10/16/2001 11:00PM

An easier spot for Tap Dance


ELMONT, N.Y. - Tap Dance's worst efforts have come at Belmont Park, but they have been in Grade 1 company. On Friday at Belmont, Tap Dance, a graded stakes winner, is in a much easier spot in a third-level allowance race, where her main rival figures to be Majority Whip.

The $48,000 allowance, a mile dirt race, drew seven fillies, including the Nick Zito-trained entry of Stop for Schnapps and Out of Sync.

This summer at Belmont, Tap Dance finished seventh in the Grade 1 Mother Goose and then was sixth, beaten 33 3/4 lengths, in the Grade 1 Coaching Club American Oaks. The filly's trainer, Mark Hennig, dropped her back into an allowance race at this level on Aug. 20 at Saratoga and she finished second, beaten less than a length.

Hennig said Tap Dance, who has been competing at distances greater than a mile for much of the year, hasn't run since Saratoga because she does well with time in between races.

"I'm trying to get a confidence builder into her before I decide what's next," Hennig said Wednesday. "She ran well in a sprint at Gulfstream Park in her first start back this year. She hasn't really established herself at any particular distance."

Tap Dance, who will be ridden by Jerry Bailey, figures to be prominent in the early going. Tap Dance drew post 2.

Majority Whip is quite capable of handing Tap Dance a defeat. Majority Whip has excellent form at Belmont, where she won back-to-back allowance races on the dirt in June, and is trained by Bob Barbara, who is enjoying an excellent meet. John Velazquez picks up the mount on Majority Whip, who drew the rail.

A year ago, Out of Sync looked like she had a bright future when she was second in the Grade 1 Frizette, an effort that earned her a trip to the Breeders' Cup, where she finished ninth. The filly got off to a rocky start this season when she was eased in her first race since the Breeders' Cup, in July. Out of Sync, however, put it all together in a first-level allowance here on Sept. 28 and stormed home a 3 3/4-length winner under Gary Stevens, who accepts the return mount. Out of Sync, who is jumping a condition, drew post 7.

Zito's other entry, Stop for Schnapps, has run on the turf in her last three starts.

Keratoid's Chubbs, Smart Timing, and Diversa complete the field.

Davis returns

Jockey Robbie Davis, who missed all of last week because of a concussion suffered in a spill on Oct. 7, returned to the saddle Wednesday.

Davis was listed on three horses Wednesday, but one did not get in off the also-eligible list and another scratched. In his only ride, Davis finished seventh aboard 22-1 shot Shanna.

On Oct. 7, Davis was aboard Prime Pine in the fifth race when he appeared to clip heels with a horse in front of him. Davis hit the ground hard and had to be removed on a stretcher. He was taken to a local hospital where he was diagnosed with a concussion. He also had several cuts and bruises.

"It took a couple races before it was back to normal," Davis said. "It kind of felt like I'd been run over by a truck. I was a little sore. I've hit the ground a lot of times, but never quite like that."

Dat You Miz Blue had reaction to Lasix

After watching Dat You Miz Blue run two poor races, trainer Jimmy Jerkens sent his filly to the New Bolton Clinic in Pennsylvania for an examination. After a battery of tests, it was concluded that she had a bad reaction to Lasix, the anti-bleeding medication on which she ran on in her last two outs.

"The Lasix lowers her potassium to dangerously low levels," Jerkens said. "She gets muscle spasms."

While Dat You Miz Blue will sit out Saturday's Iroquois Handicap, Jerkens said she would run once more this year, probably at Aqueduct.

Serra Lake retired

Serra Lake, who won the Grade 1 Go for Wand Handicap this summer at Saratoga, has been retired and will be bred next spring, trainer Shug McGaughey said Wednesday morning at Belmont Park.

After winning the Go for Wand, Serra Lake had finished fourth in the Personal Ensign Handicap at Saratoga, and then was fifth in the Beldame Stakes at Belmont Park on Oct. 6. The Beldame turned out to be her career finale. McGaughey said he was concerned Serra Lake was beginning to tail off, so he chose not to even have her pre-entered in the Breeders' Cup Distaff.

Serra Lake, a 4-year-old filly by Seattle Slew out of the Lyphard mare Tara Roma, was bred and is owned by Emory Alexander, for whom she won seven times in 15 starts and earned $486,760. "I told Emory I thought we should send her home, and get her in foal early to a good horse," McGaughey said.

McGaughey said Serra Lake was scheduled to be shipped to Kentucky on Thursday.

Heavyweight Champ may head west

Now that Heavyweight Champ is passing the Breeders' Cup Juvenile, and is focusing on sprint stakes, his connections are looking for suitable spots. They may head across the country, for the Grade 3 $100,000 Hollywood Prevue Stakes at Hollywood Park on Nov. 17.

The Prevue is at seven furlongs, and "that should be right up his alley," said Tonja Terranova, the assistant to her husband, John, who trains Heavyweight Champ.

Heavyweight Champ was third most recently in the Grade 1 Champagne Stakes, which was won by Officer. He also was second in the Grade 2 Saratoga Special.

- additional reporting by David Grening and Jay Privman