07/20/2004 11:00PM

Big work for Intercontinental

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ELMONT, N.Y. - Intercontinental, undefeated in three starts in this country for trainer Bobby Frankel, tuned up for the Grade 1 Diana Handicap on July 31 with a terrific six-furlong workout over Belmont's inner turf course Wednesday.

Working in company with Arvada, Intercontinental started about 1 1/2 lengths behind her stablemate and finished two lengths in front while covering the distance in 1:14.56. Richard Migliore was aboard for the work, but Jerry Bailey will ride Intercontinental in the Diana.

"She was in the bridle. She let you know she was there, but she wasn't rank," Migliore said. "As soon as she saw daylight, she went past that other horse. She exudes so much quality. You could tell there were multiple gears there. She glides over the ground - a top, top horse."

Intercontinental is a full sister to Group 1 and Grade 1 stakes winners Dansili and Banks Hill and a half-sister to Heat Haze, who was beaten a neck in last year's Diana. Intercontinental won four of nine starts in Europe for Andre Fabre before being shipped to Frankel this year. Intercontinental is 3 for 3 for Frankel, including wins in the Grade 3 Jenny Wiley at Keeneland and the Grade 2 Just a Game Breeders' Cup here on Belmont Day.

The 1 1/8-mile Diana will be Intercontinental's first try beyond 1 1/16 miles, but Frankel says he doesn't believe the distance will be a concern.

"My big concern is her pulling, but she's gotten better every race," Frankel said. "I worked her behind horses this morning and she was real easy."

Frankel has won two of the last three runnings of the Diana and was beaten a neck last year with Heat Haze.

Those considered definite for the Diana include Halory Leigh, Spice Island, Riskaverse, and Wonder Again. Binya, Film Maker, and Moscow Burning are possible.

Ghostzapper looks ready for Whitney

Frankel confirmed Wednesday that Ghostzapper will run in the Grade 1 Whitney Handicap on Aug. 7. A 1 1/8-mile race, the Whitney will be Ghostzapper's first start around two turns.

Ghostzapper won the Tom Fool Handicap on July 4 in his first start since winning the Grade 1 Vosburgh last September. The Tom Fool was run at seven furlongs; the Vosburgh at 6 1/2. Following the Tom Fool, Frankel indicated that he would point Ghostzapper to the seven-furlong Forego at Saratoga before stretching him out here in the fall.

But Frankel said he has been so impressed with how Ghostzapper came out of the Tom Fool that he believes now is the time to try him long.

"Watching him gallop and train, it's the best I've ever seen him since I've had him as far as how he's moving," Frankel said.

Frankel said Peace Rules, the Suburban winner, could run in the San Diego Handicap at Del Mar on Aug. 1 or simply train up to the Pacific Classic, also at Del Mar, on Aug. 22.

"I want to see what the San Diego looks like," Frankel said.

Dream Time out until late fall

Two-year-old filly Dream Time, an impressive debut winner here June 17, will miss most of the remainder of 2004 because of a stress fracture in her stifle, trainer Shug McGaughey said.

Dream Time, a full sister to the Grade 1 winner Finder's Fee, earned a 91 Beyer Speed Figure when winning her debut by one length over Darn That Girl, who came back to win her next start. McGaughey said he noticed a problem with Dream Time a few days after the race.

"She's laid up for 60 days," McGaughey said. "We'll try to get her back to the races before we go to Florida. We'll re-X-ray her in 30 days and take it from there. It was very disappointing, I was looking forward to running her up there."

Dream Time was pointing to next Wednesday's $150,000 Schuylerville, the opening-day stakes at Saratoga. A large field is shaping up for the race, including Angel Trumpet, Broadway Gold, Dressed for Succes, Extent, Lady Dynasty, Lady Glade, Partners Due, and Wild Chick. Also possible are Leona's Knight, Paragon Queen or Classic Elegance, and Quite a Ruckus.

Buy the Sport last in return

Buy the Sport, upset winner of last year's Grade 1 Gazelle Handicap, finished last in her 4-year-old debut Wednesday. She finished 13 3/4 lengths behind Where We Left Off in a classified allowance race on turf. Buy the Sport had not started since finishing fifth in last October's Breeders' Cup Distaff.

Buy the Sport enjoyed most of her success on dirt last year, but trainer Bobby Barbara couldn't find a dirt race to fill for Buy the Sport. After pressing the pace for a half-mile Wednesday, Buy the Sport retreated.

"Edgar [Prado] said she was a different horse than the one he breezed the other day," said Barbara, referring to Buy the Sport's five-furlong breeze in 59.80 seconds July 16. "When he says that, what else could it possibly be other than the turf course? To be embarrassed like that hurts."

Barbara, who trains Buy the Sport for Peter Minikes, said he would look to run Buy the Sport back on dirt, hopefully during the Saratoga meet.

Barbara and Minikes are also the connections of Grade 1 winner Indy Five Hundred, who has resumed training after losing her foal in June. Indy Five Hundred had been bred to Gone West.

Indy Five Hundred has had two three-furlong breezes and is likely to make a start at Saratoga as a prep for the Flower Bowl at Belmont in the fall, Minikes said.

* Snake Mountain, sidelined since March because of an injury, breezed three furlongs in 36.57 seconds Wednesday over the Belmont training track. It was his first work since April 2. Trainer Jimmy Jerkens said Snake Mountain - winner of the 2002 Stuyvesant, Queens County, and Aqueduct handicaps - could return to the races by the end of the Saratoga meet.

* Horsemen are reminded that the racing office will take entries Saturday for Saratoga's opening-day card next Wednesday.