07/24/2007 11:00PM

Flashy Bull gives barn second wave


SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. - It is times like these when trainer Kiaran McLaughlin admits to missing Invasor a little bit more.

On the eve of the post-position draw for Saturday's Grade 1 Whitney Handicap, McLaughlin said it would have been nice to have the defending Whitney winner and Horse of the Year to saddle in the $750,000 race. But after the colt suffered a career-ending injury in a workout last month at Belmont Park, McLaughlin is simply happy the horse can have a second career as a stallion.

"You think more about him," McLaughlin said Wednesday outside his Saratoga barn. "It's a little tough, but I'm happy he's in one piece and at home. He had a great run."

McLaughlin can also be happy about Invasor's successor, Flashy Bull, who is on a great run. Flashy Bull, who won just 1 of his first 14 races, will bring a four-race winning streak into Saturday's Whitney.

The most recent victory came in the Grade 1 Stephen Foster Handicap at Churchill Downs, where Flashy Bull made a strong move from the half-mile pole to the eighth pole and was able to hold off Magna Graduate at the wire to win by a head.

"The middle move that he made was impressive," McLaughlin said. "To open up turning for home, that was impressive."

Also impressive to McLaughlin is the courage Flashy Bull has shown in his races. Not only did he hold off Magna Graduate in the Stephen Foster, he won a stirring stretch battle with Hesanoldsalt to win the William Donald Schaefer Handicap at Pimlico on Preakness Day.

"This year, he's definitely shown it every time," McLaughlin said. "He's been a fighter. We were shocked he got beat in that a-other-than in his first start. Since then he's won all four starts and has been very impressive."

Though Robby Albarado rode Flashy Bull at Churchill Downs, McLaughlin will give the mount back to Alan Garcia in the Whitney. Garcia was scheduled to ride the horse in the Salvator Mile at Monmouth Park before McLaughlin called an audible and ran in the Stephen Foster.

As of Wednesday, 12 horses were still under consideration to run in the Whitney, though the connections of Dry Martini, the Cornhusker winner, were wavering.

Jacobson back in the winner's circle

After a 25-year hiatus, trainer David Jacobson, the son of longtime leading New York trainer Buddy Jacobson, returned to the winner's circle Wednesday when Again and Again won the fifth race.

Wednesday was the first day Jacobson was listed as a trainer in 25 years. In 1982, Jacobson was forced to surrender his trainer's license to the state because of an incident in 1981 when he was charged with "failing to provide adequate food and medical attention" to the horse Hugable Tom, who was euthanized on Sept. 28, 1981.

"I really don't want to get into it," said Jacobson, who did say he felt he was railroaded in that case. "It's a long time ago and I'm looking forward."

After surrendering his license, Jacobson went into the real estate business and owns a real estate company in Manhattan.

Jacobson, 52, was enticed to come back by his longtime owner Michael Ricatto, 92, who gave Jacobson "a chunk of money" to claim horses. Back in the spring, Jacobson retained trainer Diane Balsamo to be the head trainer while Jacobson received an assistant trainer's license from the New York State Racing and Wagering Board.

At Belmont, Balsamo went 6 for 44.

Pleased with how Jacobson conducted himself during that meet, the state agreed to give him his trainer's license commencing with the Saratoga meeting.

"They gave me a probationary period just to show them that I knew what I was doing," Jacobson said. "They were very happy with what they saw."

Said state steward Carmine Donofrio, "He's been great, no problems. He's done what he's supposed to do."

Jacobson said he told Riccato that he didn't want to come back just to train two or three horses. He now has 25 in his care.

"I want to compete with the big guys, and we plan to do that, but winning a race at Saratoga is a thrill," said Jacobson, who also had a second-place and a third-place finish on the card.

About the only thing that went wrong for Jacobson on Wednesday was that he claimed Massoud for $35,000 in the first race. Massoud broke down in the stretch and was euthanized.

Nafzger: Street Sense ready to run

It had been 13 days since Carl Nafzger had seen his Kentucky Derby winner Street Sense, but one look at the colt on the racetrack Wednesday had the trainer looking forward to Sunday's Jim Dandy Stakes.

Though Nafzger, who had been away on a fishing trip in Alaska, stopped short of committing Street Sense to the race, he said that as long as things go well in a scheduled work on Thursday, Street Sense will become the first Kentucky Derby winner to run at Saratoga in his 3-year-old season since Thunder Gulch in 1995.

"He's ready to run Sunday, but let's don't get ahead of ourselves, let's keep all options open," Nafzger said. "I'm ready to get back in the game.

"The way he's trained, all the opinions [assistant Ian Wilkes] gave me, he's ready to get back in the game. It's time to play, but we'll wait one more day. We work [Thursday], if he comes out of that work good we roll."

Street Sense worked five furlongs in 57.20 seconds on July 19. Nafzger was not looking for a big move on Thursday, but he just wanted to make sure everything goes right.

"If he relaxes, just does a quiet work, that's what we're looking for," Nafzger said.

Borel starts off a winner

Jockey Calvin Borel came to ride the Saratoga meet for the first time primarily because of Street Sense, but he wanted to pick up some other business as well. He began the meet in style Wednesday, winning with his first mount as he guided Warn ($11.20) to a half-length victory in the fifth race.

"It's awesome," Borel said. "That's the way to get started. Doesn't get any better than that."

Borel, who guided Street Sense to victory in the Kentucky Derby, usually takes a little break after the Churchill meet. But with Street Sense here and likely to run in the Jim Dandy and Travers, Borel did not want to stray too far away from him.

"Carl kind of wanted me to come here and be with him, so we decided to come on over," Borel said. "I'm going to ride a few other horses and go from there."

Borel went 1 for 3 on Wednesday and was scheduled to ride four horses on Friday, including Lady Attack in the Lake George Stakes.

Jerkens undecided about fillies

Trainer Allen Jerkens plans to run his two graded stakes-winning fillies Teammate and Miss Shop on Saturday's Breeders' Cup Challenge Series program. Whether they will compete against one another, as they have done twice over the past year, remains the question.

Teammate will be among a small field expected for the Grade 1 Go for Wand, which is carded at 1 1/8 miles on the main track. Miss Shop is nominated for both the Go for Wand and the Grade 1 Diana, which is scheduled at 1 1/8 miles on the turf. Both fillies worked five furlongs here on Wednesday, Miss Shop in 1:00.17 seconds and Teammate in a slow 1:04.64.

"I don't mean to be difficult, but as of now I'm not sure where I'm going to run Miss Shop," Jerkens said after training hours Wednesday. "I think she'll probably run in the Diana, but I want to see what the competition looks like and how the weather is shaping up. I really can't figure her out, but it seems to me that she really likes only firm turf."

Miss Shop and Teammate met in the Grade 1 Ogden Phipps Handicap on June 16, finishing a well-beaten fourth and fifth behind Take D' Tour. Teammate's Wednesday workout was disappointing and puzzling to Jerkens following the filly's half-length victory four weeks earlier in the Gradeo2 Shuvee Handicap.

"The rider misjudged the work a little this morning after she worked too fast a week ago, although she was rolling the last eighth of a mile," said Jerkens.

Weather to determine Meribel's status for Diana

Trainer Christophe Clement on Wednesday would not commit his four-time stakes winner Meribel to the Diana. Meribel had her two-race win streak snapped when her rider misjudged the finish line and began pulling her up after she had drawn well clear during the stretch run of Philadelphia Park's Dr. James Penny Memorial Handicap on July 4.

"She's training great, and I'll enter her in the Diana, but her status is subject to the weather," said Clement. "She just seems to run well below her best form on soft turf. If she doesn't go here, the alternative would be the Matchmaker."

The Grade 3 Matchmaker will be run at Monmouth on Aug. 5.

Clement also reported that In Summation was scheduled to ship from Belmont Park to Del Mar for Sunday's Grade 1 Bing Crosby Handicap.

- additional reporting by Mike Welsch