07/19/2004 11:00PM

Extra turn for Medallist


ELMONT, N.Y. - Like the rest of us, Allen Jerkens is anxious to find out how Medallist will fare around two turns. So, the Hall of Fame trainer will most likely give Medallist that opportunity by running him in the $500,000 Jim Dandy at Saratoga on Aug. 8.

Medallist, a son of Touch Gold owned by his breeder, Robert Clay, is coming off a stellar effort winning the Grade 2 Dwyer Stakes on July 11 in a gate-to-wire performance. Under Jorge Chavez, Medallist set a stakes record of 1:40.02 for the 1 1/16 miles. The Dwyer was run around one turn. The Jim Dandy is 1 1/8 miles around two turns.

The meticulous Jerkens said he would work Medallist around two turns at Saratoga before the race.

"We'll see if he gets around that clubhouse turn in his workout up there," said Jerkens, one of the few trainers who often works horses beyond six furlongs.

Jerkens admitted to being impressed by the manner in which Medallist won the Dwyer, his third win from six starts. Medallist ran six furlongs in 1:07.96 and a mile in 1:33.27, yet still had enough left to defeat the Grade 1 winner The Cliff's Edge by 3 3/4 lengths. Medallist won the Dwyer 71 days after his previous start, a victory in the Grade 3 Withers at Aqueduct.

"I thought he was going much too fast," Jerkens said. "But if the other [riders] are pushing their horses behind you, they don't have that much kick left. We were just lucky we had a good tailwind too. It remains to be seen what he can do around two turns."

Jerkens said that if Chavez is able to "slow him down and get him to switch his leads right, he just might do it."

Jerkens also plans to run Bowman's Band in the Grade 1 Whitney Handicap the day before the Jim Dandy. On Tuesday, Bowman's Band worked four furlongs in 49.09 seconds over the Belmont Park training track. Passing Shot, whom Jerkens is likely to run in the Grade 1 Go for Wand on Aug. 1, worked seven furlongs in 1:30.68 over Belmont's main track.

Fleet Indian to try Alabama

After winning her first start against open company, the undefeated New York-bred Fleet Indian will take an even bigger step up in class for her next start, the Grade 1 Alabama on Aug. 21 at Saratoga.

"It's time for us to make the move," trainer Jimmy Toner said. "I felt all along this filly could run all day long."

Fleet Indian, a daughter of Indian Charlie, won her first three starts easily against New York-bred company. On July 15, she won an open company entry-level allowance race by a half-length, earning a career-best Beyer Speed Figure of 84.

"I was very happy with her last race," Toner said. "It was a hurdle for her. I think it was important for her to win the other day. It was a good effort considering she needs to something to run at and she made the lead so early. She's still a big, green, sort of halfway dopey thing.''

Toner said he was a bit concerned that Fleet Indian made the lead too early, but that Edgar Prado did a good job waiting for another filly to challenge her in the stretch.

"The race is better than what it looks on paper," Toner said. "She only does what she has to do."

Toner has a few other things to look forward to at the upcoming Saratoga meet. Wonder Again, who displayed some of her old traits in winning the New York Handicap, will run in the Grade 1 Diana on July 31. Wonder Again breezed a strong five furlongs in 48.39 seconds on Sunday and will work again at Belmont before shipping to Saratoga on Monday.

Also, Toner sent out a good-looking 3-year-old maiden winner, Blazing Pursuit, who will try to go through his conditions at the Spa. Blazing Pursuit, a half-brother to the graded stakes winner Blazing Fury, earned a Beyer Figure of 83 winning his debut.

The only bad news coming out of the Toner barn is that War Trace, a two-time winning son of the mare Soaring Softly, is out for the year because of an injury.

Delta Sensation headed to Lake George

Delta Sensation, who won a third-level allowance race on the turf by 5 1/2 lengths on July 14, will make her next start in the Grade 3, $100,000 Lake George Handicap at Saratoga, trainer Frank Alexander said.

Delta Sensation, is now 2 for 3 on turf and 5 for 7 overall.

"She should be 3 for 3," Alexander said, referring to Delta Sensation's 2 1/4-length defeat in the June 13 Sands Point, a Grade 3 turf stakes. "She was back a little too far, was wide, and she hung a little bit. I thought she ran very well the other day. There was no time where I thought she could lose."

Delta Sensation, who won a minor stakes at Belmont in May, earned a Beyer of 95 for her allowance win.

There were 38 3-year-old fillies nominated to the Lake George, including Lucifer's Stone, a multiple stakes winner who is coming back off a minor injury. She worked five furlongs in 1:01.65 over the Belmont turf on Sunday and is expected to start in the Lake George.

Riskaverse likely for Diana

Last year, the Diana at Saratoga and Beverly D. at Arlington Park were three weeks apart, which afforded trainer Pat Kelly the luxury of running Riskaverse in both races. This year, those races are two weeks apart, forcing Kelly to choose one or the other.

Kelly sounds as though he is leaning toward the Diana because of its 1 1/8-mile distance as opposed to the 1 3/16 miles of the Beverly D. Last year, Riskaverse finished third in the Beverly D. and fourth in the Diana.

Kelly doesn't have a concrete reason why Riskaverse flattened out to fifth as the 3-5 favorite in last month's Locust Grove Handicap at Churchill Downs. But Riskaverse has been working well since that race, including a five-furlong move in 1:00.02 over the Belmont turf course last Sunday.

"She got outfinished down there for some reason," said Kelly, when asked about the Locust Grove. "They went slow and finished fast."

Evening Attire, the 2002 Jockey Club Gold Cup winner, was credited with a five-furlong move in a bullet 1:00.63 last Saturday over the training track. Kelly is likely to point Evening Attire to an allowance race at the Spa.