02/23/2007 12:00AM

Bishop Court Hill bound for Golden Shaheen


OZONE PARK, N.Y. - Bishop Court Hill, the Grade 1-winning gelding who has been the dominant sprinter here this winter, is going global. The 7-year-old son of Holy Bull has joined trainer Todd Pletcher's south Florida stable to prepare for the $2 million Dubai Golden Shaheen at Nad Al Sheba on March 31.

"Mr. Melnyk is attending the races in Dubai and felt like the way Bishop Court Hill has been running he deserved a chance," Pletcher said, referring to owner Eugene Melnyk. "We're going to take him over there and see what happens."

Bishop Court Hill won the Grade 1 Carter Handicap last April. This winter, he has taken the Grade 3 Gravesend and, most recently, the Paumonok Handicap.

Bishop Court Hill is very quick away from the gate and tends to get brave when able to secure an uncontested lead. The Golden Shaheen's six-furlong straightaway course could benefit him.

"I don't know if the straightaway is going to play to his advantage or not," Pletcher said. "He is very quick away from there, so there could be a situation where he's the first one out of there."

Pletcher is also planning to run Friendly Island in the Golden Shaheen and will have representatives in several of the other races on the Dubai World Cup program, though not the $6 million World Cup itself. He is pointing English Channel to the $5 million Dubai Duty Free. Host, who finished fourth in the Duty Free last year, could run in that race or the $5 million Dubai Sheema Classic. Pletcher said Honey Ryder, who runs in Saturday's Grade 1 Gulfstream Park Breeders' Cup Turf Handicap, could also run in the Sheema Classic.

Dominguez due back Wednesday

Jockey Ramon Dominguez was given clearance by his doctors on Friday to resume riding, and he is planning to return to action Wednesday, according to his agent, Steve Rushing.

According to Rushing, Dominguez had only bone bruising, but no ligament damage, in his right knee as the result of a spill here on Feb. 1. Rushing said Dominguez would begin getting on horses at the Fair Hill training center in Maryland on Saturday.

At the time of the spill, Dominguez was the leading rider at the inner-track meet. He has since been overtaken by Eibar Coa, who through Friday had 71 wins, 4 more than Dominguez.

Liquor Cabinet aims for New Orleans

Liquor Cabinet, the nine-length winner of the Grade 3 Aqueduct Handicap here on Jan. 20, worked six furlongs in 1:13.23 on Thursday morning at Aqueduct as he continues preparations for a start in the Grade 2, $500,000 New Orleans Handicap at Fair Grounds on March 10.

It was the fourth work for Liquor Cabinet since he won the Aqueduct, a race in which he earned a Beyer Speed Figure of 113.

"He's training very, very good, that horse," said Rudy Rodriguez, who worked the horse on Thursday. "He really surprised me the way he went. I really didn't want to go that fast, he just took me there. I wanted to go in 1:18 or 1:16."

Rodriguez said Liquor Cabinet may ship to New Orleans this week.

Candy Box stands in Livermore's way

Candy Box cruised to a 6 3/4-length victory in Thursday's $66,750 Stormy Krissy Stakes, spoiling the 4-year-old debut of Livermore Valley, who finished second.

Ridden by Mike Luzzi, Candy Box raced just off the flank of Secret Book until the five-sixteenths pole, when she began to open up and pull away. Candy Box covered the six furlongs in 1:11.45 and returned $9.60 as the second choice.

It was the fourth win from 12 career starts for Candy Box, a 5-year-old daughter of Running Stag bred and owned by Frank Stronach. She is trained by Bruce Levine.

Livermore Valley, the even-money favorite, was making her first start since Nov. 11 and did well to rally for second, 3 1/4 lengths ahead of Secret Book.

Contessa hits a triple

Trainer Gary Contessa won three races on Friday's card, giving him a meet-high 54 for the inner-track season. One of Contessa's victories came with Successful Affair ($3.40), who toted 127 pounds in winning a starter handicap as the 1-2 favorite.

Other Contessa winners were Fit Faze ($12.60) and Short Fuse Tara ($4.60).

Levine won two races on the card with Ocean Forest ($7.50) and Three Shots ($5.20). Levine ranks second in the trainer standings with 23 wins.