09/09/2004 11:00PM

Chapel Royal returns in sprint

Adam Coglianese/NYRA
Trainer Todd Pletcher believes Something Ventured will appreciate a return to Belmont's sweeping turns.

ELMONT, N.Y. - Chapel Royal, third in last year's Breeders' Cup Juvenile, will make his first start since March in Sunday's $60,000-added Fly So Free at Belmont Park. The Fly So Free, named for the 1990 Breeders' Cup Juvenile winner, is for 3-year-old males and will be run at six furlongs.

Chapel Royal, the likely favorite, looked like he would have an exciting 3-year-old season after winning 3 of 6 starts as a 2-year-old. Last year, he won the Grade 2 Sanford and Grade 3 Flash. He also finished second in two Grade 1 races, the Hopeful and Champagne.

Chapel Royal finished a nonthreatening fourth in his 3-year-old debut in March in the Swale Stakes at Gulfstream Park. Trainer Todd Pletcher wasn't happy with how Chapel Royal was training, and he was given the spring and summer off.

"He was a little stiff, so we ended up giving him some turnout time," Pletcher said.

While he was away from the track, Chapel Royal was at Ashford Stud in Versailles, Ky.

Pletcher cautioned that Chapel Royal is "not 100 percent cranked up," but he expects him to run well.

Trainer Kiaran McLaughlin is excited about Thunder Touch, who two starts ago defeated Love of Money, an 8 1/2-length winner in Monday's Pennsylvania Derby.

In his last start, Thunder Touch finished second to All Hail Stormy, who is entered in the Fly So Free.

"He had a terrible trip last time; he got shuffled back and the other horse just snuck away," McLaughlin said. "My horse is really nice."

Allen Jerkens, who trains All Hail Stormy, also entered Smokume, the likely pacesetter. Jerkens's horses are not coupled in the wagering.

Willy o'the Valley is in super form and undefeated in two starts at Belmont in seven-furlong races.

Which race for Sabellina?

Sunday's $60,000-added Voodoo Dancer, originally in the condition book for Friday but moved to Sunday because of the heavy rain that fell during the week, was oversubscribed.

The one-mile Widener turf race drew 12 runners, plus three also-eligibles. Bounding Charm was entered main-track only.

If she starts, Sabellina figures to be a serious contender. Sabellina, a New York-bred, is undefeated in four starts on the turf, including a win in the restricted Yaddo Stakes at Saratoga. Joe Aquilino, Sabellina's trainer, also entered Sabellina in Sunday's Grade 3, $150,000 Boiling Springs at Monmouth Park.

"I'll pick up the Form and look it over," Aquilino said. "Wherever she will be 5-2 or 3-1, instead of 20-1, we will run. She is certainly training very well."

Pletcher expects a good effort from Something Ventured, who he believes favors Belmont's turf course. In her last start, Something Ventured wasn't a factor in the De La Rose Stakes at Saratoga and finished eighth. Last year, Something Ventured was a close-up third in the Noble Damsel, which was won by Grade 1 winner Wonder Again.

"She likes the big, sweeping turns at Belmont," Pletcher said. "She generally runs well here."

Blue Sunday undergoes surgery

Blue Sunday, who looked awesome winning a 2-year-old maiden race by 15 lengths in the slop at Saratoga on Aug. 13, is on the sidelines following surgery to remove an ankle chip.

New York-bred Blue Sunday was entered to run in the National Association of Two-Year-Old Consignors Futurity at Delaware Park on Sept. 4, but was scratched when he had filling in his ankle, according to his trainer, Tom Albertrani.

Blue Sunday, who is owned by Darley Stable, was subsequently operated on by Dr. Stephen Selway and is expected to return to the races next year.

Albertrani won the NATC filly division with Swither, another New York-bred owned by Darley Stable. Swither set the pace and drew off to a 10-length win in the six-furlong race. Swither is being pointed to the $100,000 Joseph Gimma Stakes on Oct. 3 at Belmont Park.

Balletto, another Darley 2-year-old trained by Albertrani, will make her stakes debut in the $300,000 Matron here on Sept. 19. Balletto is undefeated in two starts.

Two stakes options for Zakocity

Following his win in a second-level allowance race at Saratoga on Aug. 30, Zakocity will run next in a stakes.

Zakocity's trainer, Pat Reynolds, said he is considering either the Grade 3, $300,000 Pegasus on Oct. 1 at The Meadowlands or the Grade 2, $500,000 Indiana Derby at Hoosier Park on Oct. 2.

* Sightseek, preparing for the Grade 1 Ruffian on Sept. 19, worked a bullet five furlongs in 58.43 seconds over Belmont's main track on Friday.