10/09/2002 11:00PM

Beyond Brilliant still good enough


PHOENIX, Ariz. - There was a time Beyond Brilliant was good enough to run with such horses as Squirtle Squirt, last year's champion sprinter.

While those days appear to have passed for the 4-year-old Beyond Brilliant, he still possesses the talent necessary to be scary in Saturday's $30,000 Caballo del Sol Handicap. The six-furlong race has lured a field of seven.

Beyond Brilliant, trained by northern California-based Greg Gilchrist, has been logging lots of miles. In the past 1 1/2 years he has raced at Bay Meadows, Hollywood, Delaware, Calder, Monmouth, Philadelphia, Golden Gate, Pleasanton, and Santa Rosa. In his most recent start he finished seventh in the Ernest Finley Handicap at Santa Rosa July 27.

Beyond Brilliant comes into this off some scintillating works, including five furlongs in 57.60 seconds at Golden Gate on Oct. 5, and six furlongs in 1:13.60 at Golden Gate on Sept. 29.

Beyond Brilliant's regular rider, Ron Warren Jr., is named to ride. Beyond Brilliant carries co-high-weight of 121 pounds (with Eagleton) and breaks from post 7.

There's no questioning Eagleton's class. There is, however, a big question as to whether he can be effective at this short of a trip. Last out he finished sixth in the 1 7/8-mile Hasta la Vista, and he has campaigned primarily at a mile and beyond.

The only time he tried this distance came in this race last year. He finished third, beaten five lengths, but the race served its purpose as a foundation-builder: He came back to just miss in the Walter Cluer. He figures to have a similar campaign this season.

Miguel Hernandez rides Eagleton, who breaks from post 3.

Stevens injured yet again

Six-time riding champion Scott Stevens will be out at least three months after breaking his right leg on Sept. 29. Stevens was riding a Quarter Horse, who flipped in the gate, pinning Stevens's leg against the starting gate.

Stevens missed about four months last year after suffering a broken pelvis, right heel, collarbone, and ribs in an accident at Turf Paradise, and was sidelined again after breaking ribs in a spill on opening day at Yavapai Downs in May.