07/01/2007 11:00PM

Curlin, Street Sense breeze


LOUISVILLE, Ky. - The top two 3-year-old colts in North America were both out for work Monday morning at Churchill Downs, as Curlin and Street Sense had easy five-furlong breezes.

Curlin was out first, going in 1:03.20 shortly after dawn. Street Sense followed a little more than two hours later, after the harrow break, when going in 1:02.40 over a fast track.

Curlin was ridden by regular exercise rider Carmen Rosas.

"I thought he went well," trainer Steve Asmussen said. "He's an awesome horse."

Curlin, winner of the Preakness Stakes, had not worked since a few days before he finished second to Rags to Riches in the June 9 Belmont Stakes. Asmussen said the colt will work once more at Churchill before leaving for Saratoga on July 12, where he will be pointed to the Aug. 5 Haskell Invitational at Monmouth Park.

Street Sense also is headed to Saratoga for trainer Carl Nafzger, who has said the July 29 Jim Dandy is the next probable start for the Kentucky Derby winner, although the Haskell has not been ruled out. Calvin Borel, the colt's regular rider, was aboard for the Monday work.

"He relaxed early and finished well," Nafzger said. "He listened to Calvin real well this morning."

If they don't meet in the Haskell, the next showdown between Curlin and Street Sense appears likely to come in the Aug. 25 Travers Stakes at Saratoga.

Remarkable News eyes Fourstardave

Remarkable News earned a lifetime-high 110 Beyer Speed Figure in winning the Firecracker Handicap here Saturday, marking the 10th straight race the Venezuelan-bred 5-year-old has recorded a triple-digit Beyer.

Trainer Angel Penna Jr. said Sunday he is considering the Grade 2 Fourstardave Handicap at Saratoga on Aug. 5 as a possible next start. As for the Breeders' Cup Mile, for which Remarkable News is not nominated and would have to be supplemented, Penna said: "I can't tell you the Breeders' Cup is not on my mind - it obviously is. Last year, I didn't want to take a shot, but I probably should have. But if we get there the same way, we may have to try it this year."

Asmussen targets Churchill record

With five of 52 days remaining at the spring meet, Asmussen has 40 winners, just three from tying the Churchill record set last spring when Dale Romans won 43 races. Asmussen will have ample chance to tie or break the mark this week: He has runners entered in four races Wednesday, five Thursday, and plenty more over the final three-day weekend, including multiple starters in both 2-year-old stakes Saturday, the $150,000 Bashford Manor and $100,000 Debutante. Asmussen said he is intent on breaking the Churchill single-meet wins record but also wants to surpass the $2 million earnings mark. Into Wednesday, his earnings were $1,715,900.

Meanwhile, in the jockeys' race, a recent tear by Julien Leparoux has separated him from the pack. Leparoux won 14 races last week, including six Wednesday, and takes a 66-56 lead over Rafael Bejarano into the final week of action.

Trainers seek first winners

While Asmussen is chasing some lofty goals, some other trainers are just trying to avoid the dreaded "duck" during the final week while struggling at the other end of the trainer spectrum. Among the stables yet to win a race are those trained by Jamie Sanders (51 starters), Joe Woodard (34), Chuck Simon (27), and Randy Matthews (26).

Despite the disappointing Churchill meet, this still has been a memorable year for Sanders because of her stable star, Teuflesberg, who won the Southwest Stakes and Woody Stephens Breeders' Cup and became the trainer's first Kentucky Derby starter, finishing 17th.

For Woodard, the winless meet is a diametrical turnabout from what he accomplished here two springs ago. Woodard sent out 10 straight winners at the 2005 spring meet, a Churchill record.

Simon and Matthews both appeared set to break their droughts in Sunday action. Ben's League, trained by Simon, finished first in the third race but was disqualified for impeding a rival during the stretch run, while Matthews watched Fraz, a 55-1 shot, get beat a nose after leading until the final jump in the fifth race.

Quinonez parts with agent

Apprentice rider Alonso Quinonez and agent Steve Elzey have parted in an abrupt manner, with Quinonez having told Elzey he will stop riding in Kentucky after Thursday action at Ellis Park. Elzey said last week that Quinonez would ride every day this week at Ellis, but the jockey told Elzey on Sunday that he intends to ride at Del Mar when that meet begins July 18.

Quinonez has been the leading apprentice throughout the Churchill meet. Elzey now will work for Dylan Williams, a 22-year-old apprentice with 44 wins to his credit. Elzey also works for Miguel Mena.