06/09/2003 11:00PM

Bullet sends 'Attire' to Brooklyn


ELMONT, N.Y. - The hot rumor circulating throughout the Belmont Park backstretch Tuesday morning was that Evening Attire was going to run in an allowance race on Thursday. An even hotter workout turned in by Evening Attire put those rumors to rest.

Evening Attire blazed five furlongs in 58.65 seconds Tuesday over a lightning-fast Belmont main track and was confirmed by trainer Pat Kelly as a starter for Saturday's Grade 2, $250,000 Brooklyn Handicap. The work, with exercise rider Danny Vogt in the irons, equaled the fastest of 26 at the distance. Belmont's main track was fast enough to produce nine five-furlong workouts in under a minute.

"I didn't want to be the bullet; I was hoping Funny Cide would work again,'' joked trainer Pat Kelly, referring to last Tuesday when Evening Attire's five-furlong work in 59.47 seconds was overshadowed by Funny Cide's move in 57.82 seconds. `"Danny's very good. When he says he's ready, he's ready.''

Kelly had Evening Attire entered in last Saturday's Grade 1 Manhattan Handicap in case the race was moved to the main track. That did not happen. So, the Brooklyn will represent Evening Attire's first start since he won the off-the-turf Red Smith Handicap last Nov. 23 at Aqueduct. Evening Attire also won the Jockey Club Gold Cup last year.

Though it is only worth one-third of the purse of the Stephen Foster Handicap, run the same day at Churchill Downs, the Brooklyn is expected to draw a terrific field. Breeders' Cup Classic winner Volponi, Donn Handicap winner Harlan's Holiday, and Metropolitan Handicap runner-up Saarland will join Evening Attire in the gate. El Gran Papa and Iron Deputy are the other definites, with Puzzlement listed as a possible.

Kelly had hoped to run Evening Attire in the Massachusetts Handicap this weekend at Suffolk Downs. But track management scrapped the Mass 'Cap due to budget cuts. Kelly is using the Brooklyn to get Evening Attire ready for the Grade 1 Suburban Handicap July 5. The Suburban is run at 10 furlongs, a distance that is more suitable to Evening Attire than the nine furlongs of the Brooklyn.

"He handles the longer distances,'' Kelly said. "If he had needed more time to get to the Suburban I might have entered the [allowance] race. He put on weight on his vacation. He's a very genuine horse. I hope he gets a little better - you never know.''

Ward horses in rapid works

Forest Secrets, the 2001 Acorn winner, was one of two horses who shared the bullet five-furlong workout time Tuesday morning with Evening Attire. Parhelion, a German-bred 3-year-old maiden winner owned by Godolphin, was also given the same time for five furlongs.

Forest Secrets, owned by Debby Oxley and trained by John Ward, is trying to return to her graded-stakes-winning form after missing nine months due to injury. In her only start this year, Forest Secrets finished third in the Madison Stakes at Keeneland. Forest Secrets is nominated to the Grade 1 Ogden Phipps Handicap on June 21, but is more likely to show up in an allowance race.

Hero's Tribute, who won the Grade 2 Gulfstream Park Handicap, worked five furlongs in 59.52 seconds Tuesday. It was his first work since finishing eighth in the Grade 1 Pimlico Special on May 16. He is nominated to Saturday's Brooklyn, but is unlikely to run.

"For a first work back he was on the muscle today,'' said Donna Ward, assistant to and wife of John Ward. ``"We want to get his lungs good and clean and make sure he's good and healthy before we run him. That last race wasn't him.''

Dynever, Colita aimed at Dwyer

Dynever, who finished fourth as the third choice in the Belmont Stakes, returned to the track Tuesday morning for a light jog. Trainer Christophe Clement said he would point Dynever to the Grade 2, $150,000 Dwyer Stakes at Belmont on July 6.

"I will work him in eight or nine days, and as long as the work is satisfactory the Dwyer will be under consideration,'' Clement said.

Another horse being pointed to the Dwyer is Colita, a recent allowance winner who was under consideration for the Belmont Stakes until a week before the race. Colita won a second-level allowance on May 21, but did not recover quickly enough to make the Belmont, his connections said.

Trainer Carlos Morales said he and Colita's owners, which include Barry Irwin's Team Valor syndicate, elected to skip this weekend's Leonard Richards at Delaware Park. "The owner's scared a little bit about the track,'' said Morales, noting that horses usually do better at Delaware with a race over the track. "He's already proven he runs good with time off.''

Several options for Mariensky

Mariensky, who won the Sheepshead Bay and the Just a Game handicaps one week apart, will not race this weekend, said her trainer, Clement. Instead, she will be pointed to either the New York Handicap here on July 4 or the Robert G. Dick Memorial at Delaware on July 19.

Clement said he was not afraid to run Mariensky back in the Just a Game on just six days' rest, because "she handles soft ground so well and she looked great, and came back very well. She came back very well from the Just a Game this weekend too.''

Clement had planned to run Voodoo Dancer in the Just a Game provided the ground was good or firm. Now, Clement will most likely point Voodoo Dancer to the Locust Grove Handicap on June 28 at Churchill Downs, which would serve as a prep for the Grade 1 Diana Handicap at Saratoga on July 26.

Voodoo Dancer on Tuesday breezed four furlongs in 47.65 seconds at Belmont.

Zenda adds to Frankel's depth

As if he needed another good filly and mare turf horse in the barn, Bobby Frankel sent out the Group 1 winning mare Zenda for a three-furlong workout in 38.65 seconds Tuesday morning. Zenda, a Juddmonte Farms 4-year-old homebred, won the Group 1 Poule d'Essai des Pouliches at Longchamp last May.

She was beaten a neck in the Coronation Stakes at Ascot last June and was beaten a neck by Riskaverse in the Grade 1 Queen Elizabeth at Keeneland in October. Trained by John Gosden then, Zenda finished eighth in the Breeders' Cup Filly and Mare Turf.