Updated on 09/16/2011 8:54AM

Booklet only a maybe for Hooper


MIAMI - On Monday, trainer John Ward entered Booklet for Saturday's $100,000 Fred Hooper. But he and owner John Oxley are likely to wait until long after all the Christmas packages are opened before deciding whether Booklet will take on older, more experienced runners Best of the Rest and Sir Bear on their home track in the Grade 3 Hooper.

"We'll enter and take a look," Ward said. "What I don't want to do is take the heart out of him for $100,000 with a $1 million race staring us in the face next month."

Ward was referring to the $1 million Sunshine Millions Classic, which is his main goal for Booklet.

"I'm hoping to use the Hooper as a stepping-stone for the Sunshine Millions," said Ward. "But if I have to I can work him up to that race. I'm also not happy about the fact we've got to give a 7-year-old like Best of the Rest one pound with a 3-year-old. If they would have at least been even up I'd have been less offended."

Ward said Booklet worked five furlongs in "1:02 and change" on Sunday morning at Palm Beach Downs, where he is based this winter along with most of Ward's top horses.

Booklet, who will be ridden by Pat Day if he goes in the Hooper, was given six months off following a 12th-place finish in the Preakness. He won the Fountain of Youth Stakes at Gulfstream earlier in the year. He launched his comeback against allowance company at Churchill Downs on Nov. 19 with a three-quarter-length victory that earned him a career-high 111 Beyer Speed Figure.

Sky Mesa back on track this week

While Booklet is cranked up and ready to run, his undefeated 2-year-old stablemate Sky Mesa is ready to begin training for his 3-year-old campaign.

"He's been walking under tack and will go back to the track sometime this week," said Ward. "Right now I'd like to give him two races down here, probably the Fountain of Youth and Florida Derby, then one more start after we leave Florida prior to the Kentucky Derby."

Added Edge might go in Holy Bull

Sky Mesa isn't the only unbeaten Florida Derby and Kentucky Derby prospect training in south Florida this winter.

Trainer Mark Casse has an undefeated colt, Added Edge, stabled at Gulfstream preparing for a 3-year-old campaign that could begin with the Grade 3 Holy Bull Stakes on Jan. 18.

Added Edge closed out a perfect 2-year-old season with a victory in Aqueduct's Nashua Stakes. A son of Smart Strike owned by Team Valor Stables and Robert Wilson, Added Edge was voted a Sovereign Award as Canada's top 2-year-old colt or gelding in 2002.

Added Edge worked a half mile in 50 seconds at Gulfstream on Saturday in his first serious work since the Nashua.

"We're not really sure what we'll do with him first, although the Holy Bull is a possibility," said Casse. "He and Gigawatt are the two main reasons I'm down here this winter."

Gigawatt closed out his juvenile season by winning Woodbine's Display Stakes. He is currently on the farm in Ocala but is due in this week and likely will be pointed for a second-level allowance race at Gulfstream for his 3-year-old debut.

Deas hangs up his saddle

Eddie Deas, who has served as a gap attendant at Gulfstream for several years, is back at his post at the five-eighths gap again this winter after spending his 55th summer galloping horses at Saratoga.

"I've finally decided to hang up my helmet for good this time," Deas said. "I hurt my shoulder near the end of the Saratoga meet. Nothing serious but I decided I wouldn't want it to get any worse and ruin my golf game."

Deas worked for some of the most prominent trainers in the business during his five decades as an exercise rider. Among horses he galloped over the years were Kelso and 1971 Kentucky Derby winner Canonero II.

* Jockey Mark Guidry wasted little time making his presence felt upon shipping to south Florida for the winter, winning four races on Saturday's program including both ends of the late daily double. Guidry rode regularly at Gulfstream Park for the first time in 2002.

* Saturday's silent auction at Calder, held in conjunction with Laffit Pincay Jr. Day, raised $15,470 to benefit the Shoemaker Foundation and the Don MacBeth Memorial Jockey Fund. The highest bid, $6,000, went for the racing silks of Fred W. Hooper autographed by Pincay.