04/18/2002 11:00PM

Cashel Castle headed to Derby Trial


CICERO, Ill. - The undefeated 3-year-old Cashel Castle will race in the Derby Trial at Churchill Downs next weekend, provided he completes his training for the race, including a final breeze scheduled for Tuesday, to the satisfaction of trainer Chris Block.

"If everything goes well the next six days, we plan on running there," said Block, who is at Keeneland this weekend to saddle a pair of starters.

Cashel Castle ran his record to five wins from five starts at Keeneland on April 7, taking the Grade 3 Lafayette Stakes by almost five lengths. It was Cashel Castle's second win in a stakes and first in a graded stakes. A Silver Ghost colt, Cashel Castle has won his races by a combined 28 3/4 lengths.

"He was a little tired after his race, but he's good," said Block, who sent Cashel Castle back to his Chicago base after the Lafayette. Cashel Castle worked an easy half-mile at Hawthorne on April 17.

Right now, Block isn't looking past the Derby Trial, which at a mile would be Cashel Castle's longest race. "We're taking it one race at a time," Block said. "If he were to come out of his next race okay, we have some decisions to make. Do we try to stretch him out, or do we keep him around one turn?"

Two sprints top Sunday card

A 3-year-old filly allowance sprint and a second-level allowance sprint for older horses headline the Sunday card here.

Cades Cove, who could be favored in the filly race, was one of the sharper winners seen here this meet. She returned from a long layoff to win her maiden over Illinois-breds April 2 by almost 14 lengths, rushing out of the gate to set an exceptionally fast pace that seemed to take little out of her for the stretch run.

"She's a pretty nice filly," said Tom Dorris, who trains Cades Cove for Tom and Robert Dew. Dorris was high on the filly last summer at Arlington, but she suffered from sore shins when she was badly beaten in two starts at that meet and wound up cracking a cannon bone in September.

A long break from racing allowed the fracture to heal, and Cades Cove apparently has come back no worse from wear. Handicappers will fear a bounce from Cades Cove, a somewhat slight filly, in her second start back, but Dorris said he sees no signs of regression. Cades Cove faces open company this race, but breaks from the advantageous rail post and can make the early lead again. "Speed and the rail," Dorris said. "That's what you want here."

o In Sunday's third race, Ioya Forever, sister to turf stakes winners Ioya Two and Mystery Giver, makes her career debut in a six-furlong maiden race.