05/27/2009 11:00PM

Discreet Treasure gets extra time


ELMONT, N.Y. - Though last Monday's Metropolitan Handicap drew its largest field in 18 years, one horse conspicuous by his absence was Discreet Treasure. Coming off a hard-charging second-place finish in the Grade 3 Westchester to Bribon - who went on to win the Met Mile - the handsomely bred colt would have been a logical entrant in the Met Mile.

But trainer Stanley Hough opted to be a little more conservative with Discreet Treasure and instead has entered him in Saturday's $65,000 Lord of the Night, an overnight stakes at 1 1/16 miles on the dirt.

"I thought I'd give him a few extra days," Hough said. "The Met Mile was tough, obviously. I know the same horse won, but there were 13 horses [entered]. I thought this would be a better spot if it went. I'm just trying to do what's best for the horse."

Discreet Treasure, a 4-year-old half-brother to the brilliant Grade 1 winner Discreet Cat, began his career in spectacular fashion with a 12 1/4-length debut victory last July 5. He went winless in his next six starts before capturing a first-level allowance race at Gulfstream on Jan. 25. He won his next allowance condition on March 7 before stepping up with a strong effort in the Grade 3 Westchester.

Discreet Treasure was unsuccessful in route races earlier in his career, but Hough feels the colt deserves another shot to stretch out in distance. If successful Saturday, Hough would consider running Discreet Treasure in route races such as the Suburban or Whitney later in the summer.

"He didn't get started until the middle of his 3-year-old year," Hough said.

"Hopefully he's getting into his best form."

Hough trained Discreet Cat for just one start before the horse was sold to Sheikh Mohammed's Godolphin Racing. Hough said he's happy to get another chance to train something out of the mare Pretty Discreet, who won the Grade 1 Alabama.

"The mare has shown an ability to throw a good horse," said Hough, who trained the stakes-winning colt Pretty Wild out of this mare. "The fillies haven't shown as much as the colts."

Hough also has Giant Chieftain in Saturday's stakes field, but wasn't sure he would run. Cool Coal Man, winner of the 2008 Fountain of Youth and second in the Grade 3 Alysheba last out, is the horse to beat.

Clement has it covered firm or soft

Trainer Christophe Clement has his bases covered in Saturday's $65,000 Mckaymackenna Stakes at 1o1/16 miles for fillies and mares on the turf. If the ground is firm, Clement will go with La Hernanda. If the turf is soft, he'll most likely run Shadiyna.

La Hernanda was a listed stakes winner in France before coming to Clement last fall. She was beaten in a pair of 1 1/2-mile stakes before finishing first in a 1 1/16-mile allowance race at Tampa in December. She was disqualified from first in that race for bearing out badly. Out of the race, La Hernanda was diagnosed with a splint bone injury, though Clement said he was not certain the injury happened in the race.

"She came out of that race with a splint, and we had to address it," Clement said. "We struggled with her last year. I just think I ran her too far last year. Her race at Tampa was so much better. I think she's better shorter and firmer."

Clement believes Shadinya would prefer soft turf, though he's a little leery about running her in a stakes while she is still eligible for a second-level allowance race. She was beaten a neck when third in that condition at Aqueduct on April 24.

Trainers Bill Mott and Barclay Tagg both have uncoupled entries entered in this race. Mott sends out Missvinski, who is winless in eight starts since March 2006, and Scolara, who was beaten 4 1/4 lengths with a troubled trip in the Grade 3 Beaugay here May 2.

Tagg has Pastel Gal, who won two allowance races at Gulfstream before finishing fourth in the South Beach Stakes there April 11, and Kristi With a K, who won a first-level allowance here May 13.

Clement set for Belmont undercard

Clement said he hopes to be well-represented on the Belmont Stakes undercard, with runners for three Grade 1 events on the day.

Clement will run Funny Moon in the Acorn, Gio Ponti in the Manhattan and Carribean Sunset in the Grade 1 Just a Game.

Funny Moon, a daughter of Malibu Moon, has won her last two starts after finishing second in her debut.

"She's a real exciting filly to be around," Clement said. "Is she good enough? I don't know. We'll find out. She's improved steadily from the spring. She's a beautiful-looking filly. She's without a doubt the best dirt horse we've had in the stable since Dynever."

Dynever was a multiple graded stakes winner on dirt who also finished third in the 2003 Breeders' Cup Classic and second in the 2005 Dubai World Cup.

Gio Ponti is a four-time graded stakes winner and is coming off a nose victory in the Grade 1 Kilroe Mile on March 7 at Santa Anita.

"His turn of foot may be more effective at a mile than a mile and quarter, nevertheless he won the Virginia Derby at a mile and a quarter," Clement said.

Carribean Sunset is coming off a runner-up finish to My Princess Jess in the Grade 3 Beaugay on May 2, her first start since last September.

Maram returns to work tab

Maram had her first breeze since winning the 2008 Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf, going three furlongs in 37.95 seconds over the main track on Thursday.

Trainer Chad Brown said Maram had a knee issue and then popped a splint bone, which forced her to miss so much time.

"It's been little things here and there," said Brown, who noted that Maram's knee problem did not require surgery. "She's had a beautiful week of training - I never saw her gallop better."

Brown said he would like to run Maram in a race at Belmont and then point to the Lake George and Lake Placid stakes at Saratoga.

Meanwhile, Brown is getting acquainted with the new horse in his barn, Smooth Air, who was turned over to him by owner Brian Burns following his second-place finish in Monday's Met Mile. Smooth Air returned to the track Thursday, jogging 1 1/2 miles. Brown said the major goal is the Grade 1 Whitney on Aug. 8 at Saratoga, with likely a race before then.

"Bennie Stutts was very kind to give us all the information we needed about him so far," said Brown, referring to the previous trainer of Smooth Air. "We're going to try and keep him where he's at. [Stutts] had him going very good."