10/20/2004 11:00PM

Final work for several contenders


GRAND PRAIRIE, Texas - Some of the best sprinters in the Midwest will put in their final works for the $1 million Breeders' Cup Sprint this weekend at Churchill Downs.

Champali, winner of the Grade 3, $250,000 Phoenix Breeders' Cup, was to work on Friday or Saturday; Clock Stopper's drill is set for Saturday; and Cuvee will have his workout on Monday. All three horses are scheduled to fly to Texas on Tuesday.

Gold Storm and Bwana Charlie, who have been based at Lone Star Park for the duration of the fall meet, which opened on Oct. 1, both returned to the track on Thursday after workouts. Gold Storm, who was the runner-up in the Phoenix, will pace a two-minute mile early next week for his final Sprint preparations, said his trainer, Bubba Cascio.

Also on the track at Lone Star on Thursday was Bay Marvel, who is the lone horse on the waiting list to get into the Sprint but should start because the connections of Domestic Dispute stated their first preference is the Mile. Bay Marvel worked four furlongs in 51.40 seconds under jockey Eddie Martin Jr.

"He worked well. It was an easy maintenance work," said Bret Calhoun, who trains Bay Marvel for Bobby Beck.

Beck, who is a resident of Texas, decided to enter Bay Marvel in the Sprint. The horse is an allowance type and will be a longshot. Bay Marvel is also eligible for a race during the International Jockey Championship at Lone Star on Thursday.

Champali has done well since the Phoenix. "He's great," said trainer Greg Foley, who acknowledged the field for the Sprint, led by such horses as Speightstown, Kela, and Midas Eyes, is strong.

"I'm glad to see Pico Central didn't go," he said. "He's the one I was afraid of most off his last race. [But] it's still a stellar field."

It also should be a large field, with at least 12 starters, even if Bay Marvel and Abbondanza decide to pass the race and Domestic Dispute goes in the Mile.

Champali would be best served breaking from the middle of the field, said Foley.

Cascio is also hoping to draw in the middle with Gold Storm, who has won 3 of his 4 Lone Star starts. In his last two races, which included a win in the $150,000 Arlington Breeders' Cup at Arlington Park, he broke from post 1.

"If I had a preference, I would want [post] 3 to 7," Cascio said. "It's in the mix, but not too far out."

Clock Stopper, who was a troubled third in the Phoenix, continues to train well for the Sprint, and will work either a half-mile or five furlongs, said his trainer, Dallas Stewart.

Pat Day will ride Clock Stopper, who earlier this year was second, beaten a nose by Champali, in the Grade 2 Smile Sprint Handicap at Calder.