01/28/2008 12:00AM

Cave's Valley aims to rebound off clunker


OZONE PARK, N.Y. - Cave's Valley will seek to rebound from his first career defeat, suffered last month, and hopefully put himself on the Triple Crown trail when he runs in Saturday's $75,000 Whirlaway Stakes at Aqueduct.

After winning his first three starts - including a pair of two-turn stakes at Delaware Park - to begin his career, Cave's Valley finished seventh as the second choice in the $1 million Delta Jackpot last month at Delta Downs.

Michael Trombetta, the trainer of Cave's Valley, said jockey Ramon Dominguez told him the horse didn't seem to handle the Delta Downs surface.

"He could tell right away he was struggling," Trombetta said Monday by phone from Maryland. "It's a heavier surface and they treat it completely different. They work real hard to pack it and roll it, and it's different than what we're used to."

Trombetta said Cave's Valley shipped back to Maryland and got back on the work tab on Jan. 5. He has worked three times at Laurel, and on Monday Cave's Valley traveled by van to Aqueduct where he was to work a half-mile over the inner track on Tuesday.

"I want to give him the benefit of having a work over the inner track," Trombetta said. "I just want to give him every opportunity to be what I'm hoping he can be."

That, of course is a Kentucky Derby contender. Two years ago, Trombetta shipped Sweetnorthernsaint to Aqueduct for the Gotham Stakes, where he finished third. Sweetnorthernsaint bounced back to win the Illinois Derby by 9 1/4 lengths. That victory earned him the role of favorite in the Kentucky Derby, where he finished seventh.

Trombetta believes Cave's Valley, owned by Harry and Tom Meyerhoff, compares favorably to Sweetnorthernsaint.

"He's got all the attributes you want - he's very smart, he's very kind, he was very impressive in his first start sprinting," Trombetta said. "He found trouble in the longer races and still got through. He takes things very well. Most young horses need seasoning; he seems to take everything in stride."

With regular rider Ramon Dominguez scheduled to ride at Gulfstream in Saturday's Grade 1 Donn Handicap, Mario Pino will ride Cave's Valley in the Whirlaway. Pino was scheduled to work the horse at Aqueduct on Tuesday.

On Sunday, the Todd Pletcher-trained duo of Spanky Fischbein and Texas Wildcatter worked five furlongs in the same time of 1:01.42.

Laysh Laysh Laysh - fast fast fast

Trainer David Jacobson was happy to win a first-level allowance race with Laysh Laysh Laysh on Saturday, even though he ran six furlongs faster than Go Go Shoot did winning the Jan. 21 Jimmy Winkfield Stakes. Jacobson had scratched Laysh Laysh Laysh out of the Winkfield.

"I'm happy I skipped the stake - I got an easier spot," Jacobson said. "He was very impressive, another good progression."

Jacobson claimed Laysh Laysh Laysh for $50,000 two starts back and has won two races with him. On Saturday, Laysh Laysh Laysh rallied from well off the pace to win that allowance race by 1 3/4 lengths while running six furlongs in 1:09.98. He earned a Beyer of 87.

Jacobson said the reason he scratched out of the stakes was because Laysh Laysh Laysh is a closer and he was leery that "the speed might get away from him." Indeed, Go Go Shoot won the Winkfield by 3 1/2 lengths in front-running fashion, covering six furlongs in 1:10.18.

Laysh Laysh Laysh also ran a faster time Saturday than Lord Snowdon did (1:10.18) in winning the Paumonok Handicap for older sprinters on the same card.

Though Jacobson said Laysh Laysh Laysh "was ready to run the next day," he was non-committal about the colt's next start. The $75,000 Fred "Cappy" Capossela Stakes on Feb. 18 is the next sprint stakes for 3-year-olds in New York.

Go Go Shoot's next is the Capossela

The Capossela is where Winkfield winner Go Go Shoot will run next, trainer Jim Ryerson said. Monday.

"We may try and go a little farther down the road," Ryerson said of his 3-year-old son of Songandaprayer. "Why get too complicated right now? He ran fine came out of it fine."

Bouncing back from a fourth-place finish to Grand Minstrel in the Capote Stakes on Dec. 12, Go Go Shoot was very sharp in the Winkfield.

"He sure has run very well when he's gotten in front, "Ryerson said. "I'm not sure he has to be in front."

Livermore Valley back at 5

Ryerson said that his multiple-stakes-winning mare Livermore Valley will be back this year to run as a 5-year-old. On Friday, she breezed three furlongs in 35.89 seconds, her first move since last fall.

Livermore Valley went winless in eight starts last year, though she finished second in three stakes. Livermore Valley, a daughter of Mt. Livermore owned and bred by Robert and Faith Hahn, has not run since finishing fourth in the Seton Hall Stakes at the Meadowlands on Oct. 6.

Ryerson said that Livermore Valley suffered from a hind leg infection following her 3-year-old year, and the best method of treatment was to keep her in training. Thus a scheduled freshening was aborted.

"It just worked out in dealing with the infection," Ryerson said. "Keeping her in training, it responded to jogging and such, so she never got the break she deserved. We're hopeful this break will help her a little bit and she'll have a nice year."

Livermore Valley is nominated to the $75,000 Correction Handicap here on Feb. 9, but Ryerson said it was doubtful that she could be ready for that six-furlong race.

* Run With the Lark, under Norberto Arroyo Jr., caught R Clear Victory just outside the sixteenth pole and went on for a 2 3/4-length victory in Sunday's $66,750 Turnofthecentury Stakes for New York-bred males. Run With the Lark, a 6-year-old son of Runaway Groom owned by Al Fried Jr. and trained by Richard Schosberg covered the 1 1/16 miles in 1:44.66 and returned $16.80.