02/09/2007 12:00AM

Boca Grande on target for Bonnie Miss

Email

HALLANDALE BEACH, Fla. - Trainer Shug McGaughey had mentioned but never confirmed Saturday's Davona Dale Stakes as a possible launching point for Boca Grande's 3-year-old campaign. So the Hall of Fame horseman said it should not have surprised anyone that he decided not to enter his very promising 3-year-old filly, as many had expected, in the Grade 3 race.

"I was just waiting to see how she was at that point, and I just wasn't completely satisfied where we were at," McGaughey said. "She breezed a little quicker than I thought she should a couple of times. Maybe she was just having trouble getting used to this track. Whatever the reason, I just couldn't get a good line on her, and I didn't want to do anything stupid by bringing her back too soon."

Boca Grande, a homebred daughter of Country Hideaway by A.P. Indy, captured 2 of 3 starts at 2 for her owner the Phipps Stable, including a 3 3/4-length victory in the Grade 2 Demoiselle at 1 1/8 miles on Nov. 25.

"I'll breeze her Saturday, and if all is well I'll try to find a spot for her," said McGaughey. "If not, I can train her right up to the Bonnie Miss."

The Grade 2 Bonnie Miss, the premier event for juvenile fillies at the meet, will be run March 3.

McLaughlin: Jazil ran into a buzz saw

Trainer Kiaran McLaughlin summed up Belmont Stakes winner Jazil's second-place finish behind Corinthian in Thursday's co-feature in just six words: "We ran into a real buzz saw."

Jazil, making his second start since missing the second half of his 3-year-old campaign because of a bruised hind cannon bone, made a quick move from the back of the pack to join the leaders exiting the backstretch of the second-level optional claiming and allowance race. But after taking up briefly inside Corinthian midway on the second turn, Jazil was no match for the winner, who drew off to a convincing 9 1/2-length victory while coming within 0.25 of a second of Brass Hat's 1 1/8-mile track record.

"The winner was awesome," said McLaughlin. "Jazil had to lay a little closer and move a little sooner because of the pace, but we really don't have a lot of excuses for this one. We were second-best. But overall I was happy with my horse's performance."

Jazil is being pointed for the Gradeo2 Gulfstream Park Handicap on March 3.

Corinthian earns 106 Beyer

Corinthian, who received a career-best Beyer Speed Figure of 106 for his victory on Thursday, may also return in the Gulfstream Park Handicap, according to trainer James Jerkens.

"We'll see how he comes out of this one, but we've got three weeks to the race," said Jerkens, who trains Corinthian for Centennial Farms. "And he is undefeated over this racetrack. Well, sort of."

Jerkens was referring to the fact that Corinthian crossed the wire first but was disqualified and placed third in last year's Fountain of Youth.

The headstrong and often skittish Corinthian suffered a hairline fracture of his left hind ankle in the Fountain of Youth. He made only one more start the remainder of the year after contracting a bad skin disease last summer at Saratoga.

"I thought he was a little more mature in the paddock and on the racetrack this time than he was last year," said Jerkens. "I sent him out without a pony for this one, but that's an issue I have to address because I don't think I can get away with that when he runs at some of those tracks up north later in the season."

Dubai-bound Premium Tap works fast

Premium Tap worked five furlongs in 59.61 seconds under jockey Joe Bravo after the second renovation break here Friday. The two-time Grade 1 winner and third-place finisher in the 2006 Breeders' Cup Classic was scheduled to depart on Saturday for Saudi Arabia, where he is slated to make his next start in the Kings Cup on Feb. 16.

Premium Tap went in fractions of 23.99 and 35.44 before galloping out six furlongs in 1:11.99 over a fast track.

Premium Tap was purchased privately by Saudi interests shortly after closing out his 2006 campaign with an easy victory in the Grade 1 Clark Handicap at Churchill Downs. He is being pointed for the $6 million Dubai World Cup on March 31.

Diabolical works; return imminent

Diabolical was last seen in the afternoon extending Breeders' Cup Sprint winner and Eclipse Award champion Thor's Echo before losing a tough decision in the Grade 1 De Francis Memorial at Laurel on Nov.o25. But he was seen in the morning here Wednesday, working four furlongs in 46.80 as he gets closer to his 2007 debut.

"He's about ready, and right now I'm thinking about bringing him back in the Richter Scale," said trainer Steve Klesaris. "Although I haven't ruled out the General George at Laurel just yet."

The Grade 2 Richter Scale at seven furlongs will be run here on March 3.