06/27/2007 11:00PM

Big Apple Daddy, Gold and Roses battle off layoffs

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ELMONT, N.Y. - Big Apple Daddy and Gold and Roses, two of the more consistent New York-bred sprinters in 2006, will seek to jump-start their 2007 campaigns when they square off in Saturday's $65,000 Say Florida Sandy Stakes at Belmont Park.

Gold and Roses, a 5-year-old son of Gold Token, has not run since winning the Hudson Handicap by a neck over Sharp Humor last October. Before that, he beat Big Apple Daddy by four lengths in the John Morrissey Stakes at Saratoga.

Big Apple Daddy, whose 2006 wins include the Hollie Hughes and Don Levine handicaps, was forced to miss the Hudson due to an ankle injury. He had to be stopped on again after he finished third in an allowance race at Laurel Park in March.

Tom Bush, the trainer of Gold and Roses, said his horse needed a break after running 25 times over a two-year period without a significant rest. The break became a little longer than planned when Gold and Roses developed some minor issues that forced him to miss some training at the beginning of the spring.

Gold and Roses has been working steadily since mid-May and breezed a solid five furlongs in 1:00 last Saturday over Belmont's main track.

"I didn't let him run too much getting ready, but we let him run last week and he ran fast enough," Bush said. "He may need a race or two, but I'm hoping I have him ready. It's always tough bringing horses back off the layoff. I thought we'd get him ready sooner than we did, but we know if we treat him right, he's going to show up for us."

Garrett Gomez will ride Gold and Roses from post 5.

After Big Apple Daddy developed an ankle injury, trainer Bruce Levine was in no hurry to bring the son of Precise End back, knowing he didn't want to run him on Aqueduct's speed-favoring inner track.

Levine ran him in an allowance race in March at Laurel in which he finished third.

"He didn't come out of it good and I had to give him another month off," Levine said. "Right now, he's doing good. I squeezed him a little bit to try and get him ready for this. It was the only race I could get him in before we went to Saratoga."

Both horses are pointing to the Morrissey on Aug. 2.

Shippers plentiful in first stakes for 2-year-olds

With the dearth of 2-year-old racing in New York thus far this year, shippers figure to make up the bulk of the fields for Sunday's Astoria and Tremont, the first juvenile stakes of the year to be run on this circuit.

The Mid-Atlantic-based trainer Hamilton Smith has runners for both races. He will ship up My Mammy for the $100,000 Astoria for juvenile fillies and Izzy Speaking for the $100,000 Tremont for colts and geldings. Both races will be run at 5 1/2 furlongs.

My Mammy, a daughter of Came Home, won her debut by 13 lengths at Delaware Park on June 11, running 4 1/2 furlongs in 51.80 seconds.

"She equaled the track record - that surprised me," Smith said. "I thought I had the best horse going in, but she ran a little quicker than I expected."

Smith said that he and owner-breeder William Backer received "four or five pretty solid offers" after that debut, but that Backer didn't want to sell.

Smith owns Izzy Speaking, who finished second in his debut before winning his second start by 4 3/4 lengths.

"First time out he ran a good race, he just got outrun by a horse that got the lead and kept going," Smith said. "My colt didn't back up. Second time, he won pretty impressively; the kid was just sitting on him. It looked like he improved a little bit, and [he has] trained pretty forwardly since."

The Steve Asmussen-trained Dubit and the Todd Pletcher-trained New York City Girl are the top fillies in the Astoria. Ready's Image looks like the probable favorite in the Tremont.

Funny Cide ready for Finger Lakes

Funny Cide, the 2003 Kentucky Derby and Preakness winner, completed preparations for his start in the $100,000 Wadsworth Memorial at Finger Lakes on Wednesday by working four furlongs in 47.80 seconds on Thursday at Belmont Park.

The work was the fastest of eight at the distance over a main track labeled good. It was also Funny Cide's sixth work since he finished third in the Wagon Limit, an overnight stakes here on May 18.

"Looks like he went good to me," trainer Barclay Tagg said. "He seems fine to me. I can't find anything wrong with him."

Alan Garcia was up for the work and will be aboard in the Wadsworth, a race which had its purse raised from $50,000 to $100,000 to lure Funny Cide.

Lemon Drop Gal wins Evil Bear Stakes

Lemon Drop Gal ($6.40) made a three-wide sweep to the lead midway around the far turn and bounded clear to a four-length victory in Thursday's $67,250 Evil Bear Stakes. Somethinaboutbetty was second, 3 1/2 lengths clear of Brushed Bayou.

Lemon Drop Gal, a 5-year-old daughter of Lemon Drop Kid, ran the six furlongs in 1:11.16 over yielding turf. Kent Desormeaux rode the winner for trainer Jimmy Jerkens and owner Timber Bay Farm.

o * Thursday's third race and was euthanized. Jockey John Velazquez was thrown to the main track, but rode the rest of the card. The Yips, who ran for Kim Laudati and Winning Move Stable, was claimed for $25,000 by Dominic Galluscio.