09/19/2004 11:00PM

Eddington warms up for stretch drive


ELMONT, N.Y. - Eddington had his first work since finishing third in the Travers Stakes on Monday at Belmont Park. Following the work, trainer Mark Hennig said he is pointing Eddington to the $300,000 Pegasus at The Meadowlands on Oct. 1.

Eddington covered five furlongs in 1:01.43 on the main track, which was listed as fast.

"I was very pleased; he came home in 24 [seconds]," Hennig said.

Eddington was beaten six lengths by Birdstone in the Grade 1 Travers at Saratoga on Aug. 28.

It has been somewhat of a disappointing season for Eddington, who showed plenty of promise earlier in the year, finishing third in both the Gotham and Wood Memorial after impressive wins in a maiden and allowance race at Gulfstream Park. In the Preakness, he finished a well-beaten third and then tired in the stretch of the Belmont Stakes, finishing fourth, 12 lengths behind Birdstone.

In the Jim Dandy, his prep for the Travers, Eddington finished third but was disqualified and placed fourth for interference.

Hennig said he felt Eddington had an arduous summer campaign, so he wasn't in a rush to put Eddington in any of the 3-year-old races in September.

"I thought he had a couple of tough races in a row and it wouldn't hurt him to give him some time before we cranked him back up," Hennig said.

Storm Flag Flying works for Beldame

Storm Flag Flying, who won the Grade 1 Personal Ensign at Saratoga in her last start, continued her preparations for the Grade 1, $750,000 Beldame with a half-mile work in 48.27 seconds Monday. Trainer Shug McGaughey said he timed Storm Flag Flying galloping out five furlongs in 1:00 and change over the main track.

McGaughey opted to skip Sunday's Ruffian with Storm Flag Flying and wait for the Beldame on Oct. 9.

After seeing Sightseek win the Ruffian in a romp, McGaughey said, "The way the race was run yesterday, it probably would have been hard for [Storm Flag Flying] coming off a mile-and-a-quarter race. I think the Personal Ensign really helped her. It was the first time she had to run hard in a long time."

Balletto eyes BC Juvenile Fillies

Balletto, the runner-up to Sense of Style in Sunday's Grade 1 Matron, will be pointed to the Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies at Lone Star on Oct. 30, with a possible start before then. If she runs before the Breeders' Cup, the races under consideration for Balletto are the Grade 1 Frizette here on Oct. 9 or the Grade 2 Alcibiades at Keeneland on Oct. 8.

Balletto was beaten a length by Sense of Style in the Matron.

Tom Albertrani, Balletto's trainer, said a decision would be made after seeing the how Balletto comes out of the Matron.

"If we ran before, the Frizette could be the most likely option, because I like the idea of only having to ship her once instead of twice before the Breeders' Cup," Albertrani said.

Millennium Dragon likely for Kelso

Millennium Dragon, who finished ninth as the third choice in Sunday's Atto Mile at Woodbine, will most likely run back in the $350,000 Kelso Breeders' Cup Handicap here Oct. 9. Last year, Millennium Dragon finished fifth in the Grade 2 Kelso.

The Atto Mile was Millennium Dragon's first race since he finished second in the Grade 3 Poker Handicap at Belmont on July 10. A minor hock injury kept him on the sidelines during the Saratoga meet.

"We went to the Atto Mile thinking we were good enough to compete at the level, but he emptied out early because he got tired," said trainer Kiaran McLaughlin. "It was a tough spot to bring him back in after 10 weeks off. The Kelso is more than likely, but we'll also look at the Shadwell Mile the same day."

The Grade 1, $600,000 Shadwell Turf Mile is run at Keeneland.

Gearing up for weekend stakes

Among the horses working Monday for stakes this weekend were Ocean Drive, Icy Atlantic, and Irish Colonial.

The likely favorite in Saturday's Grade 3 Noble Damsel, Ocean Drive worked a half-mile in 48.72 seconds on the main track. Icy Atlantic covered five furlongs in 1:01.43 for Sunday's Grade 2 Jamaica. Irish Colonial worked on the turf - a half-mile in 49.02 - for Saturday's $100,000 Ashley T. Cole.

Todd Pletcher, the trainer of Ocean Drive and Icy Atlantic, also worked Ashado and Speightstown for upcoming stakes. Ashado, who will run in the Grade 2 Cotillion at Philadelphia Park on Oct. 2, worked five furlongs in 1:02.93. Speightstown, preparing for the Grade 1 Vosburgh on Oct. 2, worked five furlongs in 1:01.43.

* On Saturday, the wagering pool for the New York Racing Association's $400,000 guaranteed pick four fell short by $41,962. Heavy rain and short fields in two of the races could have been the contributing factors to the shortfall.