09/17/2002 11:00PM

Flower Bowl Plan A for Banks Hill


ELMONT, N.Y. - Banks Hill, whose electrifying 5 1/2-length victory in last year's Breeders' Cup Filly and Mare Turf at Belmont Park vaulted her to an Eclipse Award, will most likely make her final prep for this year's Breeders' Cup in the Grade 1, $750,000 Flower Bowl Invitational here on Sept. 28.

Speaking from France, trainer Andre Fabre said Banks Hill would run in either the Flower Bowl or the Grade 1, $500,000, Yellow Ribbon at Santa Anita Oct. 5, depending where she could run over the firmest turf. Fabre said his preference would be to run in the Flower Bowl.

"It's first choice because she knows the course,'' Fabre said. "She's doing fine. Her last two races were pretty good.''

Should the turf come up soft for both the Flower Bowl and the Yellow Ribbon, Banks Hill would likely be trained up to the Filly and Mare Turf, according to Dr. John Chandler, president of Juddmonte Farms, which owns Banks Hill. Chandler added that if the Arlington Park turf course were to come up soft on Breeders' Cup Day, Banks Hill would not run.

Banks Hill, a 4-year-old filly, most recently finished second, a half-length behind Rock of Gibraltar in the Prix du Moulin de Longchamp on Sept. 8. Prior to that, she defeated males in the Prix Jacques le Marois at Deauville.

In her two other starts this year - both against males - Banks Hill finished third behind Best of the Bests in the Group 1 Prix d'Ispahan at Longchamp and third behind Grandera in the Group 1 Prince of Wales's Stakes at Ascot.

Regardless of her next race, Banks Hill will remain in the U.S. between then and the Breeders' Cup, Fabre said.

Among the horses Banks Hill would meet in the Flower Bowl are England's Legend and Starine, the second- and third-place finishers from last year's Flower Bowl, and French shipper Turtle Bow, who finished fourth to Banks Hill in the Prix Jacques le Marois. Kazzia, who won the 1000 Guineas and the English Oaks - both Group 1 events in England - is possible, as is Tarfshi, a Group 2 winner in Ireland earlier this year.

Also invited but not expected to run are Affluent, Astra, Choc Ice, Golden Apples, Marotta, Sophisticat, and Volga. An alternate list of invitees will be published on Sunday.

Fabre represented in Jamaica

Fabre has already sent one of his top 3-year-old colts, Devious Indian, for Sunday's Grade 2, $200,000 Jamaica Handicap.

An Irish-bred son of Dr Devious, Devious Indian has won three of his last four starts, including the Group 3 Prix Quincey, a one-mile race at Deauville on Aug. 31. Fabre said Devious Indian is a one-run closer who would benefit from a contested pace in the Jamaica, at 1 1/8 miles on turf.

"He shouldn't be bothered by the extra distance,'' Fabre said. "He would prefer [firm] ground.''

Fabre said Devious Indian will remain in the U.S. following the Jamaica and be transferred to the barn of Christophe Clement.

Fabre believes Devious Indian has a chance to be competitive in the U.S. this fall and next year and said one of the reasons he will stay in the U.S. is because in France "there is no money for him.''

A solid field is expected for the Jamaica, including Chiselling, Miesque's Approval, Ibn Al Haitham, Jazz Beat, Finality, Macaw, Union Place, and possibly February Storm.

Wednesday, Ibn Al Haitham breezed four furlongs in 47.72 seconds over Belmont's main track.

Milwaukee Brew works for Gold Cup

Despite working Milwaukee Brew in blinkers Wednesday, trainer Bobby Frankel said he probably would not use them on the horse in the $1 million Jockey Club Gold Cup. Milwaukee Brew, who breezed in company with Harrisand, worked a solid six furlongs in 1:13.72, but may have been a little more aggressive than Frankel was hoping.

"I don't necessarily want him closer, but you have to ride him to keep him in the race,'' Frankel said. "On this track, it might be different, the pace will be a little slower. I think he'll be all right.''

Frankel said he regretted the decision to leave Milwaukee Brew in California for the Pacific Classic, a race in which Milwaukee Brew rallied from 15 lengths back to be third, beaten 2 1/4 lengths by Came Home.

"That was the day I probably should have put blinkers on him,'' Frankel said. "He actually ran very well that day. There was traffic and the stretch is very short.''

Frankel said Kent Desormeaux would come in to ride Milwaukee Brew and Jorge Chavez will retain the mount on Lido Palace.

Other confirmed starters include Repent and Evening Attire. Harlan's Holiday is possible. E Dubai is doubtful.

Kelly settles on Gold Cup for Attire

Trainer Pat Kelly said the allure of $1 million, 10 furlongs, and no ship were enough to convince him to run Evening Attire in the Gold Cup. Kelly said he did not even nominate Evening Attire to the 1 3/16-mile Washington Park Handicap Sept. 29, and has all but ruled out the $400,000 Meadowlands Cup at nine furlongs on Oct. 4.

Evening Attire won the 10-furlong Saratoga Breeders' Cup last month, and Kelly said he didn't want to turn him back in distance. "That's a big factor, plus $1 million and we're right here at home,'' he said.

Kelly said he hopes Evening Attire performs well enough to warrant starting in the Breeders' Cup Classic at Arlington Park on Oct. 26.

Kelly will be busy in stakes action on Saturday as he sends out Cozzy Corner in the $100,000 Noble Damsel Handicap and Reluctant Groom in the $75,000 Ashley T. Cole Handicap for New York-breds.

Multiple Choice joins Vosburgh fray

Trainer Jimmy Jerkens has told Belmont racing officials that Multiple Choice will run in Saturday's Grade 1 Vosburgh Stakes. That brings the expected field to six.

Multiple Choice comes off a third-place finish behind Orientate and Aldebaran in the Grade 1 Forego on Sept. 1 at Saratoga. A 4-year-old gelded son of Mt. Livermore, Multiple Choice last won a race on April 11 at Aqueduct going seven furlongs, the distance of the Vosburgh.

Multiple Choice, who worked three furlongs in 36.14 seconds on Wednesday, joins a field that is expected to include Aldebaran, Bonapaw, Griffinite, Voodoo, and Wild Summer.

- additional reporting by Alan Shuback