03/30/2002 12:00AM

Derby hopefuls work


HALLANDALE BEACH, Fla. - Kentucky Derby contenders Repent and Booklet got in their final south Florida works of the season Saturday morning at Gulfstream Park. Both 3-year-olds were scheduled to leave their winter home and ship to Kentucky on Sunday.

Repent, with jockey Jerry Bailey aboard, worked five furlongs in 1:00.40 seconds. Booklet went a half mile in 49.20 seconds with exercise rider Allen Rennie up.

"He went well. I was very satisfied," Repent's trainer, Ken McPeek, said of the work. "Especially the way he switched leads on cue around the turn and through the stretch. His switching leads is a non-issue as far as I'm concerned. He did it perfectly throughout his 2-year-old career and it's not a problem now. He didn't switch leads for whatever reason in a couple of races, but now that Jerry has gotten to know him better it's not a problem. That's why Jerry was here this morning."

The 3-year-old filly Take Charge Lady, Repent's stablemate, also worked five furlongs in 1:00 on Saturday. After the work McPeek said he and the filly's owners will decide Saturday whether to make her supplementary nominee to the Kentucky Derby, at a cost of $6,000. Both Repent and Take Charge Lady are owned by the Select Stable.

"We're thinking of supplementing her just as insurance in case something were to happen to Repent," said McPeek.

Repent will have his final Kentucky Derby prep next Saturday in the Illinois Derby.

Booklet's trainer, John Ward, was equally pleased with his colt's work, his first since finishing a tiring fourth in the Florida Derby.

"He cut his pastern after the Florida Derby, and we missed a couple of days training, but it was of no consequence," said Ward. I didn't want any fast times this morning. He's beyond fit now. I just told the rider to let him gallop out the last eighth.

"The best thing was his ears were up and he was looking through the bridle."

Booklet will ship directly to Keeneland where he will make his next start in the Blue Grass Stakes on April 13.

Another Kentucky Derby contender to work here Saturday was Equality, the Tampa Bay Derby winner, who went five furlongs in 59.80 under exercise rider Vicki King.

"He went off a little quicker than I like but finished good," said Equality's trainer, Graham Motion. "He's a more aggressive work horse now."

Equality will be the likely favorite in Gulfstream Park's $250,000 Aventura Stakes on Apr. 6.