08/05/2003 11:00PM

Beverly D.: Dublino in, Dimitrova out


ARLINGTON HEIGHTS, Ill. - The Beverly D. Handicap picked up a leading West Coast contender Wednesday while losing its best potential European runner.

From California, trainer Laura de Seroux said Dublino now was slated to start in the Beverly D., one of three Grade 1 turf races here next Saturday, Aug. 16. De Seroux had planned to pass the race, but with her horse training forwardly and top contenders Golden Apples and Ipi Tombe having dropped out, de Seroux altered course.

Meanwhile, trainer Dermot Weld told the International Racing Bureau on Wednesday that Dimitrova would not ship from Ireland for the Beverly D. Dimitrova, a 3-year-old, flew to California and won the $750,000 American Oaks last month at Hollywood Park, then returned home. Weld had toyed with the idea of coming back for the Beverly D., but instead will target a fall campaign that may begin with the Garden City Breeders' Cup Handicap on Sept. 7 at Belmont.

Dublino is a major addition to a race that lost its top two contenders, Ipi Tombe and Golden Apples, to injury. Since coming to the U.S. last spring, Dublino has been first or second in six of seven starts, all in high-class stakes races, and she was part of a triple dead heat for second July 26 in the Grade 1 John Mabee Handicap at Del Mar.

De Seroux initially felt the Beverly D. would come up too quickly for Dublino, who had raced three times in three months, but changed her mind this week and has booked Dublino on an Aug. 12 flight to Chicago.

"I had thought she might need a little break, but she still looks like she's going forward," de Seroux said by phone on Thursday. "Her legs are tight and cold, she's dappled out more than ever, and she's bright as a button. I really feel that the divisional championship is wide open. She's as good as any horse in there right now. I looked at the race, and realized we couldn't afford to wait here in the stall."

Frankel down to Heat Haze, Tates Creek

Bobby Frankel will have a horse for the Beverly D., but he still hasn't decided which one. Zenda, a recent Saratoga allowance winner, had been Frankel's leading candidate, but she wasn't nominated to the race, and Frankel said it was unlikely Juddmonte Farms would put up the $20,000 required to supplement her to the race. Instead, Frankel may turn to Heat Haze, second to the likely Beverly D. favorite Voodoo Dancer in the Diana Handicap, or Tates Creek, part of the dead heat for second in the Mabee. Frankel said Pertuisane, another Beverly D. nominee, would run instead at Saratoga.

The defections of Ipi Tombe and Golden Apples also brought a couple more East Coast horses into the Beverly D. picture. Arlington racing officials said the connections of Riskaverse and Wonder Again - both New York-based 4-year-old fillies - are considering the race.

Secretariat field in flux

Wednesday also brought news from the Secretariat front, as trainer Bill Mott said Silver Tree, who would have been among the favorites in the Grade 1, $400,000 Secretariat, was out of the race.

Silver Tree, a winner of three of four starts on grass, led all the way winning the $500,000 Virginia Derby on July 12 at Colonial Downs, and like the Secretariat that race is at 1 1/4 miles. But reached Thursday at his Saratoga barn, Mott said Silver Tree was not coming to Arlington. Asked if Silver Tree would instead show up at the Saratoga meet, Mott said, "He's not going to run there, either."

Lismore Knight, however, will come for the Secretariat after having finished third as the favorite in the July 20 Kent Breeders' Cup at Delaware Park. In his prior start, Lismore Knight shipped from New York to Arlington and looked good winning the Grade 2 Arlington Classic here June 28.

"We're flying on the 14th with the other New York horses," said trainer Todd Pletcher. "He got outrun in his last race. It came back with a better number, and was probably a tougher race than at Arlington."

Foufa's Warrior, winner of the Kent, is expected to run in the Secretariat, which could have as many as five European shippers.

Douglas has live festival mount

Rene Douglas has landed the mount on Lismore Knight, giving him contenders in all three Million Day races. That's only fitting, as Douglas has dominated turf stakes racing at Arlington the last two summers.

Douglas and his agent, Dennis Cooper, also have secured mounts on Owsley, a likely runner in the Beverly D., and Kaieteur, an English-based horse running in the Million. Kaieteur, racing at odds of 100-1, was third to Falbrav and Nayef on July 5 in the Grade 1 Ecplise Stakes at Sandown.

Riding assignments have been scrambled in the Million, where David Flores apparently will take off Honor in War to ride Sulamani, who was announced as a starter early this week. Sulamani, a two-time Group 1 winner, is by far the top-ranked European coming for the Million. Honor in War's connections had hoped to switch to Kent Desormeaux, but he is booked to ride the European horse Olden Times.

* A field of nine 3-year-old fillies was entered Wednesday for Saturday's Singapore Plate Stakes, a Grade 3, $100,000 race at nine furlongs on dirt. Sue's Good News tops the field, though she was soundly defeated three weeks ago in the Delaware Oaks.