01/31/2005 12:00AM

Don Six frisky after posting 116 Beyer

Email

OZONE PARK, N.Y. - As impressed as trainer Scott Lake was with Don Six's performance in winning last Saturday's at Aqueduct, he was even more amazed with how the 5-year-old horse looked 40 hours after equaling the stakes record in the 97-year-old sprint event.

"I'm telling you, this horse, he's just getting better every day,'' Lake said from Philadelphia Park on Monday. "He came back off this race like he never ran. It's just incredible.''

Lake was in California over the weekend to saddle Shake You Down in the Sunshine Millions Sprint at Santa Anita. He said he was in awe watching on television how Don Six took control of the Paumonok under Aaron Gryder and galloped to a front-running, 2 3/4-length win. Don Six ran six furlongs in 1:08.86 - equaling Duck Dance's 33-year-old stakes record - and earned a career-best Beyer Speed Figure of 116.

"Did I expect him to make the lead like that? No,'' said Lake, who had stated prior to the race he felt Don Six could win the Breeders' Cup Sprint if he stays healthy. "Breaking from the rail I told Aaron just do the best you can, don't kill yourself to make the lead. If Uncle Camie wants it maybe try and get outside of him. Uncle Camie is in an all-out drive and Gryder's choking [Don Six]. He's freakish.

"The last sixteenth of a mile he's putting his ears up,'' Lake added. "Aaron's riding him to keep him to the task because he was waiting on horses.''

Lake is now in a quandary. The next two sprint stakes in New York - the Toboggan on March 12 and the Grade 1 Carter on April 9 - are both at seven furlongs. The next six-furlong stakes in New York isn't until the Bold Ruler at Belmont on May 7.

"I'm not so sure this horse won't go seven-eighths,'' Lake said, adding the Carter is a possibility.

Regarding Shake You Down, Lake said the horse was compromised by a slow start while finishing sixth in the Sunshine Millions Sprint. Lake said Shake You Down was shipped back to south Florida on Monday and will be aimed at an allowance race.

Gryder impressed with Galloping Grocer

Aaron Gryder enjoyed a nice day on Saturday. In the afternoon, he rode Don Six to victory in the Paumonok Handicap. In the morning, he put Galloping Grocer through a solid five-furlong work in 1:00.84 over Belmont Park's training track.

Saturday's work was the most serious training Galloping Grocer has done since returning from his brief vacation. Trainer Dominick Schettino asked Gryder to use his whip on Galloping Grocer during the work, which was conducted in company with See the Truth.

"He wanted me to hit him one time on each side because he shied from the whip in the Remsen,'' said Gryder, who was aboard Galloping Grocer for the first time. "I tapped him once left-handed, and once right-handed and he didn't [shy]. He finished up good the last eighth of a mile and he galloped out a good three-quarters. He does things nice.''

Galloping Grocer, a winner of 3 of 4 starts, is expected to work again over the weekend before making his 3-year-old debut in the Whirlaway on Feb. 12.

A total of 22 3-year-olds were nominated to the Whirlaway, run at 1 1/16 miles. Scrappy T, the Count Fleet winner who is expected to run in the Whirlaway, worked four furlongs in 48.09 seconds on Sunday over Belmont's training track. Diamond Wildcat, a recent allowance winner and Whirlaway nominee, worked five furlongs in 1:04.28 on Monday.

Bush has two for Correction

As of Monday, four of the 15 fillies and mares nominated to Saturday's $75,000 Correction Handicap were confirmed to run. Two of them - High Peaks and Santa Croce - come from trainer Tom Bush's red-hot stable.

Santa Croce is 2 for 2 here this winter, both wins coming with the addition of blinkers. Santa Croce will be making her stakes debut in the Correction, run at six furlongs. On Monday, Santa Croce worked a solid four furlongs in 48.88 seconds, the sixth fastest of 47 half-mile works over the Belmont training track. Mike Luzzi was aboard for the work and will ride her in the race.

High Peaks comes off a fifth-place finish in the Interborough Handicap on New Year's Day. High Peaks was part of the pace that day, and Bush said that the filly lost both of her hind shoes during the running of the race. On Sunday, High Peaks worked five furlongs in 1:01.08, the second-fastest of 29 works at the distance. Shaun Bridgmohan will ride High Peaks in the Correction.

Bank Audit, winner of her last three starts including the Interborough, and Travelator, winner of the Garland of Roses on Dec. 11, are the other confirmed runners.