07/03/2002 11:00PM

Desensi has one coming to him


CHICAGO - It was turning into a wonderful story. A 5-year-old horse suddenly discovers stakes form for a longtime Kentucky trainer with a short string of middle-class racehorses.

Then Two Point Two Mill made a sharp left turn.

At 67-1, Two Point Two Mill was on his way to an improbable victory June 1 in the Grade 3 Louisville Handicap. With the 51-year-old rider Charlie Woods aboard, Two Point Two Mill ranged up on the final turn and cruised to the lead as he straightened for home.

Just then, Two Point Two Mill swerved to the left, interfering with horses inside of him. He was almost certain to win anyway, but he had disrupted the finish of those behind him. The inquiry sign flashed, and down came Two Point Two Mill's number. He was placed eighth.

"The horse likes to go to the hedge when he gets clear," said Bob Desensi, who trains Two Point Two Mill. "We told Charlie, but it wasn't his fault at all."

Desensi means that. He has Woods booked to ride Two Point Two Mill here Saturday when the horse runs in the Grade 3 Stars and Stripes Handicap.

Desensi, who runs an eight-horse string from Churchill Downs, had a winner disqualified from the Fairmount Derby several years ago.

"When we got taken down there, it was kind of heartbreaking," he said. "This one, I got back to the barn, saw that he'd come out of it all right, and it didn't bother me too much."

Desensi thinks Two Point Two Mill can win on the square Saturday. The horse's price was so long in the Louisville because he'd never won a stakes and had lost his previous five races. But since returning to Kentucky from Florida early this spring, Two Point Two Mill has been transformed.

"This horse has had some problems, but he was starting to grow out of them," Desensi said.

Two Point Two Mill had been indifferent to his training before. Where he used to dawdle through five-furlong works, he now rips off three-furlong blowouts in 35 seconds. "He almost worked too fast the other day," Desensi said.

Put that together with a 12-furlong distance Desensi thinks his horse will like, and Two Point Two Mill may prove his Louisville was more than a fluke.

"I just hope he's 67-1 again Saturday," said Desensi.

Working family

Team Block's brother-sister duo of Ioya Two and Mystery Giver worked at Arlington this week, and both are headed toward Grade 3 races on July 27, trainer Chris Block said.

Ioya Two, a 7-year-old headed for a broodmare career next year, worked an easy half-mile in 48.80 seconds Wednesday. Thursday, it was the 4-year-old Mystery Giver's turn. Block caught him in about 49 seconds.

"Just a routine maintenance work," Block said.

Both horses will have more serious breezes Wednesday, when the turf course opens for works.

Mystery Giver, who won the restricted Cardinal Handicap in his last start, will run in the Arlington Handicap if he continues training well. Ioya Two will defend her title in the Modesty Handicap provided the race doesn't come up too strong, Block said.