07/15/2002 12:00AM

Chamrousse right for rich 12-furlong Oaks


ELMONT, N.Y. - Trainer Niall O'Callaghan will seek his second Coaching Club American Oaks trophy in four years Saturday when he ships Chamrousse to New York for the $350,000 race run at the demanding distance of 12 furlongs.

O'Callaghan won the Grade 1 CCA Oaks in 1999 with On a Soapbox, who O'Callaghan and his advisors were quite confident could get the 1 1/2 miles. While O'Callaghan says Chamrousse is a different type of filly than On a Soapbox, he believes she can get the distance as well.

"She's the kind of filly, when you ask her for her first move and shake the reins at her a little bit, she doesn't react quite as quick as you'd like her to,'' O'Callaghan said from Kentucky. "She doesn't spring out of your hands. She takes her time, and I feel like a mile and a half shouldn't bother her. Horses that are rank and run off and don't settle have trouble with a mile and a half, and she's not like that."

, a daughter of Peaks and Valleys, won the nine-furlong Black-Eyed Susan Stakes at Pimlico on May 17. She shipped to New York for last month's Mother Goose Stakes where she finished second behind Nonsuch Bay as the 6-5 favorite.

O'Callaghan was happy with the performance, considering he only entered Chamrousse at the last minute when a number of logical contenders did not run. Jerry Bailey, who rode Chamrousse in the Black-Eyed Susan, had already committed to riding Nonsuch Bay in the Mother Goose before O'Callaghan decided to run. Bailey will be back aboard Chamrousse on Saturday.

Chamrousse worked a half-mile in 50.60 seconds on July 11, and is expected to work again at Churchill Downs on Wednesday before shipping to New York on Thursday.

A field of seven to nine is expected for the Coaching Club American Oaks, the last leg of New York's triple crow for fillies series. Jaramar Rain, Jilbab, Linda Eder, Sister Girl Blues, and Tarnished Lady are considered definite. Cat Rocket, Dubai Fall, and Shop Till You Drop are possible. Shop Till You Drop was entered for Saturday's $250,000 Delaware Oaks.

On Monday, Jaramar Rain worked three furlongs in 38.08 seconds at Belmont. On Sunday, Jilbab worked five furlongs in 1:01.92. Jilbab, who won an entry-level allowance race for Sheikh Maktoum and trainer Kiaran McLaughlin, will run in the Godolphin colors of Sheikh Mohammed on Saturday with Saeed bin Suroor listed as the trainer.

Street Cry drills for Whitney

Speaking of Godolphin, its leading handicap horse, Street Cry, drilled five furlongs in 1:00.27 Sunday morning at Belmont. It was the third fastest of 27 works at the distance and significantly faster than his 1:03.25 five-furlong move on July 7. Bailey, Street Cry's regular rider, was aboard for Sunday's move.

, who is 3 for 3 this year, including wins in the Dubai World Cup and Stephen Foster Handicap, is being pointed to the $750,000 Whitney Handicap on Aug. 3 at Saratoga.

"Last week we were only looking for 1:02 and he went 1:03," said Tom Albertrani, Godolphin's New York-based assistant. "With Jerry, we wanted to see something a little sharper. We still got a couple of more works to go."

Meanwhile, Albertrani said Suburban Handicap winner E Dubai would also be nominated to the Whitney, but is more likely to run in either the Saratoga Breeders' Cup Handicap on Aug. 17 or the Iselin Handicap at Monmouth Park on Aug. 18.

Albertrani said that schedule would allow E Dubai to run back in the Woodward at Belmont Park on Sept. 7, and Street Cry would run back in the Jockey Club Gold Cup on Sept. 28.

Carrero remains on a roll

Apprentice jockeys have rarely fared well at Saratoga, but Victor Carrero may be the one to change all that.

Carrero has been on quite a roll the last three weeks at Belmont, booting home 20 winners from 95 mounts since June 23. Last week, he won with 9 of his 28 mounts, including a four-win day on Saturday and a riding double on Sunday. He has won 34 races at this meet and is only four behind Jorge Chavez for fifth-place in the standings.

Carrero has ridden at least one winner on 13 of the last 16 racing days including seven of the last eight.

If he can remain hot for the final week of Belmont, some trainers believe he can be a factor at Saratoga even though riders such as Pat Day, Mark Guidry and Donnie Meche are expected to join the colony.

"Saratoga is a big first-week place," said trainer Allen Jerkens, who has high praise for Carrero. "If he gets rolling, they'll use him. If not, you got to play catch-up."

Asked what he likes about Carrero, Jerkens said: "He seems to use good judgment and horses run for him. He rides very well on grass. You can always tell if a rider's going to be good if they can ride on turf because it's harder to ride on grass than it is to ride on dirt."

At this meet, Carrero is only 6 for 76 on turf, but three of those wins came over the weekend.

* Volponi, the Poker winner, drilled five furlongs in 59.09 seconds Sunday over Belmont's training track. It was the fastest of 11 works at the distance. Trainer Phil Johnson said he is pointing Volponi to the $150,000, Grade 2 Bernard Baruch Handicap at Saratoga on July 26.

* Gander worked five furlongs in 59.61 seconds Monday at Belmont in preparation for a possible start in Sunday's $75,000 Evan Shipman Stakes for New York breds.