06/12/2001 11:00PM

Clearly a Queen to skip Aspidistra


MIAMI - The eagerly awaited rematch between Silver Bandana and Clearly a Queen in Saturday's $65,000 Aspidistra Handicap is off, and Clearly a Queen instead will be headed to Churchill Downs for the $150,000 Locust Grove Handicap, a Grade 3, the following weekend.

"The extra money is a secondary consideration in the decision to run Clearly a Queen in the Locust Grove," trainer Bill White explained. White said that John Franks, breeder and owner of Clearly a Queen, "is after as much graded, black type as he can get on the mare. She's real good at the moment, and this appears to be the right time to see if she fits at the national level."

Clearly a Queen worked at Calder on Tuesday morning for the Locust Grove, going five furlongs in 1:02.20 over a fast main track.

"I thought she went very well considering the fact she's a turf horse and not a sensational worker on the dirt," said White.

Clearly a Queen and Silver Bandana have split their last two decisions, with Clearly a Queen coming out on top in the Columbiana Handicap at Hialeah before finishing third as the 8-5 favorite in the Calder Breeders' Cup Behind Silver Bandana three weeks later.

The defection of Clearly a Queen leaves Silver Bandana as the solid favorite to add the Aspidistra to her upset win in the Calder Breeders' Cup. Abel Castellano, the meet's leading rider, has picked up the mount on Silver Bandana, as her regular rider, Rene Douglas, moved his tack to Arlington Park earlier this week.

Clearly a Queen is one of many Calder-based horses who will hit the road this summer. Among the others going out of town for their next starts are Platinum Tiara, runner-up in the Calder Breeders' Cup, who will run Sunday in Belmont's $100,000 Sands Point Handicap. Marty Wolfson has O K to Dance, who is California-bound for the $250,000 Honeymoon Breeders' Cup on July 1, and has scheduled Pavillon's next start in Delaware Park's $150,000 Caesar Rodney Handicap on July 8.

Trainer Ralph Ziadie said he is now looking at Prairie Meadows' Cornhusker Handicap for Sir Bear's next start, while owner-breeder Harold Rose has the same race and a couple at Monmouth Park under consideration for Hal's Hope. Stanley Ersoff said he has three possible races under consideration for Band Is Passing, including the Caesar Rodney.

Maiden win for horse, rider

Apprentice Patra Jean registered the first victory of her riding career Sunday when she guided first-time starter To and Fro to victory for owner-trainer Bill March.

"It was awesome," said Jean, 28, when asked what it was like to finally get her first win.

Jean, whose parents come from Thailand, was born in Hialeah and worked locally for four years, as a hotwalker and exercise rider, before accepting her first mount at Hialeah this spring.

"I have been getting on this filly in the morning and just had the feeling she would be the one I'd break my maiden on," said Jean. "I pictured the race in my mind how I wanted it to run and everything went exactly as I thought. Those things don't happen that often.

"Hopefully this will help me pick up my business, although I'm in no rush. I'm willing to take my time and learn as much as I can."

Madrid takes double

Sebastian Madrid was the riding star on Tuesday winning both ends of the early daily double aboard the odds-on Sultry Shadow in the opener and Prank Dot Com over the turf in the second race.

Madrid, who spent the past winter riding in Saudi Arabia before returning to this area for the opening of Hialeah, recently turned his book over to former racing official Bryce Soth.