03/15/2004 12:00AM

Birdstone will face lots of competition


The probable field for the Lane's End Stakes grew considerably larger over the weekend, although Birdstone still figures to be a huge favorite in the Grade 2 race at Turfway Park on Saturday.

As of Monday, officials at the Florence, Ky., track expected nine to 12 3-year-olds for the $500,000 Lane's End, including Birdstone and local standout Silver Minister.

Joining the list of probables are Stolen Time, trained by Bill Mott, who would be running back in only 13 days off a sixth-place finish in the Louisiana Derby, his 2004 debut; Tales of Glory, a Todd Pletcher-trained colt who would be making his first start since early December; That's an Outrage, a California-based colt trained by Mike Puhich; and New Element, a Ronny Werner-trained colt who was expected to arrive early in the week from Fair Grounds.

Also, owner Ernie Paragallo and trainer Jennifer Pedersen are considering running either Song of the Sword or Redskin Warrior in the Lane's End. Both were to work Tuesday at Aqueduct. Paragallo and Pedersen won the Lane's End last year in an upset with New York Hero.

The Lane's End field also might include any of the following: Little Matth Man, Hasslefree, Sinister G, Tap Dancing Mauk, Tricky Taboo, Rockhewn, and Revolver Six. At least a few of the lesser-accomplished prospects probably will run instead in one of the secondary Saturday features, the $100,000 Rushaway Stakes, a 1 1/16-mile race for 3-year-olds.

Birdstone, who will be ridden by Jerry Bailey in the 1 1/8-mile Lane's End, was scheduled to arrive at Keeneland early this week from south Florida.

Silver Minister, who swept all three of Turfway's preps for the Lane's End, had his final pre-race workout Sunday, going an easy five furlongs in 1:03.80 over a fast track at his Louisville Trackside base.

The Lane's End is the focus of what always is the biggest day of the Turfway winter-spring meet. Besides the Lane's End and Rushaway, three other stakes will be run on the card: the Bourbonette Breeders' Cup, the Queen Stakes, and the Hansel Stakes. Chartered flights were scheduled to transport horses from California on Wednesday and from Florida on Thursday.

Class Above, a 16-length winner of the Kentucky Cup Juvenile Fillies here last fall for trainer Bob Baffert, towers over the field in the $150,000 Bourbonette.

Entries for all five races will be drawn Thursday.

The Lane's End and Rushaway will be televised live by ESPN2 on a one-hour show beginning at 3:30 p.m. Eastern. First post is 12:30.

Bejarano's excellent weekend

Jockey Rafael Bejarano had an uncanny weekend at Turfway, setting two records that figure to stand for a long time.

Bejarano rode seven winners on the 12-race Friday night program, breaking the record of six that he co-held with Kris Prather. Bejarano rode six winners on a card earlier at the meet, while Prather did it in 2001.

Bejarano rode five more winners Saturday, including his 112th of the winter-spring meet aboard Ask the Lord in the Tejano Run Stakes. The old record of 111 was set last year by Jason Lumpkins.

Bejarano won four more races Sunday, giving him 16 for the three-day weekend. Going into the Wednesday card, Bejarano's win total of 118 is tops among all North American jockeys this year.