04/29/2007 11:00PM

Bohannan, Anthony team up again


ELMONT, N.Y. - The Tom Bohannan-John Ed Anthony reunion tour will play New York this summer, hoping to rekindle some of the magic they had in the early 1990s when they campaigned Preakness winners Pine Bluff and Prairie Bayou.

Bohannan has seven horses stabled in Belmont Park's Barn 50 but will more than double that number in the coming weeks.

"I have three older horses that will be here within two weeks and seven 2-year-olds to bring up as they get ready," Bohannan said. "Two are pretty close."

Despite enjoying tremendous training for Anthony's Loblolly Stable in the 1990s, Bohannan quit training in 1998.

"My head wasn't in the right place, I just needed a break," Bohannan said.

Bohannan, 51, worked for his brother's golf course construction business for several years, but quit after the company merged with another outfit. Bohannan worked the 2006 Calder 2-year-old sales for a friend before receiving a call "out of the blue" from Anthony, who now races under the name Shortleaf Stable. Bohannan began working for Anthony that April and won with the first horse he saddled, Sea of Trees, in early May at Churchill Downs.

Bohannan stayed in Kentucky until the beginning of this year when he set up shop at Oaklawn Park in Hot Springs, Ark., where Anthony resides. Bohannan, who went 3 for 15 at Oaklawn, is hoping to remain in New York this year before going back to Oaklawn next January.

Sea of Trees, who finished third in the Grade 3 Kent Breeders' Cup at Delaware Park last fall, is being pointed to an allowance race this weekend at Belmont. Bohannan's other horses include First at Summer, a recent maiden winner at Oaklawn Park; Holla Bend, an unstarted 3-year-old son of Holy Bull; and Snow Stalker, an unstarted 3-year-old gelded son of Dynaformer. His 2-year-olds are by sires Sky Mesa, Yes It's True, Awesome Again, and Maria's Mon.

"We're not as big as we were years ago," Bohannan said, adding that Anthony "doesn't have as many broodmares as he used to have. But he's going to be modestly aggressive at the sales, start rebuilding, and see if we can get our program back.''

In 1992, Bohannan won the Preakness with Pine Bluff and the following year he won it again with Prairie Bayou, who finished second as the favorite to Sea Hero in the Kentucky Derby. Prairie Bayou suffered a fatal injury during the running of the Belmont Stakes.

Godolphin stables 18 at Belmont

Despite having just 10 horses here, Sheikh Mohammed's Godolphin Racing had an impressive 2006 campaign in New York, winning 10 races from 30 starters, including five stakes.

While two of its stars from a year ago - Discreet Cat and Ashkal Way - are sidelined, Godolphin has 18 horses stabled at Belmont, hoping to build on last year's success.

Godolphin will be represented by the Japanese-bred Utopia in Wednesday's Grade 3 Westchester Handicap. Utopia has not run since winning the 2006 Godolphin Mile at Nad al Sheba, after which he was purchased privately by Godolphin.

"He spent all last year in the UK," said Rick Mettee, the assistant trainer who oversees Godolphin's U.S. runners. "They had him pointed to a race in Hong Kong at the end of the year but something happened and he didn't make it. He came to us down at Payson Dec. 1. He's trained real well down at Payson; I'm real happy with him."

Songster, a multiple-stakes-winning sprinter in 2006, has been transferred from Sheikh Mohammed's Darley Stable and trainer Tom Albertrani to Godolphin. Mettee said Songster is likely to run in the Grade 3, $100,000 Bold Ruler Handicap on May 12.

Rondo, who won a maiden race by 9 1/4 lengths at Saratoga last July, won a first-level allowance race by 4 3/4 lengths at Gulfstream on April 18. He will likely be pointed to another allowance race.

Late last year, Godolphin purchased several 2-year-old winners, including Minefield, Blue Sky God, and Zada Bell. Now 3, all are now based at Belmont, as is La Presse, a 3-year-old Kentucky-bred filly who raced exclusively in Europe last year. Folk, a 3-year-old filly who won the UAE Oaks, arrived from Dubai on Saturday.

Meanwhile, Mettee said Discreet Cat, who won the Grade 1 Cigar Mile and Jerome handicaps last fall, is still recovering from a throat abscess discovered after he finished last in the Dubai World Cup. Mettee said Discreet Cat could ship to Belmont in mid-May with Day Pass, last year's Nashua winner who is now with Godolphin after racing for Darley last year.

Ashkal Way, who won the Bernard Baruch and Kelso in New York as well as the Grade 1 Citation at Hollywood Park, suffered a tendon injury in his right foreleg at Gulfstream and his future is unclear.

Garcia staying in New York

Coming off an extremely successful winter-spring in New York, jockey Alan Garcia has decided to stay in New York to ride the Belmont meet rather than return to Monmouth Park. Garcia was the fourth-leading rider at Monmouth last summer with 58 winners.

Garcia, 21, has already won 80 races in New York since Jan. 1 - third best behind Ramon Dominguez (92) and Eibar Coa (86). During the main-track meet, Garcia won 23 races - one behind the leader, Dominguez - and won Saturday's Withers and Sunday's Fort Marcy Handicap, both Grade 3 events.

Garcia is remaining in New York because he has the backing of Steve Sigler's Winning Move Stable - the leading owner in New York - and trainer Gary Contessa as well as trainers Kiaran McLaughlin and Tom Bush.

* Boca Grande, winner of the Comely Stakes on April 14, worked three furlongs in 36.46 seconds Sunday morning. Trainer Shug McGaughey said the 3-year-old filly would likely make her next start in the Grade 1 Acorn here on June 9.

* Showing Up, who got beat by a neck by Kip Deville in the Maker's Mark Mile at Keeneland on April 13, worked five furlongs in 1:01.76 over a good outer turf course Sunday at Belmont. Trainer Barclay Tagg is pointing him to the Grade 1 Manhattan here on June 9.

* Silver Wagon worked a pedestrian five furlongs in 1:06.01 on Sunday. Trainer Richard Dutrow Jr. said the horse broke off a bit slowly, but otherwise was pleased with the work and said the Carter winner remains on track for the Met Mile.