08/01/2005 11:00PM

Bejarano out for meet with broken ankle

Noble Causeway works Tuesday under Ramon Dominguez, and under the watch of NYRA's chief veterinarian.

SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. - Jockey Rafael Bejarano will miss the remainder of the Saratoga meet after an MRI on Tuesday revealed a hairline fracture of his right ankle suffered during a mishap in the gate on Monday.

Bejarano was fitted with a cast to stabilize the ankle, according to his agent, Joe Ferrer. Bejarano must wear that cast for 3 to 4 weeks. Following that, he will be fitted with another cast that he must wear for about 7 to 10 days. In a perfect world, Ferrer said, Bejarano could return early in the Belmont fall meeting, which starts on Sept. 9.

"He won't ride the Saratoga meet," Ferrer said. "Hopefully, we can make the beginning of the Belmont meet."

Bejarano, who had three wins at this meet, was named on three horses Wednesday and five on Thursday.

Bejarano was injured when his mount, Sadler's Charm, flipped in the gate prior to the start of Monday's fifth race. Bejarano's foot got caught in the gate and was bent. Bejarano was taken off the track via ambulance and taken to Saratoga hospital, where he was treated and released.

Last year, Bejarano, 23, led all North American riders in races won with 455. He is the fifth-leading jockey in races won this year with 174. He is fourth in purse money won with $8,364,014.

Ferrer said Bejarano had a lot of upcoming business, including Molto Vita in Friday's $150,000 Honorable Miss, In the Gold in Saturday's $250,000 Test, and Forest Danger in the $200,000 Alfred G. Vanderbilt on Aug. 13.

Bejarano also had a call on Sun King, who is going to run either in Sunday's $1 million Haskell or in the following weekend's $750,000 West Virginia Derby.

Zito aims two at Whitney

Trainer Nick Zito confirmed Tuesday that he plans on running both Commentator and Sir Shackleton in Saturday's Grade 1, $750,000 Whitney Handicap. Gary Stevens, a two-time Whitney winner, has the call on Commentator, while Javier Castellano rides Sir Shackleton.

The Whitney, run at 1 1/8 miles, will be Commentator's second chance to prove he is not a one-turn horse. Commentator is 6 for 6 around one turn, but lost his only start at two turns, finishing seventh in the Grade 3 Hal's Hope in January at Gulfstream. He came out of that race with a fractured shin. In his return race, he nearly equaled Belmont Park's seven-furlong track record, winning by 16 1/2 lengths in 1:20.23.

"We're kind of in no-man's land with Commentator," Zito said. "The reason I say that is he had his prep race; he was absolutely brilliant. We don't really know if he can go the mile and an eighth, but we're not sure he cannot go the mile and an eighth, so we want to find out. It's good timing because if he can't, maybe we'll come back in the Forego."

The Grade 1 Forego, run at seven furlongs, is scheduled for Sept. 3.

Sir Shackleton won a pair of one-turn races this winter at Gulfstream Park, including the Grade 2 Richter Scale Breeders' Cup Handicap. As a 3-year-old, he won the West Virginia Derby at 1 1/8 miles before finishing fifth in the Travers.

"Shackleton likes it up here and he's been doing extremely well," Zito said. "You pick up the paper, you see this horse died, another one gets hurt, so, when you get in this position and they're doing well, why not Sir Shackleton? He's got great credentials."

As many as nine horses could be entered Thursday when post positions are drawn for the Whitney. Trainer Richard Dutrow Jr. will enter Saint Liam and Offlee Wild, but is expected to run just Saint Liam. Todd Pletcher is likely to run both Limehouse and Pollard's Vision. Eurosilver and Wiggins are definite, while Swingforthefences is possible.

Vet attends Noble Causeway's breeze

Noble Causeway, who was scratched at the gate prior to Saturday's Jim Dandy, worked four furlongs in 49.65 seconds Tuesday morning with the New York Racing Association's chief examining veterinarian, Anthony Verderosa, in attendance.

Verderosa scratched Noble Causeway after jockey Jerry Bailey told him the horse did not warm up satisfactorily. Verderosa said he was pleased with the way the colt breezed, but would have to wait on the results of a blood test before clearing him to run.

Jockey Ramon Dominguez was aboard for the work. He said Noble Causeway was "a little crabby" prior to the work, but worked fine. Noble Causeway worked in company with Chief Commander, who was given the same final time.

Zito said that he was pleased with Noble Causeway's breeze, but would talk to owner Len Riggio before deciding whether to run him in an allowance race this weekend. The West Virginia Derby is also a possibility.

"I thought he went beautiful - very fluid, very nice, very relaxed," Zito said. "A lot of horses, no matter what, they're stiff sometimes, to be honest with you. I was glad the jock was on him. He turned him around, he didn't do any extra warm-ups, he broke him off and galloped down there beautiful."

Wild Desert works toward Travers

Trainer Richard Dutrow Jr. was concerned with how Wild Desert came out of his third-place finish in the Prince of Wales Stakes on July 17. But after watching him breeze five furlongs in a bullet 59.65 seconds on Tuesday, Dutrow is now pointing the 3-year-old Canadian-bred to the $1 million Travers here on Aug. 27.

"I haven't spent a whole lot of time around him," said Dutrow, who on Sunday returned from a 60-day suspension due to medication positives. "Today is by far the best I've ever seen him breeze. He didn't come out of that race up there the way I'd want him to, and I was afraid we would have to miss this race. But the last two or three days he's really come around."

Dutrow took over the training of Wild Desert from Ken McPeek in April. He said he addressed several physical issues the colt had and even told trainer Bobby Frankel he was going to win the Queen's Plate at Woodbine. Wild Desert did win the Queen's Plate on June 26, with Frankel listed as the trainer during Dutrow's suspension.

The race drew controversy as Wild Desert showed only two slow workouts after finishing eighth in the Arkansas Derby. Afterward, owner Daniel Borislow bragged about cashing a big bet on the horse.

Evening Attire drops into allowance

Evening Attire and his less accomplished younger brother, Dr. Rockett, are both entered in Thursday's seventh race, a $60,000 classified allowance run at 1 1/8 miles. Pat Kelly, who trains both horses, said Evening Attire is the more likely of the two to run.

Evening Attire, a Grade 1 winner who has earned more than $2.3 million, loves Saratoga. He has won 5 of 8 starts here. Since 2003, Evening Attire is 3 for 22, with all three wins coming here. That includes a five-length victory over Funny Cide in last year's Saratoga Breeders' Cup. Running in this allowance race would end a streak of 17 consecutive stakes starts for the 7-year-old gelding.

In two starts this year, Evening Attire has finished sixth in the Grade 2 Brooklyn and fifth in the Grade 1 Suburban.

"I didn't have any plans to run him in stakes coming back from vacation, but I couldn't get anything to fill and he was running in short fields," Kelly said. "We'll run him Thursday and see what happens, and go from there."

Dr. Rockett, 6, has won 2 of his last 3 starts but still has his fourth-level allowance condition remaining.

Sinister G, a winner in 3 of his last 4 starts, looms the controlling speed in the race.