01/30/2008 12:00AM

Daaher tops Donn field


HALLANDALE BEACH, Fla. - There were few surprises when entries were drawn Wednesday for Saturday's Grade 1 Donn Handicap at Gulfstream Park.

As expected, a field of nine, including three Grade 1 winners, will contest the 1 1/8-mile Donn. The field is led by Daaher, who will make his first start since upsetting Breeders' Cup Sprint champion and Eclipse Award winner Midnight Lute in the Cigar Mile on Nov. 24.

Daaher drew post 4 and will carry high weight of 120 pounds under regular rider Mike Luzzi. A 4-year-old son of Awesome Again, Daaher is using the Donn as a stepping-stone to the Dubai World Cup on March 29.

Brass Hat and Einstein also are Grade 1 winners. Brass Hat got his Grade 1 victory here two years ago when he upset the Donn over a sloppy track. Einstein's Grade 1 success also came in 2006, but over the turf in the Gulfstream Park Breeders' Cup Handicap.

Brass Hat and Einstein took the worst of the post-position draw, pulling posts 8 and 9, respectively, in a race that begins in close proximity to the clubhouse turn.

"I'd rather be further inside, but there's not much I can do about it," said Einstein's trainer, Helen Pitts, when asked about the draw. "Hopefully, he won't get hung out too wide into the first turn. He's a smart horse, and Edgar is a smart rider, so between the two of them I'm confident they'll be able to get a good position into the turn."

Einstein will receive a one-pound concession from Daaher, as will A.P. Arrow and Spring at Last, all with 119 pounds. Brass Hat starts under a 118-pound impost.

Spring at Last will break from posto2. The California invader has won his last two starts, and also may be using the Donn as a prep for a trip to Dubai for a defense of his title in the Godolphin Mile.

The Grade 2 Swale going 6 1/2 furlongs also was drawn Wednesday and will be the co-feature on Saturday's 10-race card.

A field of only seven 3-year-olds entered the Swale, but of that group, Coal Play is also entered in a first-level allowance race later on the card. The starting status of Mr. Foz also is in question, as he did not have a rider listed at time of entry.

If Coal Play starts, he may vie for favoritism with Hutcheson runner-up Silver Edition and the undefeated Wincat.