07/26/2002 11:00PM

Decision time for Zito and Reinstedler


SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. - Tony Reinstedler and Nick Zito are in the envious position of each having two horses to run in next Sunday's 3-year-old stakes at Saratoga and Monmouth Park. The challenge for both trainers is deciding in which race to enter their charges.

The decision became more complicated in the last 24 hours with Friday's announcement that Came Home won't run in the $1 million Haskell and Saturday's revelation that Kentucky Derby and Preakness winner War Emblem is back in the Haskell picture. The other option, of course, is the $500,000 Jim Dandy Stakes at Saratoga.

On Saturday, both Reinstedler and Zito were more concerned with getting their horses ready to run than they were in deciding where to run as both horsemen put their 3-year-olds through workouts over Saratoga's main track

Reinstedler sent out Stephentown for a five-furlong work in 1:01.54 and Peekskill for a five-furlong move in 1:00.03 according to track clockers.

Stephentown, second in the Northern Dancer at Churchill Downs and third in the Long Branch at Monmouth, was equipped with blinkers for the first time.

"We're hoping to put him into the race the first part of it," Reinstedler said. "He has a tendency to lose focus a little. He was steady the whole way."

Reinstedler said he had been planning to run Stephentown in the Jim Dandy for quite some time. But he said he wouldn't make a final decision until he sees how the entries for both races play out.

Reinstedler was not intending to run Peekskill, third in the Ohio Derby last out, until the Aug. 10 West Virginia Derby. But, after watching Peekskill work under Jose Santos on Saturday, Reinstedler may look at running in the Haskell.

"We'll see how the cards unfold," Reinstedler said before learning of War Emblem's inclusion in the Haskell. "It's nice to be sitting with a couple of horses to put wherever you want."

With War Emblem back in the Haskell picture, Zito is likely to keep both Quest and Nothing Flat in New York for the Jim Dandy. On Saturday, Quest, a winner of two straight allowance races, went five furlongs in 1:01.71 in company with a maiden named Thunder Force.

Nothing Flat, runner-up in the Jim Dandy, went 1:01.16 by himself. Zito said he would sit down with owner Bill Condren to discuss whether to run in the Haskell or Jim Dandy.

No Xtra Heat-Gold Mover III

Don't expect a third meeting between Xtra Heat and Gold Mover to take place in Friday's $100,000 Honorable Miss Stakes.

The weight spread between Xtra Heat (126) and Gold Mover (116) was reduced from 12 pounds the last two times they met to 10 for Friday's six-furlong race. Neither John Salzman, the trainer of Xtra Heat, nor Mark Hennig, trainer of Gold Mover, has decided whether they will run. Hennig, however, said his filly wouldn't run if Xtra Heat comes.

"We will not give [racing secretary Mike] Lakow the satisfaction of having them both show up," said Hennig, who lobbied for the weight spread to remain at 12 pounds.

The last two times they met, Gold Mover defeated Xtra Heat by one-half length in the Princess Rooney, while Xtra Heat defeated Gold Mover by a neck in the Vagrancy. Both trainers mentioned running their horses in softer spots such as the Straight Deal Breeders Cup on Aug. 10 at Laurel, the Ellis Park Breeders' Cup Handicap the same day, or the Endine Stakes at Delaware on Sept. 7.

Salzman said he hasn't ruled out the Honorable Miss, though he is leery of continuing to run Xtra Heat in tough spots. He said he is not keen on giving the likes of Nasty Storm, Shine Again, and Mandy's Gold 10 pounds.

Macho Uno completes Whitney preps

Macho Uno completed his preparations for Saturday's $750,000 Whitney Handicap with a four-furlong workout timed in 51.72 seconds. It was significantly quicker than trainer Joe Orseno was looking for considering it came at the end of an open gallop and was not a regular workout.

"He was supposed to open-gallop and go 53 or 54 or 55," Orseno said. But, he's really full of himself. I timed him the mile in 1:55 and that's all I needed to do. He breezed 10 days after the [Suburban]. He's ready."

Greatness not so great in work

Greatness, brilliant in winning his first two starts, put in a subpar workout Saturday on the main track, putting his status for next Saturday's Amsterdam Stakes in doubt.

Greatness, a son of Mr. Prospector, went six furlongs in 1:15.22 under John Velazquez.

"That won't do it," trainer Allen Jerkens said. "We're going to work him again next week. If he doesn't go real good, he won't run."