09/17/2007 11:00PM

'Crazyguy' works toward turf stakes

EmailMIAMI - Trainer Bill Kaplan watched Imawildandcrazyguy work an easy half-mile over the turf here Monday morning and shortly thereafter made his way to the racing office to enter his Grade 1-seasoned 3-year-old in Saturday's $100,000 Needles Stakes. The Needles is carded at 1 1/16 miles on the grass.

Monday's work marked the first time Imawildandcrazyguy has ever trained on the grass. With regular rider Manoel Cruz aboard, Imawildandcrazyguy stayed out near the middle of the firm course throughout the drill. He just loped along down the backstretch and around the turn but began to pick up the pace once entering the stretch, covering the final eighth of a mile to the wire in 11.43 seconds before galloping out another furlong in 13 seconds around the turn to the six-furlong pole. The Calder turf course measures seven furlongs from wire to wire.

Imawildandcrazyguy received an official clocking of 50 seconds for a half-mile drill.

"He never works very fast when he's alone, and we really weren't looking for him to work fast this morning," Kaplan said. "I just wanted to see how he got his footing on the grass and if he hit the ground well, and it seemed he did everything just fine. In fact, Manoel said he had a problem pulling him up, he finished so strong."

Kaplan said the Needles seemed a better option for Imawildandcrazyguy than shipping him to Louisiana Downs this week for the Super Derby.

"There's still a possibility we could jump on a van in the next few days and go in the Super Derby, but it's not likely," Kaplan said. "They've been calling me, trying to get me to come over for the race. If he had been excluded from the Needles, we probably would have gone, but I'd really prefer staying here and I'm very anxious to see how he'll run on the grass."

Imawildandcrazyguy drew post 5 in a full field of 12 3-year-olds entered for the Needles. Although he finished fourth in the Kentucky Derby, Gradeo1 Haskell, and Grade 2 Louisiana Derby and was second in the Grade 3 Risen Star, Imawildandcrazyguy will receive five pounds from starting highweights Soldier's Dancer and Hal's My Hope when making his turf debut under the allowance conditions of the Needles.

Judy's Red Shoes oversubscribed

The Needles is one of five stakes on Saturday's outstanding 13-race program. The $100,000 Judy's Red Shoes, the filly counterpart to the Needles, lured 15 entries, of which only 12 will start. Two of the top members of the field, the graded-stakes-placed Scooter Girl and Banda Victoria, who is unbeaten and untested in two previous starts on grass, are among the three fillies on the also-eligible list.

The starting lineup will be led by Snow Cone, Langworthy, and Sweet Exchange. Snow Cone tuned up for the assignment by working five furlongs in 1:02 over a good track for trainer Marty Wolfson on Tuesday.

Silk Ridge set for Brave Raj

As expected, Saturday's $150,000 Brave Raj and Foolish Pleasure stakes attracted Silk Ridge and Wise Answer, runaway winners of the middle legs of the Florida Stallion Stakes earlier this month.

Silk Ridge will stretch out around two turns for the first time in the mile-and-70-yard Brave Raj, where she'll face Yonagucci, who returns home off a third-place finish in Saratoga's Grade 1 Spinaway. Yonagucci worked a half-mile in 48.40 seconds from the starting gate in company with her older stablemate Langworthy on Monday.

Wise Answer, 6 3/4-length winner of the seven-furlong Affirmed Stakes in his last start, must break from post 10 in a field of 11 juveniles entered for the mile-and-70-yard Foolish Pleasure. Hey Byrn, runner-up in the Affirmed, and sensational maiden winner Carson's Legacy also will try their luck around two turns for the first time in the Foolish Pleasure.

* Mach Ride worked an easy five furlongs here in 1:02 on Tuesday, his final major work for Belmont's Gradeo1 Vosburgh on Sept. 30. Mach Ride, trained by Steve Standridge, remains a leading candidate for the Breeders' Cup Sprint.