06/08/2005 11:00PM

Cash Is King in for the long haul

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Lost in the Fog will be a heavy favorite in Saturday's Grade 2 Riva Ridge. Approximately 30 tracks will raise money for pediatric cancer research by hosting Alex's Lemonade Stands.

ELMONT, N.Y. - The owners of Afleet Alex have had so much fun during this Triple Crown run, they hope to be players on this level for years to come.

Toward that end, the Cash Is King Stable has spent approximately $700,000 at auction on 2-year-olds this spring in hopes of finding of another Afleet Alex, the Preakness winner and the third-place finisher in the Kentucky Derby.

"We've reinvested our earnings into new horses, that's where we are today," said Chuck Zacney, the head of the five-person Cash Is King Stable. "We want to be in it for the next 20 years. Obviously, we got lucky from the beginning."

Afleet Alex, whom Cash Is King purchased for $75,000 last May, was the first horse this group acquired. The stable has grown to about 15 horses, including the promising 3-year-old filly Kelsey's Treasure. By Northern Afleet, the sire of Afleet Alex, Kelsey's Treasure won her maiden by 12 1/2 lengths at Delaware Park, earning a 106 Beyer Speed Figure, the day after Afleet Alex won the Preakness. She won an allowance race at Delaware on June 1 with an 88 Beyer.

Zacney said his group has 10 2-year-olds that will be running later this summer at Delaware Park, Monmouth Park, and Saratoga. Trainer Tim Ritchey is expected to take stalls at the Spa this summer.

Ritchey moves Alex to Barn 5

After New York Racing Association officials decided not to let the horses stabled in Barn 14 stay there until they had to report to the paddock, Ritchey asked if his horse could be moved to Barn 5, where he was originally scheduled to be stabled.

Thursday afternoon, Ritchey moved Afleet Alex, True North entrant Always Noble, and his stable pony to Barn 5, which is occupied by Randy Schulhofer. Last year, Smarty Jones was stabled in Barn 5. All Belmont Stakes horses must report to a race-day security barn by 11:30 a.m. Saturday. The security barns, which are closed to private vets, are Barns 8 and 23.

"The bottom line is that since Barn 14 was no longer a security barn and he would have to be moved on race day anyhow, I thought it would be a better situation in Barn 5," Ritchey said. "Since there were three stalls available there it worked out perfectly."

Among the horses stabled in Barn 14 are three from trainer Dale Romans. Romans had horses test positive for strangles last winter in south Florida.

Meanwhile, the New York Racing Association has come up with a plan to accommodate the overflow of horses that won't be able to fit into the race-day detention barns on Saturday. Horses running in races 3, 4, and 13 will have to report to Barn 1, the receiving barn, at their appointed times. Barn 1 will, in effect, serve as a race-day security barn on Saturday.

What's next for Afleet Alex, Lost in the Fog

Ritchey said Afleet Alex will get a well-deserved vacation after the Belmont, then will be pointed for major stakes of the late summer, such as the Haskell at Monmouth and the Travers at Saratoga.

"And somewhere along the line I want to get him on grass," Ritchey said. "He's got a great grass pedigree."

Afleet Alex, a son of Northern Afleet, is out of Maggy Hawk, a daughter of the top-class turf runner Hawkster.

Lost in the Fog, the nation's best 3-year-old sprinter, has been racing about once a month, a timetable trainer Greg Gilchrist says he wants to stick to following Saturday's Riva Ridge Stakes at Belmont Park.

Gilchrist said if all goes well, his ideal plan would be to run Lost in the Fog in the Carry Back Stakes at Calder on July 9, then the King's Bishop Stakes at Saratoga on Aug. 27. His year-end goal is the Breeders' Cup Sprint.

Strategy tops White Carnation

The regally bred Strategy looks well spotted to win her first stakes race on Saturday when she meets eight rivals in the $70,000 White Carnation Stakes. The 1 1/16-mile race is for fillies and mares who have not won an open stakes race in 2004-05.

Strategy is a daughter of A.P. Indy out of the mare Educated Risk, a multiple graded stakes winner. Strategy has won 3 of 10 starts, including a second-level allowance score on April 17 at Aqueduct.

Trainer Shug McGaughey had planned to run Strategy in the Pimlico Distaff on May 20, but the 4-year-old filly developed a quarter crack and missed a little time. McGaughey said the crack is patched and his filly has trained well for this.

"Any adjustments we needed to make we've been able to make," McGaughey said.

Prior to her allowance win, Strategy was beaten a half-length by a loose-on-the-lead Judy Soda on March 30. Judy Soda is back in this race, but is unclear whether she will get loose again.

"I hope there would be some pace where you don't have to try to make the race," McGaughey said.

After beating Strategy on March 30, Judy Soda finished third and then won a third-level allowance race.

"If she breaks well and they leave her alone a little bit the first part, she can be dangerous," trainer Tom Bush said. "She's come a long way. She's beautiful physically, too. She's put on a couple of hundred pounds the last few months."

Board Elligible won this race last year and then won the Montauk Handicap for New York-breds. After finishing sixth in the Affectionately Handicap on Jan. 15, Board Elligible was given a two-month freshening. She finished fifth in a classified allowance race at Philadelphia Park on May 15.

Madonna Lily returns to dirt after winning her last two on dirt. Storm Minstrel has never raced beyond six furlongs, but is bred to get the 1 1/16 miles. Trainer Mark Hennig said he may not run Storm Minstrel because the filly is the 120-pound highweight.

Many tracks have Alex's Lemonade Stands

Approximately 30 tracks across the country will have Alex's Lemonade Stands at their facilities on Saturday to raise money for pediatric cancer research.

The charity Alex's Lemonade Stand was founded in July 2000 by Alex Scott, who died last August at age 8 from childhood cancer. The owners of Afleet Alex, the winner of the Preakness Stakes, have donated a portion of the colt's earnings to Alex's Lemonade Stand after every one of Afleet Alex's races.

"She was a special little girl," said Ritchey, who trains Afleet Alex. "To have the awareness at age 4 to think about her fellow humans, that's amazing to me. We're happy and thankful we can be part of this cause and try to bring some awareness to the American public."

Many wagering opportunities

There will be a plethora of wagering opportunities on Saturday's 13-race card. The pick six, which begins on race 6, will have a guaranteed pool of $1 million as will a pick four that begins with race 8 and ends with the Belmont Stakes.

There will be a total of three pick fours, beginning in races 2, 8, and 10. Daily doubles will be offered beginning with races 1, 6, 8, 10, 11, and 12. Superfecta wagering will be offered on races 9, 10, 11, and 13.

Defer to have surgery

Defer, entered in Friday's Grade 3 Hill Prince, had to be scratched after being found to have a fracture of his cannon bone. Defer, who won last year's Grade 3 Laurel Futurity, was scheduled to be operated on by Dr. Stephen Selway on Friday. Two screws were to be inserted into Defer's right foreleg, according to McGaughey.

McGaughey said the prognosis is good for Defer, who, McGaughey hopes, can resume training in the fall.

Defer, a Phipps homebred and a son of Danzig, injured himself during a routine gallop on Thursday at Belmont.

* Argent Mortgage, which is sponsoring the Belmont Stakes, is donating $1,000 per race Saturday to the Belmont Child Care Association on behalf of the winners of each of the day's 13 races. The $13,000 will be donated to Anna House, an on-site child care facility at Belmont Park for families of backstretch workers.

- additional reporting by Karen M. Johnson and Jay Privman