11/05/2008 1:00AM

Dutrow plans to apply pressure


LOUISVILLE, Ky. - The first time Commentator won the Grade 1 Whitney Handicap, the gelding was soundly defeated in his next race when Rick Dutrow ran two "rabbits" against him.

Don't look now, but Dutrow said he will try the same thing if Commentator runs in the Nov. 28 Clark Handicap at Churchill Downs.

Dutrow said one of his emerging stable stars, Arson Squad, "is doing unbelievable right now" after romping to victory in the Oct. 3 Meadowlands Cup but "probably will need a little help" if he is to win the Grade 2, $500,000 Clark when running against Commentator.

"I just can't let that horse go out by himself," Dutrow said Wednesday regarding Commentator. "I'm going to have to use a couple rabbits to try to beat him."

Using his extraordinary turn of early foot, Commentator, now 7, won the July 26 Whitney for the second time when unchallenged on the lead. In his lone subsequent start, the Sept. 20 Massachusetts Handicap, he conceded the early lead and settled into second, just behind an overmatched longshot, before cruising to a 14-length victory.

Trainer Nick Zito said Wednesday by phone that he intends to run Commentator in the Clark regardless of what Dutrow has in mind.

"Maybe he didn't look at the Mass Cap the other day," Zito said. "They had a nice rabbit in there against us, and we handled it pretty well. He's bringing some rabbits just for me? I appreciate it. Tell Babe I really appreciate it. That's nice of him."

Dutrow did not specify which speed horses he would bring. Nominations for the 1 1/8-mile Clark are due Nov. 15.

Dutrow tag-teaming Commentator with rabbits and a capable come-from-behinder is exactly what occurred in the Grade 1 Woodward at Belmont Park in September 2005. With Commentator coming off a front-running victory in the Whitney the previous month, Dutrow sent out three horses against him in the Woodward: Crafty Player and Show Boot as his rabbits and Saint Liam as easily his best chance. Saint Liam, the eventual 2005 Horse of the Year, had finished a neck behind Commentator in the Whitney.

The plan worked to perfection. With the rabbits keeping company with Commentator on a swift pace, Saint Liam won handily, with Commentator finishing 14 1/2 lengths behind him in third. After that race, Zito was quoted as saying: "There's nothing against it in the rules."

Zito, who has a small stable based at Churchill, said Commentator would be shipped here "pretty soon" from New York. Commentator, a New York-bred gelding who has won 13 of 20 starts and earned more than $1.8 million for owner Tracy Farmer, was withheld from the recent Breeders' Cup with the Clark uppermost in mind.

Arson Squad, an earner of nearly $850,000 for the Jay Em Ess Stable, had been based in California with Bruce Headley for his first 18 starts before being sent to Dutrow in New York. In his 19th start, the 5-year-old gelding earned a 103 Beyer Speed Figure in rallying from 11 lengths behind to win the Grade 2 Meadowlands Cup by 2 1/2 lengths.

Acoma, My Princess Jess top Mrs. Revere

A field of 11 3-year-old turf fillies, led by Acoma and My Princess Jess, has been entered for the Grade 2, $175,000 Mrs. Revere Stakes, highlight of the Saturday card at Churchill.

Acoma comes off a win in her turf debut, the Grade 3 Valley View at Keeneland, while My Princess Jess, based in New York with Barclay Tagg, was third behind Alwajeeha and Backseat Rhythm in her latest, the Grade 1 Queen Elizabeth II Challenge Cup at Keeneland.

From the rail, this is the full lineup for the 1 1/16-mile Mrs. Revere: My Baby Baby, Clear Pond, Acoma, Seemingly, Scolara, Absolutely Cindy, Golden Doc A, Raw Silk, Dark Sky, Sky Mom, and My Princess Jess.

The male counterpart to the Mrs. Revere, the Grade 3 Commonwealth Turf, will be the Sunday feature.

Theriot will open Fair Grounds meet

Jamie Theriot, the leading rider at the 2007-08 Fair Grounds meet, will be back at the New Orleans track for opening day of the 2008-09 meet, Nov. 14, according to agent Fred Aime.

Theriot will ride some of the remainder of the meet at Churchill, which ends Nov. 29, "although obviously we're looking to build on our business in New Orleans," Aime said. Besides opening day, Theriot also will ride Nov. 16 and perhaps Nov. 15 at Fair Grounds, Aime said.

Rachel Alexandra eyeing Golden Rod

Rachel Alexandra, second as the favorite to Sara Louise in the Pocahontas Stakes last weekend, could run back here in the Nov. 29 Golden Rod Stakes but also is being considered for the $500,000 Delta Princess on Dec. 5, trainer Hal Wiggins said.

Another Wiggins-trained 2-year-old filly, Abbott Hall, probably will return to the turf by running here in the Nov. 29 Caressing, Wiggins said. Abbott Hall was not a factor in the Pocahontas.