08/13/2002 12:00AM

Bella Bellucci all set for Alabama


SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. - Bella Bellucci, who has missed major 3-year-old filly events such as the Kentucky Oaks and Mother Goose because of various infirmities, appears all set to run in Saturday's Grade 1 Alabama Stakes, trainer Neil Drysdale said.

Bella Bellucci last ran on July 19, when she romped to a 11 3/4-length victory in a nine-furlong classified allowance race at Belmont Park. She earned a career-best Beyer Speed Figure of 105 for the effort.

"I thought she was back to her old self," Drysdale said of Bella Bellucci, who is 5 for 7 lifetime, including three stakes wins

Before that, Bella Bellucci was beaten 12 lengths by You as the 3-5 favorite in the Grade 1 Acorn at Belmont. She came out of that race with a sore back muscle, according to Drysdale.

Bella Bellucci, owned by Michael Tabor, won her first two starts this year, but was scratched from the Kentucky Oaks because of a low blood count.

Drysdale is still hoping Bella Bellucci can make an impact in the division with a powerful late-summer and fall campaign.

"I think she's back on track," Drysdale said. "She's got all the fall races ahead of her. The main thing is, she arrives to the Breeders' Cup in good order."

Bella Bellucci has been training at Belmont Park all summer. On Aug. 5 she went six furlongs in 1:12.88. Sunday, she breezed an easy five furlongs, according to Drysdale, though no time was available.

"She just cruised five-eighths," Drysdale said. "She had a pretty good work last week in company."

With Gary Stevens injured and Jerry Bailey in Chicago, Drysdale has reached out for Mike Smith to ride Bella Bellucci. Smith is 2 for 2 aboard Bella Bellucci and has won the Alabama four times.

Drysdale said Bella Bellucci would likely ship to New York on Thursday.

Sunday Break taking it easy

Sunday Break, the third-place finisher in the Belmont Stakes, has been just walking under tack for the last month and may not race again this year, Drysdale said.

Drysdale said that Sunday Break was suffering from a pulled stifle. Jockey Gary Stevens told Drysdale he felt something amiss in the Belmont, but Drysdale didn't see anything wrong at first. It wasn't until Drysdale began training Sunday Break towards the Haskell Invitational did the problem become apparent.

"We haven't decided yet whether to crank him up for the fall or leave him alone until next year," Drysdale said. "I think we'll monitor it, see how it feels, and then make a decision."

Thinking Travers for Rosetti

Rosetti, a three-length winner of a maiden race in his career debut on Sunday, is under consideration for the $1 million Travers on Aug. 24, the colt's trainer, Patrick Biancone, said Tuesday.

Rosetti, who is owned by Michael Tabor and Susan Magnier, was purchased at auction as a 2-year-old for $1 million. The royally bred colt is a son of Seattle Slew out of a Mr. Prospector mare, Chic Shirine.

Biancone said Rosetti had some health problems, although not serious, that kept him away from the races until now.

"He's a very good horse," Biancone said. "He's everything but a sprinter."

Rosetti, racing as the favorite, relaxed a couple lengths off the early pace before drawing off in the final furlong to win Sunday's six-furlong race in 1:11.67.

Biancone said he would work Rosetti before committing to the 1 1/4-mile Travers.

Biancone also said that Stellar, the runner-up in Monday's Grade 2 Adirondack in her second start, came out of the race well. Biancone remarked that the 1 1/4-length winner, Awesome Humor, looks like an "exceptional horse."

It's possible that the two fillies will hook up again in the Grade 1 Spinaway on Aug. 30.

"My filly did everything wrong the first time she ran," said Biancone, but that her sole Adirondack fault was "when she didn't change leads in the stretch. She got a good education."

Late-blooming Abreeze to step up

Abreeze, a 7-year-old who until this year had only won three races, has found a new lease on life. A Danzig gelding, he won his last three starts by a combined margin of 18 1/4 lengths and earned triple-digit Beyer Speed Figures in each of those wins. The victories, two of which came in the slop, took place in a $35,000 claimer and a pair of allowance races.

Trainer Kiaran McLaughlin is hoping Abreeze can take his game to the next level when he competes in Saturday's $300,000 Saratoga Breeders' Cup Handicap.

McLaughlin privately purchased Abreeze, who was racing in Dubai, in the spring. McLaughlin's wife, Letty, and his brother, Neal, and Alvin D. Haynes are the owners. McLaughlin was familiar with the gelding because he trained Abreeze when he was 2.

McLaughlin said there are probably a few reasons why Abreeze has come to life.

Getting Lasix, McLaughlin said, "was an important issue, and until he was 7 he wasn't stretched out over seven furlongs. Also, he can be a little tough, and my exercise rider, Bernie Dalton, has gotten on fabulously with him."

Abreeze, who has been assigned 113 pounds for Saturday's race, worked three furlongs in 37.52 seconds on the main track on Tuesday.

Others expected in the Grade 2 Saratoga Breeders' Cup are Dollar Bill (117); Grundlefoot (116); Gander (115); Evening Attire (115); El Gran Papa (115); Country Be Gold (113); and Sherpa Guide (113). Invisible Ink (114) is possible.

* Pompeii worked five furlongs in 1:04.20 Monday over the Oklahoma training track in preparation for a defense of her Personal Ensign Handicap title on Aug. 23. Trainer Elliott Walden said he would give Pompeii a more serious breeze next week.

* On Tuesday, Farda Amiga worked a half-mile in 49.20 seconds at Hollywood Park for the Alabama and was scheduled to arrive in Saratoga on Wednesday.

* In addition to riding Bella Bellucci, Mike Smith will also ride Gander in the $300,000 Saratoga Breeders' Cup Handicap and Kirtle in Sunday's $150,000 Lake Placid Handicap. They will be Smith's first mounts at Saratoga since the summer of 2000.

* Trainer Beau Greely said Century City would not run in the Travers, and would remain on the grass.

- additional reporting by Karen M. Johnson and Jay Privman