06/28/2006 12:00AM

Bushfire will start in Mother Goose


ELMONT, N.Y. - Bushfire will try to build on her resume as the nation's top 3-year-old filly when she runs in Saturday's $300,000 Mother Goose Stakes at Belmont Park. Though trainer Eddie Kenneally expressed some concern running Bushfire back just three weeks after her victory in the Grade 1 Acorn here June 10, he confirmed Wednesday that Bushfire would ship from Churchill Downs by plane Thursday.

"We're coming," Kenneally said. "We're going to give it a shot. She's doing really well. The race is very suitable for her. She likes the track, she likes the distance. My only concern is the timing of the race. I'd prefer it was four weeks instead of three."

In the Mother Goose, Bushfire will face Lemons Forever, who will be making her first start since upsetting the Kentucky Oaks at odds of 47-1. Trainer Dallas Stewart said Lemons Forever would be on the same plane as Bushfire.

The Oaks is Bushfire's only loss in her last four starts. She won the Florida Oaks at Tampa Bay Downs and came back 21 days later to win the Grade 1 Ashland. In the Kentucky Oaks, she was making a bid for the lead when she lugged in and bumped with another rival. Bushfire finished third, but was disqualified to sixth.

Bushfire was incredibly game in the Acorn. After dueling on the lead through fractions of 22.28 seconds and 45, Bushfire was passed by Hello Liberty in midstretch. But Bushfire, who was racing on the rail, came back and got her neck in front at the wire.

"It rarely happens when you go fast on the lead and you lose the lead, normally you don't come back and gain it again," Kenneally said. "That impressed me a whole lot."

Alex Solis rode Bushfire in the Acorn. Edgar Prado will ride her in the Mother Goose.

Others expected to run in the Mother Goose, run at 1 1/8 miles, are Pine Island, Ready to Please, She's Excellent, and Teammate. Joint Effort and Regal Engagement are both possible.

Bandini to miss Suburban Handicap

The Mother Goose shares top billing Saturday with the Grade 1 Suburban Handicap for 3-year-olds and up at 1 1/4 miles.

Bandini, a multiple graded stakes winner who most recently finished fourth in the Grade 1 Metropolitan Handicap, will be forced to miss the Suburban because of filling in his right foreleg. Trainer Todd Pletcher said he noticed the filling shortly after Bandini worked five furlongs in 1:01.14 Monday morning over the Belmont Park training track.

"Doesn't seem like anything too serious at this point," Pletcher said.

Pletcher had three other horses nominated to the Suburban, but said none will run.

Bandini's defection leaves Invasor as the starting highweight at 118 pounds. Invasor made an auspicious North American debut May 19, when he upset Wanderin Boy in the Grade 1 Pimlico Special. Invasor is 6 for 7 lifetime.

Invasor, owned by Shadwell Stable and trained by Kiaran McLaughlin, will get a rider switch from Ramon Dominguez to Fernando Jara. Jara rode Jazil to victory in the Belmont Stakes for Shadwell and McLaughlin. Dominguez has a commitment in Southern California.

McLaughlin said Invasor has continued to train well since the Pimlico Special.

"This is a tougher race than the Pimlico Special, but he's doing very well," he said.

Others expected to run in the Suburban are Tap Day, runner-up in last year's Suburban; Wild Desert, who won the 2005 Queen's Plate; Wilko, the 2004 Breeders' Cup Juvenile winner; Andromeda's Hero, the 2005 Belmont Stakes runner-up; Rathor, a winner of three straight; and Noble Causeway, the 2005 Florida Derby runner-up.

Classic winners wait out weather

Trainer Tom Albertrani postponed a scheduled Wednesday workout for Preakness winner Bernardini because of the rain, which left Belmont's main track muddy. Albertrani said Bernardini is still on schedule to make his next start in the $500,000 Jim Dandy Stakes at Saratoga on July 29.

Bernardini shows one recorded work since the Preakness, a five-furlong move clocked in 1:05.09 on June 19.

Jazil, the winner of the Belmont, also is likely to make his next start in the Jim Dandy. Jazil has not worked since the Belmont, but his trainer, McLaughlin, said he could work Saturday.

"He's training every day, and we're pointing to the Jim Dandy," McLaughlin said. "We could opt to train him up to the Travers. He hasn't worked because of the track."

The field for next Tuesday's Grade 2 Dwyer Stakes for 3-year-olds is expected to come up short. As of Wednesday, the only horses considered definite were Da Stoops and Strong Contender. Other possible horses are Keyed Entry, who is entered in the Jersey Shore Breeders' Cup at Monmouth Park on Saturday, and Doc Cheney and Regent Spirit, both of whom are trained by Nick Zito.

Relaxed Gesture to United Nations

Relaxed Gesture, beaten a neck by Cacique in the Grade 1 Manhattan Handicap, will make his next start in the Grade 1 United Nations Stakes at Monmouth Park on July 8, trainer Christophe Clement said Wednesday.

Clement said there were two reasons why he chose the U.N. over the $150,000 Bowling Green on July 15.

"One, it's a Grade 1," Clement said. "Two, it's $750,000."

Clement said he is extremely pleased with how Relaxed Gesture is doing right now.

"He looks the best he's looked in a long time," Clement said. "He looks very strong, very powerful."

Clement said Revved Up, who won a classified allowance race here Friday, will run in the Bowling Green. Revved Up, an 8-year-old gelded son of Sultry Song, has won 14 of 30 career starts. He has 7 wins in his last 10 starts; the three losses came by a total of one length.

Sir Halory bests Dr. Pleasure

While Dr. Pleasure still has some lessons to learn, Sir Halory is beginning to figure things out.

Sir Halory won his second straight race Wednesday, finding running room in upper stretch and running down Organizer in the final yards to win an entry-level allowance race by a half-length. Dr. Pleasure finished third, beaten 2 3/4 lengths.

Rudy Rodriguez rode Sir Halory for his third victory on the card. Sir Halory ran one mile in 1:36.35 and returned $12.60 to win. A 4-year-old son of Unbridled, Sir Halory is owned by Stonerside Stable and trained by Bobby Frankel. He is a half-brother to five stakes winners, including Blue Grass winner Halory Hunter.

* Jockey Chantal Sutherland broke an 0-for-44 skid (0 for 42 at Belmont) dating back to April 29 when she guided Shop Again ($5.10) to a maiden victory in Wednesday's fourth race.