06/25/2002 11:00PM

Cashier's Dream has intestinal surgery

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ELMONT, N.Y. - On the day Cashier's Dream was to have been flown to New York to prepare for next Saturday's Grade 1 Prioress Stakes, she was instead fighting for her life in the Hagyard-Davidson-McGee equine clinic in Lexington, Ky., following intestinal surgery.

Cashier's Dream, winner of last year's Grade 1 Spinaway, had eight to 10 feet of her small intestine removed Tuesday afternoon, after she colicked following a five-furlong workout at Churchill Downs. Cashier's Dream had a significant twist of her lower intestine, and Dr. Mike Spirito performed the surgical procedure, which took 30 minutes, three times longer than normal.

"She is recuperating at this time uneventfully,'' said Dr. Doug Byars, who did the initial evaluation of Cashier's Dream. "While I say uneventfully, she is not out of the woods. She took a pretty good hit. We need to see her continue to progress over the next few days.''

Byars said the 72-hour period beginning Wednesday morning would be crucial in determining Cashier's Dream's prognosis.

Tuesday, Cashier's Dream worked five furlongs in 1:01.80 at Churchill Downs. About 75 minutes later, trainer Steve Asmussen called Barry Irwin, president of Team Valor Racing, which owns the filly along with Bill Heiligbrodt, to notify him the filly had colicked.

"The [doctor] said a lot of her ability to survive this thing is going to be dependent on how much guts and class she's got,'' Irwin said. "He said, 'I think you're going to be in good shape.' ''

Cashier's Dream, a Michigan-bred daughter of Service Stripe, has won 5 of 7 starts, most recently taking a head victory in the Grade 3 La Troienne at Churchill Downs on May 2.

Irwin said Cashier's Dream was scheduled to run only three more times this year with two of those spots being the Prioress and the Test, which is now out. Irwin said that if Cashier's Dream recovers, she would race again next year.

"We put her in the same league as Xtra Heat,'' Irwin said, referring to the 3-year-old filly champion. "There are plenty of races for her as an older horse. We're not going to retire her and breed her if she makes it.''

Cashier's Dream would have been the favorite in the Prioress, the only Grade 1 for 3-year-old fillies run at six furlongs. Expected to run are A New Twist, Carson Hollow, Drippingindiamonds, Nice Boots Baby, Proper Gamble, September Secret, Short Note, Spring Meadow, Vesta, and Wilzada.

Private Emblem arrives for Mike Lee

While Cashier's Dream remained in Kentucky, her stablemate Private Emblem arrived in New York, where he will be favored to win Saturday's $100,000 Mike Lee Handicap for New York bred 3-year-olds.

The Mike Lee is the first leg of the Big Apple Triple, which includes the $125,000 New York Derby at Finger Lakes on July 27 and the $150,000 Albany Handicap on Aug. 21 at Saratoga. There is a $250,000 bonus for the horse that can sweep all three races.

Private Emblem had won three straight races, including the Arkansas Derby, before his disappointing 14th-place finish in the Kentucky Derby.

"After the Derby we were very worried about him because he was pretty knocked out,'' Asmussen said. "But, he's breezed back pretty impressively.''

Private Emblem has had four breezes since the Derby, including a half-mile move in 48.20 seconds on Tuesday.

A large field is expected for the seven-furlong Mike Lee, including Beyond Chance, Eye of the Comet, Knight at Rao's, Lord Ofthe Thunder, Mr. Determined, No Parole, Rogue Agent, Say Cousin Lenny, Smokieisabandit, and Trial Prep.

Pletcher has two for Tremont

Trainer Todd Pletcher will send out the uncoupled entry of Hussar and Windsor Lodge in Saturday's Grade 3, $100,000 Tremont Stakes for juvenile colts.

Hussar was most impressive winning his debut by 5 1/4 lengths on June 16 while covering five furlongs in 57.45 seconds over a muddy track.

"I don't think you ever expect one to win by five and run in 57-and-change but he did everything right in the morning,'' Pletcher said.

Windsor Lodge was also impressive winning his maiden by 4 1/2 lengths, defeating Whywhywhy, who came back to win the Flash Stakes on June 7. Windsor Lodge was also in the Flash, but fell over Renegade Warrior, who broke down nearing the stretch.

Pletcher said Windsor Lodge came out of the Flash with only a few scrapes and is running back in this spot because "he's the kind of horse whose best days are going to be this summer and at these distances. His pedigree is such that you wouldn't be thinking about the Breeders' Cup, so we're going to take advantage of the fact he's developed early.''

Zavata, a stablemate of Whywhywhy, is expected to be the favorite in the Tremont. Wednesday, he breezed four furlongs in 51.92 seconds over the Saratoga training track. Desert Warrior and White Mercedes are also considered definite.

Yankee Gentleman aimed at Dwyer

Yankee Gentleman, who finished fourth as the favorite in the Riva Ridge, worked seven furlongs in 1:27.65 Wednesday over Belmont's main track in preparation for the July 7 Dwyer Stakes. He got his last quarter in 23.25 seconds.

Mott said the Dwyer will play a major role in determining Yankee Gentlemen's future. Last week, Yankee Gentlemen worked four furlongs in 49.25 seconds on the turf.

"He worked awfully well on turf,'' trainer Bill Mott said. "He's got that foot."

Others pointing to the Dwyer include Buddha, Deputy Dash, Essayons, Gygistar, and Nothing Flat. Tony Reinstedler may run Peekskill or Stephentown.