06/01/2001 11:00PM

Dr Greenfield works, others wait


ELMONT, N.Y. - It's official. Global warming has taken effect. The weather is so off-kilter that horses preparing for the Belmont Stakes in the usually wet, soggy climes of Great Britain have it better than those in the United States, especially at Belmont, where wet weather has made trainers Todd Pletcher and John T. Ward Jr. consider moving key works for their colts.

There was no such concern in England, where on Saturday the British invader Dr Greenfield had his final serious work for next Saturday's 133rd Belmont Stakes. Dr Greenfield worked a half-mile out of the gate on an all-weather surface, and though trainer Gerald Butler did not time the horse, he was happy with the way the colt performed.

"He wouldn't blow out a candle," Butler told Barry Irwin, president of the Team Valor syndicate that owns Dr Greenfield. "This horse is feeling so well in himself that he swells up like a bloody elephant."

Irwin is hoping Dr Greenfield marches through the Belmont field like Hannibal. Dr Greenfield has won three of his four starts. He ships here on Tuesday, and should clear quarantine by Wednesday afternoon.

Irwin said the only glitch for Dr Greenfield would be if the wet weather that has settled over New York remains for another week. "If the track's wet, we're not going to run," Irwin said.

A steady rain pelted Belmont Park beginning Friday night and on into Saturday morning, leaving the main track in sloppy condition. Pletcher watched the weather and was none too happy. He was planning on working his two Belmont runners, Balto Star and Invisible Ink, early Sunday morning, but said he might postpone the works until Monday because of the track condition.

Ward was in a similar spot with Monarchos, the Kentucky Derby winner. The rain stopped just after noon Saturday, and the sun was starting to peek through, giving Ward hope that the track would be in good condition Sunday morning for Monarchos's scheduled workout. But Ward said he too might wait until Monday if the track was not to his satisfaction.

"I'd rather not push him back a day," Ward said. "He won't do much. It's just a maintenance breeze."

Monarchos galloped on Saturday morning, as did Balto Star and Invisible Ink. Thunder Blitz merely walked, one day after working.

At Churchill Downs, both Dollar Bill and Point Given, the Preakness winner, were scheduled to work Monday. Buckle Down Ben was scheduled to work at Churchill either Monday or Tuesday. Those three colts are flying from Kentucky to New York on Wednesday.

Point Given has been thriving, according to his trainer, Bob Baffert. "He weighed 1,256 pounds before the Santa Anita Derby, and now he weighs 1,270," Baffert said. "He doesn't lose a pound."

He has not lost his enthusiasm, either. Point Given acted up in his stall the other day and wound up with a cut above his left eye. It took four stitches to close, Baffert said.

"He looks like a hockey player," Baffert said. "He looks like a New Jersey Devil."