09/18/2005 11:00PM

'Fancy' hits the road

Lava Man, galloping last month at Del Mar, will run next in either the Goodwood or the Jockey Club Gold Cup.

POMONA, Calif. - Catch My Fancy is on her way to a graded stakes in Kentucky or New York following a romping stakes win last Saturday at Fairplex Park in the $110,733 .

"We think she's ready to take on the big girls," trainer Craig Dollase said.

He may be right. Five-length winner of her debut at Del Mar, Catch My Fancy won by 6 1/2 on Saturday.

Dollase said the filly, by Yes It's True, will ship out for her next start - either the Grade 2 Alcibiades on Oct. 7 at Keeneland, or the Grade 1 Frizette on Oct. 8 at Belmont.

"Obviously, the objective is the Breeders' Cup," Dollase said.

Catch My Fancy earned an 81 Beyer in the Barretts, compared with the 88 Beyer she earned in her Del Mar debut.

Neither figure does justice. After winning her debut virtually gate to wire, Catch My Fancy employed different tactics as the odds-on favorite in the Barretts. Catch My Fancy was not quick early, rated kindly inside, took dirt, slipped along the rail to make the lead near the quarter pole, and cruised under Garrett Gomez. Catch My Fancy is owned by Terrence Lanni.

West pins blame on Pedroza

Bengal Lore's half-length defeat Sunday in the $115,400 Barretts Juvenile - a race in which he was favored at 1-5 - was largely the result of ill-advised strategy by jockey Martin Pedroza. So says Ted West, who trains the 2-year-old with his son, Ted H. West. West said he believes Pedroza took too much hold, depriving Bengal Lore of using his natural speed.

"One thing you don't want to do with a 1-5 shot is get too cute," West said. "Martin was either overconfident, or he over-managed him. He slowed the pace down too much. If he would have just let him run his race, he could have been fine."

Bengal Lore set a slow pace (22.25 and 46.25 seconds) and opened a clear lead at the eighth pole, but got collared by Direct Connect. Bengal Lore's loss came two days after a runner-up finish Friday by odds-on Dee Dee's Diner - also trained by the Wests - in the $58,800 Pio Pico Stakes. Pedroza made no mistakes on 3-5 Dee Dee's Diner, who got beat on the square by $86.20 longshot Two to Get Ready. West said Dee Dee's Diner did not run her race.

"The only way I thought she could get beat is if she bounced, and I think she bounced," West said. "She ran so hard the time before against good fillies at Del Mar."

Direct Connect, the Barretts Juvenile winner, will stretch out to 1 1/16 miles when he runs next in the California Cup Juvenile on Nov. 6, trainer Paul Aguirre said. Direct Connect was making his second career start in the Barretts Juvenile.

"Since his last race, he has come back and trained like a really good horse," Aguirre said. "Horses generally tell you after their first race whether they're going to be good or bad, and he told us he was going to be very good."

Two options for Lava Man

Hollywood Gold Cup winner Lava Man - remember him? - is alive and well, and on schedule for the Grade 2, $500,000 Goodwood Handicap on Oct. 1 at Santa Anita. Lava Man worked six furlongs Saturday at Hollywood Park in 1:13.60, his first workout since he was vanned off the track after finishing third as the 3-2 favorite Aug. 21 in the Pacific Classic at Del Mar

"He worked awesome, and we're still pointing to the Goodwood," trainer Doug O'Neill said, while not ruling out the Grade 1, $1 million Jockey Club Gold Cup at Belmont, also on Oct. 1. As for the Breeders' Cup Classic, Lava Man requires a $360,000 supplement to run.

"That's where the New York race comes into play, because the purse is so much bigger," O'Neill said. "If we were to get lucky and win the Jockey Club Gold Cup, that would pay his way into the Breeders' Cup. But it's a big check to write."

Still, O'Neill said, "Everything is leaning toward the Goodwood, unless the Jockey Club comes up with a short field."

Lava Man's status has been under a cloud since he was vanned off the track following the Pacific Classic. O'Neill speculates that the awkward steps Lava Man took while pulling up were the result of exhaustion.

"Patrick [Valenzuela] didn't want to take any chances; and I went down to [Lava Man] before he went on the van, and he walked right on."

In the Goodwood, Lava Man would face Santa Anita Handicap winner Rock Hard Ten, who worked 1 1/8 miles Friday at Santa Anita in 1:52.

* Nine days into the Los Angeles County Fair meet, Pedroza has opened an 18-13 lead over Felipe Martinez in the jockey standings. Pedroza is scheduled to begin a three-day suspension Thursday. Doug O'Neill leads Ted West, 9-5, in the training standings.