12/04/2007 12:00AM

Check It Twice sold after stakes win

EmailMIAMI - Less than 24 hours after winning Saturday's $100,000 What a Pleasure Stakes, Check It Twice had a new home. He was sold privately to Sanford Robbins and transferred to trainer Todd Pletcher's south Florida base at Palm Beach Downs.

Check It Twice, a 2-year-old son of Repent, rallied to a 3 1/2-length victory over 4-5 favorite Coal Play in the 11/16-mile What a Pleasure. The win was the third in five starts for Check It Twice, a last-minute substitute for stablemate Cigar Man, who was held out of the race because of a minor foot injury.

"Obviously, winning the stakes was great, but it was also bittersweet since I knew when he ran that he was going to be leaving after the race," said Kathleen O'Connell, who trained Check It Twice for his owner-breeder, Cloverleaf Farm II Inc. "The deal had actually been completed the previous day, and by early Sunday afternoon he was already on the road for Palm Beach Downs."

While Check It Twice leaves big shoes to fill, O'Connell is not without some other talented 2-year-olds in her barn.

"Check It Twice was a pleasure to be around and obviously he'll be missed, but thankfully we still have Cigar Man and Sir Dave," said O'Connell, who is tied for second in the trainer standings at Calder with Bill White.

A bruised foot kept Cigar Man out of the What a Pleasure, O'Connell said, prompting the switch to Check It Twice.

"Cigar Man is fine," said O'Connell. "He's already back in training, but he had missed five or six days of training and a work, so I didn't want to push him into the stakes.

"Check It Twice was coming back on just two weeks' rest and I usually don't like to run my young horses that close, but he bounced out of his previous race so well I decided to run him."

O'Connell has not decided on the next race for Cigar Man, who was stakes-placed before winning his maiden by 10 lengths and earning a 90 Beyer Speed Figure in his most recent start.

"There are lots of opportunities coming up for him," she said. "He'll tell us when he's ready."

Meanwhile, Pletcher said he had nothing to do with the sale of Check It Twice, but was happy to welcome him into his barn when approached by the new owner.

"I thought he ran very well on Saturday, and I'm excited to have the opportunity to train him," Pletcher said by phone from New York on Tuesday. "He's already had a couple of races around two turns, so I think it's wise to freshen him up a little.

"He'll probably run again sometime in February, either in the Risen Star at Fair Grounds, the Sam Davis in Tampa, or at Gulfstream in the Fountain of Youth."

Blinkers-on does the trick

A change in equipment helped make Robbie's Gal a stakes winner over the weekend. The 2-year-old Straight Man filly, racing in blinkers for the first time, used a quick middle move to rally from near the rear of the pack to a 1 3/4-length victory in Sunday's GTOBA Debutante Stakes on the turf. She survived a long objection before the victory was official in the roughly run race.

"She'd run up to the leader and not gone by a couple of times in the past, which is why I decided to try blinkers," trainer Steve DiMauro said. "I actually considered putting them on her before her previous start but held off because that was her first time on turf and around two turns, and it would have been a lot to change for one race."

DiMauro said Robbie's Gal would likely be pointed for the Tropical Oaks on New Year's Day.

Rivera rides three-bagger

Veteran rider Jose Rivera 2nd vaulted from 10th to sixth in the standings during the Tropical meeting within a two-hour span after posting a hat trick on Monday's card. Rivera began his big day winning the fifth race with Hes In My Pocket, then had back-to-back, wire-to-wire victories aboard Sweet Halo and Romans Girl in the eighth and ninth races.

Rivera, who has ridden nearly 1,800 winners, including 48 in stakes races, is the regular rider for the promising 2-year-old He's Eze, who upset local division leader Wise Answer in the Jack Price Juvenile Stakes on Nov. 10.

Electrify, Imawildandcrazyguy work

Electrify, winner of the Carl G. Rose Classic on Nov. 10, worked five furlongs in 1:02 on Tuesday. Electrify is among the 17 horses nominated for the Grade 3 Fred W. Hooper Handicap on Dec. 15. The 1 1/8-mile Hooper could end up offering a rematch between Electrify and Imawildandcrazyguy, who rallied late to finish second in the Carl G. Rose.

Imawildandcrazyguy worked Monday morning, going five furlongs in 1:01.40 in company with his stakes-winning stablemate Storm in May, who is nominated to the Gradeo3 Kenny Noe Jr. Handicap on Dec. 15.