Updated on 09/15/2011 2:09PM

Exogenous gets another shot at Flute

Email

ELMONT, N.Y. - After Exog-enous's half-mile work on Wednes-day, trainer Scotty Schulhofer declared his filly ready to run in Saturday's $750,000 Beldame at Belmont Park, where she gets a rematch with Flute, the leading 3-year-old filly in the country.

Exogenous was timed in 47.25 seconds, handily, over Belmont's main track.

Over the weekend, Schulhofer had a scare when Exogenous had some puffiness in one of her legs. When the swelling subsided it turned out to be nothing more than a minor skin irritation.

Exogenous comes into the Grade 1 Beldame off an authoritative 3 1/2-length win in the Grade 1 Gazelle on Sept. 8. She wore blinkers for the first time in the Gazelle, and Schulhofer said that made a huge difference in Exogenous, who was second in the Alabama, beaten 4 3/4 lengths by Flute, in her prior start.

"She lost all concentration in the Alabama," Schulhofer said. "In the stretch, her head came up and her legs went every which way. Inside the sixteenth pole, she dropped her head and went back to running. The blinkers moved her way up in the Gazelle; put her mind on her business."

Exogenous will be meeting older fillies and mares for the first time in the 1 1/8-mile Beldame, which has been won by 3-year-olds on 11 occasions in the past 21 years. Schulhofer, a Hall of Fame trainer, said he believes 3-year-olds of any sex in the fall of the year are nearly on the same playing field as their older rivals.

"As long as you don't have a dominant, top-notch horse, the 3-year-olds are pretty close to the older horses in the fall," Schulhofer. "The weight allowance helps a lot too."

In the Beldame, a weight-for-age race, Exogenous and Flute carry 120 pounds and receive three pounds from their elders. Javier Castellano, aboard Exogenous in the Gazelle, has the mount.

Beautiful Pleasure, the 1999 Beldame winner, arrived at Belmont Tuesday for the Beldame and galloped on the main track Wednesday. Donna Ward, who gallops the mare for her husband, trainer John Ward, said Beautiful Pleasure, second in the Personal Ensign in her last start, is feeling feisty.

"She's been pretty evil since the Personal Ensign, because she was right on target for the Ruffian and then didn't get to run," Ward said.

The Ruffian was canceled when racing was halted in the wake of the terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center on Sept. 11.

Kelso: Frankel longshot

Kelso hopeful Blu Air Force, one of four horses red-hot trainer Bobby Frankel will saddle in stakes at Belmont on Saturday, figures to be the longest price among the trainer's runners. These days, however, it could be costly to toss out a Frankel horse in a stakes, especially since the trainer thinks the $250,000 Kelso, a mile grass race, is a good spot for Blu Air Force.

"He's training good and has the quality," Frankel said. "The only question is the distance. I would love to find a seven-furlong [grass race] for him, but the [Kelso] doesn't look like it's coming up all that tough."

Forest Hills: Expect 'Disco' rebound

Trainer Valora Testerman said you can toss Disco Rico's last effort when he finished second to Say Florida Sandy in the Paterson Handicap at The Meadowlands on Sept. 7. Testerman said the real Disco Rico will show up for Sunday's $250,000 Forest Hills.

Disco Rico, the favorite of the three-horse Paterson field, was beaten 1 1/2 lengths by Say Florida Sandy after blowing the comfortable lead he owned in the stretch.

Testerman said Disco Rico had a severe reaction to the Lasix shot he received about 4 1/2 hours before the Paterson. The reaction was so violent that the colt collapsed to the ground. Veterinarians assured Testerman reactions to Lasix are not so uncommon and that Disco Rico needed to be kept moving until he recovered.

Testerman decided to run Disco Rico after his vital signs returned to normal. "It was a terrible decision to make," Testerman said. "The vet said, short of Disco Rico being tired, there would be no lasting effects. He was lethargic and that cost him the race because he came up empty."

Hook and Ladder reverses field

Trainer John Kimmel was all set to put Hook and Ladder on a plane Tuesday for Kentucky where he was going to run in Saturday's Phoenix Stakes at Keeneland. Then, Kimmel took a closer look at the conditions of that race and decided to keep his horse here for Sunday's Grade 2 Forest Hills Handicap.

"I thought it was a handicap," Kimmel said. "It's allowance conditions. He gets [hurt] by the weights, he has to carry 126 pounds and has to give weight to Bet On Sunshine. So I said it doesn't make sense, I'll stay here."

In the Forest Hills, which is a handicap, Hook and Ladder only has to carry 114 pounds, four pounds fewer than Delaware Township and Peeping Tom.

With regular rider Richard Migliore in Kentucky to ride Miss Linda for Kimmel in Sunday's Spinster Stakes, John Velazquez will ride Hook and Ladder in the Forest Hills.

Officer: A kinder, gentler talent

While trainer Bob Baffert hopes Officer becomes as talented as Point Given, exercise rider Simon Harris was certainly happy that Officer is not as temperamental as his former high-profile stablemate.

Harris was aboard Officer Wednesday morning, taking him on a 1 1/4-mile jog around Belmont's main track in preparation for Saturday's Champagne Stakes. Officer was perfect on his entire trip, a far cry from when Harris got on Point Given for the first time last fall prior to the Champagne. Point Given acted up in the barn then nearly flipped over while rearing up coming off the track.

"I'm glad they're two different horses," Harris said. "The first time I got on Point Given it took us about 20 minutes to get over to the track. I couldn't sit on him for more than a few seconds before he would rear up. He was a nut before the Champagne. I'd wake up the next day after riding him and my hips would be so sore from trying to stay on the horse. Officer is completely different. He's real relaxed."

Harris is also the regular exercise rider for Heavyweight Champ, a recent 8 1/2-length winner of an allowance race who figures to be one of Officer's main obstacles in the 1 1/16-mile Champagne.

"I've been getting on 'Champ' since his first race and this is the best he's felt," Harris said. "That allowance race did a lot for him. If he runs like that, I don't think the distance will be a problem."

Bailey nears money record

With almost three months of racing remaining, jockey Jerry Bailey is closing in on the single-season money won record he set in 1996.

Entering Wednesday's card, Bailey's mounts had earned $18,904,241 with 198 winners from 800 mounts. In 1996, Bailey earned a record $19,453,376 by winning 298 races. Bailey figures to break his record over the weekend, as he rides several contenders on Belmont's Breeders' Cup Preview Day card.

*Owner Dennis Drazin said Testing would skip Saturday's $1 million Jockey Club Gold Cup and instead would run in the Maryland Million Classic at Pimlico on Oct. 13. That leaves a likely field of seven - Aptitude, A P Valentine, Albert the Great, Country Be Gold, Generous Rosi, Scorpion, and Sumitas.

- additional reporting by David Grening

*