09/14/2006 11:00PM

Darluna works fast for Turfway trip


MIAMI - Darluna worked fast before her last start, the Sambacarioca Stakes on Aug. 26, then ran to those works by rallying to a convincing 2 3/4-length victory despite making her first start in nearly six months.

Darluna, a 4-year-old daughter of Premiership, worked even faster here Friday morning when she blistered five furlongs from the half-mile to the seven-eighths pole in 59.40 seconds. And trainer Steve DiMauro is hopeful Darluna will again run back to her work when she goes later this month in the Grade 3 Turfway Breeders' Cup Stakes at Turfway Park.

"It was a little faster than I wanted her to go, but it was okay," DiMauro said as Darluna was pulling up from her work. "She's shipping out for Kentucky tomorrow, and I wanted to get a good work into her before the trip. The reason we're sending her to Kentucky is to try and get some black type on her record to make her more valuable as a broodmare. She'll come back home and race here again after this."

DiMauro also said that his undefeated 2-year-old Straight Faced continues to do well since his victory in the Affirmed Stakes, during which he wore a bar shoe to protect a tender frog on his left foot.

"So far so good," said DiMauro. "Right now, if all goes well I have him scheduled to breeze again in about 10 days."

Straight Faced will attempt to complete a sweep of the open division of the Stallion Stakes when he goes in the $400,000 In Reality Stakes on Oct. 14.

Yesbyjimminy earns Foolish Pleasure bid

Yesbyjimminy, who is unbeaten in three starts and coming off a victory in his stakes debut in the five-furlong Fasig Tipton Turf Dash on Sept. 3, earned a starting berth in next Saturday's $150,000 Foolish Pleasure Stakes by working a mile in 1:42.60 here Wednesday.

"That's about as good as it gets for a 2-year-old working a mile around here," trainer Eddie Plesa Jr. said. "I couldn't be happier. He'll definitely run in the Foolish Pleasure."

Yesbyjimminy is a Florida-bred son of Yes It's True but is not eligible for the Florida Stallion Stakes.

Plesa also worked his Stallion Stakes hopeful Villainage, who went five furlongs in 1:03.40, and his stakes-winning 3-year-old Mr. Silver, who went a mile in 1:43.80 on Friday. Villainage has finished second behind Straight Faced in the first two legs of the Stallion Stakes and is also being pointed for the In Reality. Mr. Silver, who spent most of the summer in New Jersey, has returned home to compete in next Saturday's $100,000 Needles Stakes.

Kentucky-based trainer Ken McPeek has nominated six 2-year-olds to the Foolish Pleasure, including Bold Start, who ran third as the favorite in River Downs's Cradle Stakes. McPeek's other potential starters, all winners, are Birdbirdistheword, Hey Bill, Loose Leaf, Scott's Time, and Truck N Skip. As of Friday he said he was having trouble making flight arrangements for the six.

Other top local contenders for the Foolish Pleasure include Cat Tour, runaway winner of the Seacliff Stakes on Sept. 3, and Green Vegas.

The $150,000 Brave Raj Stakes, filly counterpart to the Foolish Pleasure, attracted only 11 nominations. Post Invader, undefeated in two local starts before traveling to Saratoga and finishing fourth in both the Grade 2 Adirondack and Grade 1 Spinaway stakes, tops the list, which also includes Desert Vixen and Susan's Girl stakes runner-up Silkily.

First Regent heads Sunday feature

Sunday's main event is a $25,000 starter allowance dash for 2-year-olds who have run for a claiming price of $32,000 or less this season. A field of six was entered, led by recent maiden race winner First Regent, who earned an 84 Beyer Speed Figure for an easy 8 1/2-length victory in his second start on Aug. 28. He will face Soldier's Dancer, who finished a late-running third behind Yesbyjimminy in the Fasig Tipton Turf Dash.

The remainder of the field includes first-level allowance winner Pop Goes the Tiger, Proclamation, Sumter Landing, and Brother Bud.

* Abel Castellano Jr. tightened the race for second in the jockey standings after riding three of the first four winners on Friday's card. Castellano entered the day trailing Jeffrey Sanchez by four victories for second place behind the runaway leader, Manoel Cruz.