06/07/2002 12:00AM

Brooklyn next for Free of Love


ELMONT, N.Y. - Free of Love, who captured his first stakes when he took the Westchester Handicap here on opening day, will seek to make it two straight when he runs in Saturday's $250,000 Brooklyn Handicap, trainer Rick Violette confirmed Friday.

Violette also considered running Free of Love in the Baltimore Breeders' Cup Handicap at Pimlico the same day.

Violette, explaining why he elected to keep Free of Love in New York for the Grade 2 Brooklyn, said: "It's more the depth of the field. This Fleet Is Due is not running, Volponi is not running.

E Dubai is coming off a September layoff, so it might be the right time to attack E Dubai."

E Dubai, who won the Dwyer over this track last July, has not raced since September when he finished second in the Grade 1 Super Derby at Louisiana Downs. E Dubai and multiple stakes winner Graeme Hall figure to be the top horses in the Brooklyn field.

Others being pointed to the nine-furlong race are Country Be Gold, Dayton Flyer, Griffinite, Runspastum, and Seeking Daylight. A Fleets Dancer, Bowman's Band, and Open Sesame are listed as possible runners.

On Tuesday, Free of Love worked a bullet five furlongs in 1:00.30, his second straight strong workout.

"If he could be doing better, I don't know how," Violette said. "He does like the racetrack. His last three races here have been huge."

Violette said he has not finalized a jockey for Free of Love.

Flying Dash to prep in Hill Prince

With an eye on next month's $500,000 Virginia Derby at Colonial Downs, trainer Neil Drysdale will send out his top 3-year-old turf horse Flying Dash in next Saturday's $150,000 Hill Prince Stakes. Drysdale chose the Hill Prince over the Jefferson Cup at Churchill Downs because it would have meant too much shipping for Flying Dash, he said.

Flying Dash, a German-bred, is 2 for 2 in this country, with wins in the Transylvania Stakes at Keeneland on April 5 and the Grade 3 Hawthorne Derby on May 11. He began his career in Germany, where he was a Group 2 winner under trainer Hans Blume.

In the Hawthorne Derby, he overcame a dawdling pace and an extremely soft turf course to win by three lengths going away.

"He won quite easily," said Drysdale, who plans on using the Hill Prince as a prep for the July 13 Virginia Derby. "He's doing well."

Among those expected to run in the Hill Prince are European shipper Inesperado, Regal Sanction, Rum Splasher, Smoked Em, and Van Minister. Miesque's Approval is possible.

Holiday Runner wins, Astoria next

Holiday Runner remained undefeated Thursday by holding off the furious late charge of Miss Mary Apples to win the $81,050 Fashion Stakes by a head. It was 7 1/4 lengths back to Milliondollarbaby in third.

Holiday Runner, who defeated colts in the Three Chimneys Juvenile at Churchill on Derby Day, is now 3 for 3 for trainer D. Wayne Lukas and owner Stephen Barberino. Sent off the 1-5 favorite, Holiday Runner returned $2.60 after covering five furlongs in 58.26 seconds over a fast track.

Under Jerry Bailey, Holiday Runner dueled inside of La Violette through fractions of 21.46 seconds and 45.14 before putting her away leaving the three-sixteenths pole. Miss Mary Apples, under Jorge Chavez, came running at Holiday Thunder late, but ran out of ground.

On Friday, Lukas said Holiday Runner came out of the race "excellent," and is expected to return in the $100,000 Astoria Stakes June 30.

Lukas noted Friday that Holiday Runner had already put away one opponent before Miss Mary Apples took a run at her.

"These fillies at this stage are not used taking heat like that," Lukas said. "We took the heat and put that filly away and she got on cruise control and didn't see [Jorge] Chavez's filly."

Lukas said Holiday Runner would remain in New York to train.

$103 upset in steeplechase

Sharp Face, at 50-1, on Thursday won an extremely eventful running of the $105,100 Meadowbrook, a steeplechase race.

Ten horses started in the Grade 1 Meadowbrook, but only five crossed the finish line. Storm Touch, Equistar, and Mcdynamo fell at fences. Yonder was pulled up and didn't complete the 2 1/2-mile race, which had 12 jumps. Dixie's Crown left the course.

None of the riders or horses were seriously injured.

Sharp Face ($103) stormed past the pacesetter and favorite, Anofferucantrefuse, in the final yards for a one-length victory. Najjm finished third. The final time was 4:37.32 over a firm course.

Chip Miller rode Sharp Face, who is owned by Mrs. Eugene Dixon Jr. and trained by Jack Fisher.

The stewards posted an inquiry to determine if Storm Touch, who continued running with the field after he lost his rider at the first fence, impeded the other runners, but took no action.

The Meadowbrook was the final leg of the steeplechase triple crown for novice jumpers. Sharp Face didn't fare well in the first two legs. He left the course in the Hard Scuffle at Churchill and finished fifth in the Joe Aitcheson at Pimlico.

Mcdynamo won the Hard Scuffle and Anofferucantrefuse captured the Aitcheson.

Candlin lights it up again

For the second time this meet, trainer John Candlin lit up the toteboard at Belmont. He sent out Stimson House, who won Thursday's second race by a neck at 72-1, returning $146.50.

On May 16, Candlin saddled Easter Liturgy to victory, and she returned $96.50.

Stimson House, a 4-year-old son of Signal Tap, was making his 11th career start, fourth for Candlin. In his three prior starts for Candlin, Stimson House was beaten a combined

40 3/4 lengths. Those races were in sprints and Thursday's race was run at 1 1/16 miles.

Candlin has four stalls at Aqueduct, but trains the majority of his horses at Aratrack Farm in Saugerties, N.Y., where he works with his wife, Tammy, a former jockey.

- additional reporting by Karen M. Johnson