be pointed to the Go for Wand at Saratoga.

Meanwhile, Schwartz was also mapping out a plan for Critical Eye's little brother, Personable Pete, who won an allowance race last Friday by 5 3/4 lengths. Schwartz said he would run the 3-year-old Personable Pete in another allowance race at Belmont and depending on the results, possibly the Jim Dandy at Saratoga.

Reraise getting close

Reraise, the 1998 champion sprinter who has been plagued by foot problems his entire career, has had several short workouts in the last few weeks as he attempts a comeback for owner Barry Fey and new trainer Tom Skiffington.

Reraise, a winner of 8 of 9 lifetime starts, has not raced since Nov. 12 when he won a money allowance at Hollywood Park. Last Tuesday, Reraise breezed a half-mile in 50.23 seconds over Belmont Park's training track. He came on Sunday with a three-furlong move in 37.12 seconds.

"Instead of breezing him fast once a week what I'm trying to do is breeze him slow twice a week and get as much wind into him as I possibly can," Skiffington said. "``Knock on wood, everything's holding up good right now."

Skiffington said he won't make plans for Reraise until he works him out of the gate, which may happen this weekend.