09/26/2004 11:00PM

Fantasticat looking fine after Super win

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BOSSIER CITY, La. - A day after Fantasticat's victory in the on Saturday, the colt's trainer, Bobby Barnett, and owners, Russ and Shelda Sherrod, were still enjoying the victory and had yet to make next-race plans. Fantasticat returned to his Churchill Downs base from Louisiana Downs on Sunday.

"We've not discussed a race," Barnett said Sunday. "We'll give him four or five days off and see how he is. But the horse really looks good now. He cooled out well, he cleaned his night grain up - which is always a good sign - and he looks bright and alert this morning."

Barnett had Fantasticat walking the shed row well before training started on Sunday.

"He ate grass for about 30 minutes this morning," said Barnett. "He likes the cuisine here at Harrah's Louisiana Downs."

He also liked the wet going in the Super Derby, winning by a half-length over Borrego on a muddy track. Fantasticat earned a career-best Beyer Speed Figure of 103.

Fantasticat started his career overseas with trainer Aidan O'Brien, and was later purchased by the Sherrods.

"He's improved every race," said Barnett.

Barnett put blinkers back on Fantasticat for the $60,000 Prelude, the local prep for the Super Derby. Fantasticat finished second in that race, and kept the blinkers on Saturday.

Borrego returned to Hollywood Park on Sunday afternoon, and on Monday trainer Beau Greely was thinking out loud about his options for the colt. Earlier this year, Borrego ran second to Smarty Jones in the $1 million Arkansas Derby.

"I'm not really sure what he'll do next," said Greely, citing either the Breeders' Cup Classic or the Hollywood Derby on the turf for Borrego's next start. Greely said a decision would not be made until he talks with co-owners Jon and Sarah Kelly, who were out of town on Monday.

The BC Classic is appealing for several reasons, including the surface. "I'd like to keep him on the dirt," said Greely. "He's done extremely well on it. And I think his third race back will be his best."

The Super Derby was Borrego's second start following a freshening after the May 15 Preakness.

Imperialism came out of his fourth-place finish as the favorite in the Super Derby in good order, said his owner, Steve Taub. Trained by Kristin Mulhall, the horse flew back to Santa Anita on Sunday.

"He came back good except for having eaten half the racetrack," said Taub. "His lungs were loaded with dirt. He was just loaded with mud."

Plans for Imperialism's next race are pending, but long-term, Taub said, the horse is a probable for the Strub series at Santa Anita.

Britt's Jules will make his next start in the Grade 3, $250,000 Lone Star Derby at Lone Star Park on Oct. 29, said his trainer, Eric Guillot.

The horse raced with the pace throughout the 1 1/8-mile Super Derby. He will be shortening up to 1 1/16 miles for the Lone Star Derby.

"He ran a big race," said Guillot. "I think we gave it a shot, and basically he's not a 1 1/8-mile horse."