04/10/2005 11:00PM

Bellamy Road: Hello, Derby!

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Bellamy Road leaves the rest of the field far behind en route to a 17 1/2-length victory in the Wood Memorial.

Three , only a handful of horses exiting those races are being pointed to the Kentucky Derby on May 7 at Churchill Downs.

From the Wood, Bellamy Road is definite, runner-up Survivalist is a slight possibility, and last-place finisher Going Wild is still being considered. From the Illinois Derby, only Greeley's Galaxy is certain to go to the Kentucky Derby, but he is not assured of a starting berth. The first four finishers from the Santa Anita Derby - Buzzards Bay, General John B, Wilko, and Giacomo - are all still under consideration for the Derby, but Don't Get Mad and the filly Sweet Catomine are out.

Bellamy Road got a monstrous 120 Beyer Speed Figure for his dominating victory in the Wood Memorial and continued the amazing run of trainer Nick Zito, who also this year has won the Fountain of Youth Stakes and Florida Derby with High Fly, and the Tampa Bay Derby with Sun King.

"I don't think anybody expected that," Zito said Monday of Bellamy Road's performance. "He had trained unbelievable going into his race at Gulfstream, and for this race he had trained the same way, but this was the Wood Memorial. He was tremendous.

"I feel good," Zito said of his Derby lot, which also includes Florida Derby runner-up Noble Causeway and Andromeda's Hero, who runs in Saturday's Grade 2, $1 million Arkansas Derby. "I've just got another month. Right now, I'm doing okay. I just want to keep them the same way."

Zito said Bellamy Road was scheduled to return to Kentucky from New York on Tuesday.

Shug McGaughey, the trainer of Survivalist, said "there's a slim chance" Survivalist would go to the Derby. McGaughey said he wanted to evaluate this weekend's Derby preps, which also include the Grade 1, $750,000 Blue Grass Stakes at Keeneland, before deciding.

D. Wayne Lukas, who trains Going Wild, said his colt's race was so bad he was inclined to throw it out and go on. Going Wild has only $40,000 in graded stakes earnings, which puts him in a precarious position if more than the maximum 20 horses were to enter the Derby.

In an even more precarious position is Greeley's Galaxy, who earned a Beyer Speed Figure of 106 in the Illinois Derby. Greeley's Galaxy was not nominated to the Derby for either $600 in January or $6,000 in March, which owner B. Wayne Hughes ascribed to a clerical oversight. So now, in order to run in the Derby, Hughes must put up a stiff $200,000 supplemental fee.

Under the Derby's rules, however, supplemental entries cannot knock out an original nominee, even if the supplemental entry has more graded stakes earnings.

Therefore, the only way Greeley's Galaxy will get into the Derby is if 19 or fewer horses besides him are entered on May 4.

Greeley's Galaxy was sent by van from Illinois to Churchill Downs on Monday.

"We're going to stay there and see what happens," Hughes said. "If we can get in, we'll go. If it doesn't look like we'll get in, we might run him in the Derby Trial and then the Preakness."

In the Santa Anita Derby, the first four finishers were separated by two lengths at the finish, with longshot Buzzards Bay giving trainer Jeff Mullins a record-setting third straight victory in the race. Buzzards Bay got a Beyer of 98.

Mullins said Buzzards Bay would remain in California until just a few days before the Derby.

"The track changes so much at Churchill Downs the week of the Derby," Mullins said. "You train on one surface and race on another. We'll do our prep work at home and then fly in. I think you're a lot better off."

Mullins purchased Buzzards Bay for $175,000 in a private transaction at Calder in November for the Fog City Stable of Bill Bianco and David Shimmon.

"He's a big, pretty horse. He had a presence about him," Mullins said.

Roger Stein, the trainer of General John B, said he would wait another week before deciding with owner Ross McLeod what to do.

"It's on our radar," Stein said. "If he continues to improve the next couple of weeks, and he has enough graded stakes earnings, we'd consider it. He's a good horse, but right now, he's not Bellamy Road caliber. We're not looking for a mountain we can't climb just to run and split the field."

John Shirreffs, the trainer of Giacomo, said he was inclined to try again if Giacomo had enough graded stakes earnings.

"If he makes the cut and everything's good, we'll go," Shirreffs said.

- additional reporting by David Grening and Marcus Hersh

Weekend update: Derby prep races

Based on Beyer Speed Figures:

RACETRACKWINNERBEYER
Wood MemorialAqueductBellamy Road120
Illinois DerbyHawthorneGreeley's Galaxy106
Santa Anita DerbySanta AnitaBuzzards Bay98

3-year-old graded stakes earnings

The leading contenders for the 131st Kentucky Derby based on earnings in graded stakes races, the tiebreaker if the field exceeds the maximum 20 entries:

 HorseEarnings
1Blues and Royals$1,200,000
2Wilko1,004,515
3High Fly 796,500
4Afleet Alex645,000
5Consolidator609,750
6Bellamy Road570,000
7Buzzards Bay480,000
8Sun King365,000
9Greater Good361,344
10High Limit360,000
11Flower Alley300,000
12Greeley's Galaxy *300,000
13Survivalist 240,000
14Rockport Harbor235,700
15Noble Causeway190,000
16Giacomo184,300
17Storm Surge182,640
18Vicarage162,500
19General John B150,000
20Wild Desert131,320
21Monarch Lane100,000
22Diamond Isle90,000
23Closing Argument90,000
24Bandini60,000
25Actxecutive51,280
26Mr Sword50,000
27Real Dandy48,000
28Going Wild47,500
29Rush Bay44,640
30Pavo19,000
31Andromeda's Hero 15,000
32Golden Shine5,000
33Malibu Moonshine3,000
34Cat Shaker 0
35Sort It Out 0

* - not nominated to Triple Crown