05/02/2004 11:00PM

Eddington tries to play spoiler role

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ELMONT, N.Y. - The disappointment of not being able to run Eddington in the Kentucky Derby is behind him. Trainer Mark Hennig is now looking forward to hopefully playing the role of spoiler in the May 15 Preakness when Eddington challenges Derby winner Smarty Jones.

was kept out of last Saturday's Kentucky Derby, along with Rock Hard Ten, due to a lack of sufficient graded stakes earnings. Eddington was the first horse excluded from the 20-horse field that was entered.

Things became more frustrating for Hennig when both Wimbledon and St. Averil were scratched Friday morning, the day before the Derby. There is no also-eligible list for the Derby. Still, it was some consolation to Hennig that he didn't have to run Eddington over an extremely sloppy track at Churchill Downs.

"It's disappointing, but if you're not going to get in, it was nice to see at least you didn't miss a beautiful, sunny day where the track was perfect,'' Hennig said. "I feel good. Smarty Jones, until somebody beats him, he's a deserving favorite.''

The last time a non-Derby starter won the Preakness was in 2000, when Red Bullet did it. Red Bullet won the Preakness after finishing second in the Wood. Eddington finished third in the Wood, beaten a nose for second. Jerry Bailey rode Red Bullet in the Preakness, and will ride Eddington.

Eddington, who also finished third in the Gotham, worked six furlongs in 1:12.68 Saturday morning at Belmont Park. Eddington had problems switching his leads in a couple of races this year. Hennig said that has not been an issue in his recent workouts.

"He's definitely been great about his lead changes,'' Hennig said. "He was relaxed going off and finished strong. I think he's doing really well.''

Hennig also noted that by missing the Derby, his horse will have had a five-week break between races whereas Smarty Jones and Lion Tamer will be running back in two weeks.

"I don't think anybody in this day and age likes running back in two weeks,'' Hennig said.

Hennig said Eddington would have his final Preakness work on the weekend - most likely Saturday - and will ship to Pimlico the following Wednesday. "I'll gallop him Thursday and Friday and let him look around a little bit,'' Hennig said.

Sinister G works toward Peter Pan

Sinister G, the Lane's End Stakes winner who missed the Kentucky Derby due to a respiratory infection, worked five furlongs in 1:01.93 Sunday morning over Belmont Park's main track. He is being pointed to the Grade 2, $200,000 Peter Pan Stakes on May 22, but is also nominated to the Sir Barton Stakes at Pimlico on May 15.

"His next start will probably be in the Peter Pan,'' said trainer John Toscano Jr. "If he performs well in the Peter Pan we'll go to the Belmont. If not the Belmont, then the Ohio Derby.''

Toscano said Sinister G worked in blinkers on Sunday and would wear them in a race for the first time whenever he starts next. Toscano said he kept Sinister G on medication for five days the week of April 19, but "once he stopped coughing he went into full training.''

Sinister G last ran in the Wood Memorial, where he finished ninth.

Randaroo had the thumps

Trainer Kiaran McLaughlin said Randaroo came out of her third-place finish in the Grade 1 Humana Distaff with a case of the thumps. The thumps are an electrolyte imbalance, which can affect a horse's internal system.

Randaroo set a strong early pace in the Humana, but gave way with nary a fight while finishing well back of Mayo on the Side and Azeri.

"She had a bad day,'' McLaughlin said. "She had the thumps after the race and usually that affects their performance in a negative way. We've added some supplements to her feed and treated her a little differently and it shouldn't be a problem.''

McLaughlin said he was now leery of pointing Randaroo to the Grade 2, $500,000 Princess Rooney at Calder on July 10 because of south Florida's heat and humidity.

McLaughlin said he would point Randaroo to the Grade 2, $150,000 Vagrancy Handicap at Belmont on June 5 and decide about Calder later on. His major objective for the summer with Randaroo is the Grade 1 Ballerina at Saratoga on Aug. 29.

McLaughlin also said that Binya bled when finishing third in the Bewitch Stakes at Keeneland on April 21. McLaughlin said Binya, the impressive winner of the The Very One Handicap at Gulfstream on Feb. 28, may make her next start in the New York Handicap on July 5.

McLaughlin said Mustanfar, runner-up to Limehouse in the Tampa Bay Derby, would be pointed to the Belmont Stakes with a yet-to-be-determined prep. Options for that prep are the Sir Barton at Pimlico on Preakness Day or the Peter Pan at Belmont the following week.

Bowman's Band may join Pimlico Special

Bowman's Band, who was scratched out of the Fort Marcy Handicap on turf on April 24, could make his next start in the $500,000 Pimlico Special on May 14, trainer Allen Jerkens said.

"He's got to train real good to run in there,'' Jerkens said.

Jerkens said he scratched Bowman's Band from the Fort Marcy because "he was sulky that morning. Since then, he hasn't done anything wrong.''

Bowman's Band won last fall's Meadowlands Cup and finished second behind stablemate Puzzlement in the Hal's Hope Stakes at Gulfstream in January.

The Pimlico Special is coming up a terrific race with the likes of Funny Cide, Dynever, Ten Most Wanted, Midway Road, and Evening Attire pointing to the race.

Meanwhile, Jerkens said he has no plans for Withers Stakes winner Medallist. Jerkens wants to find out why Medallist bore out so badly in the stretch.

"He always wants to get out a little bit but it was always controllable,'' Jerkens said. "When he blew out for the race a guy was galloping and crossed over right in front of him and he didn't try to get out that day.''

Private Emblem euthanized

Private Emblem, the 2002 Arkansas Derby winner, had to be euthanized Sunday night after fracturing both sesamoid bones in his left foreleg nearing the finish of Sunday's Kings Point Handicap at Aqueduct.

Private Emblem, a son of Our Emblem, was part of the early pace along with Mr. V, and Vault, but broke down nearing the wire while finishing fourth. In addition to winning the Arkansas Derby, Private Emblem won February's Grade 3 Essex Handicap. At 3, Private Emblem won the Southwest Stakes, the Albany Handicap, and Black Gold Handicap.

"We got to grow fond of him, he tried hard all the time; it was a shame,'' said James Cassels, who owned the horse along with Bob Zollars.

Private Emblem, who finished 14th in the 2002 Kentucky Derby, won 7 of 24 starts and earned $783,152.