05/22/2007 11:00PM

Divine Park out of Ohio Derby


ELMONT, N.Y. - Divine Park, undefeated winner of the Withers Stakes, will be forced to miss a scheduled start in the Grade 2 Ohio Derby on June 2 due to an injury in his left hind foot, trainer Kiaran McLaughlin said Wednesday.

McLaughlin said Divine Park was off in his left hind foot on Tuesday. X-rays did not reveal any fractures, but the horse was vanned on Wednesday to the Rood and Riddle Equine clinic in Lexington, Ky., to undergo a nuclear scintigraphy, which can often find injuries regular X-rays cannot.

"We hope he just bruised a foot," McLaughlin said. "We're going to know more in a day or two. We're hoping he just kicked a wall."

Divine Park, a son of Chester House, is 3 for 3 for McLaughlin and owner James Barry. He won a maiden race over Aqueduct's inner track, an allowance race over Keeneland's Polytrack, and the Grade 3 Withers over Aqueduct's main track.

Latest news for Penna isn't good

While trainer Angel Penna Jr. was still receiving congratulations on Wednesday for winning last Saturday's Grade 2 Dixie Handicap at Pimlico with Remarkable News, he was lamenting the fact that he won't be able to run Chatain in Monday's Grade 1 Metropolitan Handicap here.

Penna said that Chatain burned the back of both hind ankles following a quick five-furlong workout on May 14.

"I got to back off a little bit," he said. "It's not a disaster, just bad timing. Every little silly thing happens at the absolute wrong moment. I was really looking forward to running in that race."

Chatain won the Grade 3 Hal's Hope Handicap before finishing fourth behind Invasor in the Donn Handicap. Most recently he finished eighth as the favorite in the Ben Ali at Keeneland. Penna said Chatain didn't care for the Polytrack.

Meanwhile, Penna said that Remarkable News, who earned a 102 Beyer Speed Figure winning the Dixie, would be pointed to the Gradeo3, $100,000 Poker Handicap here on July 14 and then the Fourstardave at Saratoga on Aug. 5.

Penna said Remarkable News came out of the race so well that he went back to the track on Wednesday, which Penna initially had scheduled as a day off.

Pletcher strong in Sheepshead Bay

Trainer Todd Pletcher appears to have the competition over a barrel in Saturday's Grade 2 Sheepshead Bay Handicap as he is scheduled to send out both Honey Ryder and Safari Queen in the 1 3/8-mile turf stakes.

Honey Ryder, who won this race and the Flower Bowl Invitational over this course last year, will be making her first start since finishing 11th in the Dubai Sheema Classic in March 31. She finished third in the Breeders' Cup Filly and Mare Turf last November.

Safari Queen, a 5-year-old daughter of Lode, is coming off victories in the Orchid and Bewitch - both Grade 3 events run at 1 1/2 miles. She also won the Long Island Handicap last November at Aqueduct.

Honey Ryder is the 123-pound assigned highweight while Safari Queen gets in at 119 pounds. Others expected to run include Factual Contender (115), La Dolce Vita (115), Cliffrose (114), Wait It Out (113), and Hostess (113).

Commentator nearing return

The talented New York-bred Commentator is nearing a return to racing, trainer Nick Zito said Wednesday.

On Tuesday, Commentator breezed four furlongs in 47.65 seconds over Saratoga's training track. It was the fastest of 46 works at the distance. Prior to that, Commentator worked five furlongs in 58.80 seconds at Churchill Downs.

"He's getting close, doing great," Zito said.

Commentator, the 2005 Whitney Handicap winner, has not run since last year's Forego Handicap at Saratoga. He was found to have re-aggravated a knee injury following that race. Zito said that Dr. Larry Bramlage helps stimulate bone growth in the knee by drilling holes in the bone.

"He gets these fractures and they have to heal," Zito said. "He does this drilling and it tightens the bone."

Zito also said that C P West came out of his fourth-place finish in the Preakness in good shape and will be pointed to the Dwyer Stakes on July 4.

Strike a Deal, Dance Away Capote win

Strike a Deal made a successful 3-year-old debut, winning a head-bob over Summer Doldrums to take the $69,700 Straight Deal Stakes by a nose. Summer Doldrums, who rallied down the center of the turf course, finished second by 2 1/4 lengths over Twilight Meteor.

Strike a Deal, a son of Smart Strike, was making his first start since winning the Laurel Futurity last Nov. 26 on the turf. Under Javier Castellano, Strike a Deal raced three wide while stalking Pete's Wonder and Twilight Meteor, before charging to the front inside the eighth pole. He held off a late run from Summer Doldrums, who was making his turf debut. Strike a Deal, trained by Alan Goldberg, covered the mile in 1:34.74 and returned $9.90.

In the $66,700 Yank's Music Stakes, Dance Away Capote, under Castellano, rallied from last to win by 2 3/4 lengths over even-money favorite Altesse. It was another two lengths to Sugar Swirl in third.

Dance Away Capote saved ground early under Castellano before coming off the rail leaving the three-furlong pole. Dance Away Capote came widest of all in the stretch, taking over the lead from Sugar Swirl outside the sixteenth pole. Dance Away Capote, owned by Robert S. Evans and trained by Barclay Tagg, covered the 1 1/16 miles in 1:42.27 and returned $12.20.

Earlier on the card, Godolphin Racing's Rondo, sent off at 1-5, was upset by Bound Notebook ($21.80) in a second-level allowance race going six furlongs. Rondo dueled with Abraaj through fractions of 22.23 second and 44.53, but could not hold off Bound Notebook, who rated patiently under Eibar Coa.