06/11/2001 11:00PM

Chorwon, Thesaurus add up in feature


LOUISVILLE, Ky. - Just because they're old doesn't mean they're gray.

But by happy coincidence, the old fellows - and the top contenders - in the Thursday feature at Churchill Downs are gray indeed.

Chorwon, 8, and Thesaurus, 7, are scheduled to clash in a $52,400 turf allowance that highlights the Thursday card. Together, the popular veterans have combined for nine victories and over $400,000 in earnings over the Churchill turf course alone.

Chorwon, as a three-time winner of the Louisville Handicap and a career earner of over $800,000, may have a slight edge in the ninth of 10 races. A Cozzene gelding, he recently got a badly needed race after having been away for 10 months, and considering the stretchout to 1 1/8 miles and his back class, he could be ready to fire his best shot Thursday for trainer Hal Wiggins.

Thesaurus, a son of With Approval who has been trained since late last year by Ken McPeek, finished a fast-closing third as the odds-on favorite in a similar turf race here May 28.

Like Chorwon, Thesaurus is strictly a stretch-runner who would be aided by an honest pace, most likely to be established by the speedy An Oscar for Bert.

The rest of the field consists of Dixie's Crown, Royal Strand, Northcote Road, and Stokosky. Phil the Grip will run only if the race is transferred to the main track.

* Trainer Jim Bond has informed Churchill officials that he will not ship Pleasant Breeze in from New York for the $750,000 Stephen Foster Handicap on Saturday, citing heavy rain in Saratoga, where the horse is training. As of Tuesday, there were eight probables for the Grade 2 Foster. With riders, they are Captain Steve, Jerry Bailey; Unshaded, Robby Albarado; Graeme Hall, Victor Espinoza; Brahms, Pat Day; Duckhorn, Jon Court; Connected, no rider; Da Devil, no rider; and Jadada, Calvin Borel.

* Secret Status breezed a sharp five furlongs in 1:01 Tuesday in preparation for the $300,000 Fleur de Lis Handicap, the richest race on the Foster undercard. Secret Status, to be ridden by Pat Day, is one of at least seven fillies and mares likely for the Grade 3, 1 1/8-mile Fleur de Lis. The other Saturday stakes are the $150,000 Regret and $100,000 Northern Dancer. A pick four wager will be offered on the four Saturday stakes.