11/20/2006 1:00AM

Bullet work for Discreet Cat

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OZONE PARK, N.Y. - Godolphin Stable's Discreet Cat, who has won all five of his lifetime starts as much the best, tuned up for Saturday's Cigar Mile with a bullet workout over Belmont's main track Sunday morning.

Discreet Cat worked five furlongs in 59.10 seconds on a fast track, the fastest of 34 workouts at the distance, and remained on target for his first Grade 1 test in the Cigar Mile. He is expected to meet Badge of Silver, the Cigar Mile runner-up in 2004; Dixie Meister, last-out winner of the Grade 2 Californian; Silver Train, winner of this year's Metropolitan Mile and last year's Breeders' Cup Sprint; and Mantoloking.

"He went really well," said Rick Mettee, Godolphin's New York trainer. "He galloped out six furlongs [in 1:11.40]. I'm looking forward to the race because he's facing a good bunch of older horses that all run good numbers on their best day. I'm glad he's going to be pushed. I just hope the track is dry and in good shape."

Unraced since winning the Grade 2 Jerome Breeders' Cup Handicap by more than 10 lengths on Oct. 1, Discreet Cat was pre-entered in the Breeders' Cup Classic but was withdrawn before entries were taken.

"This is the spot he belongs," said Mettee. "We had to do right by the horse."

Garrett Gomez, who rode Purge to an upset win in the Cigar Mile last year, will be in from California to ride Discreet Cat.

Also working Sunday for Mettee was Ashkal Way, winner this year of the Fourstardave and Kelso handicaps. Ashkal Way, who was scheduled to travel on Tuesday to run in Friday's Grade 1 Citation at Hollywood Park, breezed a half-mile on the main track in 50.14 seconds.

"I backed off him after the Kelso, and now he's got about seven weeks between starts," said Mettee. "It's going to be a 14-horse field and obviously he's going to need a little bit of luck. If he has a clean trip, I think he'll be in the top three."

No Cigar for Awesome Twist

Awesome Twist will pass the Cigar Mile, after working a slow half-mile in 52.04 seconds on Sunday for trainer John Kimmel, a work ranked 102nd out of 105 at the distance.

"I wasn't happy with it," said Kimmel. "A shoe fell off and he kind of breezed pedestrian. I've been pretty hard on him this year, and I'm thinking I'd like to give him a little more time before he runs again."

Kimmel said that Premium Tap, third in the Breeders' Cup Classic, will run in Saturday's Grade 1 Clark Handicap at Churchill Downs.

Imbriale to call winter meet

John Imbriale, who retired from the New York Racing Association in 2005, will return as Aqueduct's winter announcer in 2007.

Imbriale will begin calling races on Jan. 4 and continue through March. 31. He replaces Larry Collmus, who called the last two Aqueduct winter meets and who will call the races at Gulfstream Park this winter.

"I am very excited about working back at Aqueduct," said Imbriale. "I have a lot of fond memories, and I look forward to seeing some old friends."

Tom Durkin will continue to call the races through New Year's Day, and return in April.

"It's a luxury to have guys like Durkin and Imbriale living in the same area code," said NYRA senior vice president Bill Nader.

Bridgmohan returning to Big A

After finishing the meet at Churchill Downs this week, Shaun Bridgmohan will return to New York to ride this winter, beginning on Nov. 29.

Bridgmohan, who went 6 for 9 on the inner track back on Feb. 15, 1998 and won the Eclipse Award as top apprentice that year, will be represented by Drew Mollica, who has been the agent for Jose Santos this season. Santos's new agent will be Maurice Farias.

"Jose is a consummate gentleman and a great guy, and we had a great, great run - it was a great year," said Mollica. "I'm excited about this opportunity. Shaun has a good history here."