05/29/2002 11:00PM

Fan Club's Mister going short


CHICAGO - Fan Club's Mister stretched his distance limitations to the max when he won the Grade 2 American Derby at 1 3/16 miles last summer, but on Saturday at Hawthorne, he will be asked to win over a shorter distance than he ever has raced. With class and versatility on his side, Fan Club's Mister might be up to the task when he faces eight opponents in the $75,000 Glassy Dip, a five-furlong turf race.

Rickey Harris, who trains Fan Club's Mister for owners Patricia Miessler and Cliff Raber, plans to limit him to shorter races than he tried for much of the last year, but the Glassy Dip is an aberration in a campaign that will concentrate on grass miles. The Glassy Dip could prove too short for Fan Club's Mister, who has raced nine furlongs in three of his last four starts, but it is run at Harris' current home base and, Harris hopes, will set Fan Club's Mister up for the Firecracker Breeders' Cup later this summer at Churchill Downs.

A pace horse in route races, Fan Club's Mister probably will be outrun early in the Glassy Dip by the true sprinters. "I hope there's speed in there to run at," said Harris, who noted that Fan Club's Mister won his maiden coming from off the pace in a sprint race.

There is. The horses breaking from the four outside posts, Tic N Tin, Magic Doe, Meandmyloveman, and Aloha Bold, all should show speed, and it is hard to imagine anything less than a legitimate pace.

In Aloha Bold, trainer Tom Amoss and owner Stewart Madison might have a star in the making. An easy winner of his first four starts, Aloha Bold went down in defeat when he faced good sprinters in his stakes debut, the Jan. 5 Houston Sprint, but returned from a layoff with a solid win May 15 at Churchill in his first grass race.

Amos said Aloha Bold trained very well on grass at Churchill, "and he backed it up in a race. It's nice to think something and be proven right about it."

Aloha Bold altered tactics and came from off the pace in his last start, but only because he did not break well. He is likely to push the three other speed horses, the best of which might be Magic Doe, who last year at age 6 found his best form for his 92-year-old trainer, Jim Eckrosh, and has won five of his last seven starts. Magic Doe, who is owned by William Cortesi, won his only race over the Hawthorne turf course.

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