01/22/2004 12:00AM

Burning Roma is cranked for Super


OLDSMAR, Fla. - Millionaire Burning Roma will makes his 2004 debut as the probable favorite in Saturday's $60,000 Super Stakes, Now 6, Burning Roma retains a zest for competition and an eagerness to train, much as he did while preparing for the Tampa Bay Derby here in 2001, according to his trainer, Heather Giglio.

"He's still likes to train and is in good shape physically," Giglio said from her Ocala headquarters. "He's never been the kind of horse who needed to be pushed; his personality is such that he likes to train, likes to compete. We shipped down and worked him the other day and he looked like he still likes the Tampa strip."

Burning Roma worked five furlongs in 1:01, the best of 17 at the distance on the day.

Burning Roma, a son of Rubiano who has won 11 of 28 lifetime starts and earned $1,324,037, is the likely favorite in a full field of 14 in the seven-furlong feature. He carries 116 pounds and rider Jesus Castanon.

There are several in the field capable of pulling off an upset.

Heading the list is Above the Wind, who upset a strong group in the Pelican Stakes at 65-1, then came back and won the prep for Saturday's race to make his record here 2 for 2. Both wins came at the expense of Secret Romeo, a 22-time winner who was beaten a length in the Pelican and a half-length in the Super prep. Trainer Gerald Bennett takes the blinkers off Secret Romeo on Saturday, and T.D. Houghton returns to ride at 116 pounds. Federico Mata will ride Above the Wind at 122 pounds.

Another interesting entrant is Boston Fox, who has run at four different tracks in his last eight races and won a restricted stakes at Delta Downs last time out. Vernon Bush will be aboard Boston Fox for trainer George Handy.

Whos Crying Now, winner of two of his last three starts, all in allowance company at Calder, tries stakes-level competition again for trainer Manny Tortora.

Last year, the late-running Whos Crying Now finished second here in a stakes on Florida Cup Day. He also ran second in the Unbridled and Royal Glint Stakes at Calder before being sidelined in July.