11/15/2003 12:00AM

Chatter Chatter: Tougher race, same results

Email

MIAMI - After winning her previous two starts by a combined 43 lengths, Chatter Chatter had to work a little harder on Saturday to take a two-length victory over Usual Manner in the $150,000 Joe O'Farrell Juvenile Fillies. The O'Farrell was part of the undercard on the $1 million Florida Million Day program at Calder.

Chatter Chatter gave jockey Jerry Bailey his 67th stakes win of the season, leaving him one shy of the single season mark of 68, set by Mike Smith in 1994.

Chatter Chatter was prohibitive 1-10 favorite in the seven-furlong O'Farrell and paid $2.20. She was responsible for a minus show pool of $120,329. Her final time was 1:25.34.

Chatter Chatter took control of the O'Farrell from the speedy Usual Manner in the opening quarter-mile. Chatter Chatter was in command throughout but had to be sharply roused to remain clear through a final furlong in 14 seconds. Usual Manner chased Chatter Chatter throughout and finished 1 1/2 lengths clear of Runaway Rizzi.

"Seven furlongs isn't really what she likes to do," said Marty Wolfson, who trains Chatter Chatter for owner-breeder John Franks. "She seems to get confused and doesn't relax as well as she does going a distance of ground. She went too fast early, 45 seconds and change, and didn't change leads properly. The same thing happened to her when she got beat in the Susan's Girl."

Wolfson said he is considering running Chatter Chatter against males in the $1 million Delta Jackpot going 1 1/16 miles at Delta Downs on Dec. 5.

"Mr. Franks lives in Louisiana and we've discussed the possibility of sending her down there for either the million dollar race or the mile race for fillies [$250,000 Delta Princess] on the same card."

Jack Dudley Sprint: 'Moon' by a neck

Love That Moon won for the seventh time in 10 starts over his home track, outfinishing Pick'em by a neck to capture the $150,000 Jack Dudley Sprint. Sing Me Back Home tired down the stretch and finished third as the 6-5 favorite in a field of eight sprint specialists.

Ridden by Manny Cruz, Love That Moon dropped well off the early pace battle between Sing Me Back Home and Showmeitall, moved to contention while angling four wide entering the stretch, split horses, and then outkicked Pick'em in the final 40 yards. Pick'em stalked the dueling leaders, came between rivals with his final bid, and just missed.

Love That Moon ran six furlongs in 1:10.47 and paid $9.20.

"He really loves this track," said Wolfendale. "I was afraid he'd fallen too far back on the turn, but once he got moving I was just hoping he'd find room when he needed to, and he did. He's really an amazing horse. He bucked shins as a 2-year-old, has little tendons now, but he just keeps on trucking."

Bonnie Heath Turf: 'Roman' upsets

Stormy Roman hadn't won a race in nearly a year but picked the right time to get back on the winning track when he rallyed to a two-length victory over Music's Storm in the $150,000 Bonnie Heath Turf Cup. Proud Man, the 3-5 favorite, finished third.

Stormy Roman had gone five starts without a victory since capturing the Pete Axthelm Stakes here last December. But under a well-timed ride by Manny Aguilar, Stormy Roman rallied from just off the pace to run down Music's Storm and draw off in the final furlong of the 1 1/8-mile Bonnie Heath.

Proud Man trailed for nearly six furlongs after steadying from tight quarters shortly after the start. He offered only a mild closing response to finish another 1 3/4 lengths behind Music's Storm.

Stormy Roman paid $23.80 after covering the distance in 1:49.81 over a firm course.

"He bled in California after the Sunshine Millions Turf in January," said Tim Hills, who trains Stormy Roman for owner-breeder Thomas Croley. "He was too fresh for his last start and wore himself out pulling on the rider. I usually walk him on race day but I sent him out and jogged him this morning. That took the edge off and he relaxed nicely today."

Hills said he will consider the 1 1/2-mile W.L. McKnight Handicap on Dec. 27 for Stormy Roman's next start.