07/08/2001 11:00PM

Foot trouble still hindering Hero's Tribute

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ELMONT, N.Y. - Trainer John Ward said Monday that Hero's Tribute came out of his third-place finish in Sunday's $150,000 Dwyer "a little footsore." The afflicted area was where he wore the bar shoe during his Peter Pan victory in May.

Ward removed the Z-shaped bar shoe that was protecting a quarter crack on his colt's left front foot for the Dwyer, but said it was likely Hero's Tribute would have it on again when he runs in the $1 million Haskell at Monmouth Park on Aug. 5.

"He probably will," Ward said. "You always go back to what works."

Hero's Tribute was beaten seven lengths as the favorite in the four-horse Dwyer. Down the backstretch, Ward's colt had to steady on the inside of E Dubai, the pacesetter and 5 3/4-length winner, who was ridden by Jerry Bailey. Jorge Chavez, aboard Hero's Tribute, took up and brought his mount to the outside of E Dubai.

Windsor Castle finished 1 1/4 lengths in front of Hero's Tribute, beating him for the place spot.

Ward said the incident on the backstretch cost him second.

"You can't take anything away from the winner; he ran over the top," Ward said. "But the incident did cost us second. I haven't seen the head-on yet, but others did and said it was questionable."

Godolphin assistant trainer Tommy Albertrani said after the Dwyer, E Dubai might skip the Haskell and the $600,000 Jim Dandy at Saratoga on Aug. 4 and point for the $1 million Travers on Aug. 25.

Frank Alexander, who trains Windsor Castle, said his 3-year-old is bound for the 1 1/8-mile Jim Dandy.

Orseno crew in action

Saturday was a major work day at trainer Joe Orseno's barn.

Last year's Preakness winner, Red Bullet, 2-year-old champion Macho Uno, Thunder Blitz, and Milwaukee Brew were all on the work tab.

Thunder Blitz breezed six furlongs in 1:13.10 and runs next in the $100,000 Long Branch Breeders' Cup at Monmouth Sunday. It will be his first start since finishing sixth in the Belmont Stakes. Thunder Blitz, a May foal, finished fourth in the Kentucky Derby and then sat out the Preakness.

"This is a different horse than he was in the Derby," Orseno said. "He's more relaxed in his training - it's a maturity thing. He's a better horse now than he was in the Derby and he was fourth in the Derby. It's pretty exciting knowing he's coming into himself."

Other possible starters for the Long Branch are Deputy Max, Game Effort, Junior Deputy, Max Jones, Saratoga Games, and This Fleet Is Due.

Orseno said he doesn't have any definite plans for Red Bullet, who worked five furlongs in 1:00.77, or Macho Uno, who breezed six furlongs in 1:13.22.

Orseno said there is no way that Red Bullet would be ready to run in the $750,000 Whitney Handicap at Saratoga on July 28.

"I'm just putting the finishing touches on them," Orseno said. "They are close to running, but nothing is etched in stone."

Orseno's main objective for Milwaukee Brew, who breezed six furlongs in 1:14.70, is the $300,000 Saratoga Breeders' Cup Handicap on Aug. 19. The 4-year-old could prep for the Saratoga race in either the $100,000 R.R.M Carpenter Memorial at Delaware Park on July 21 or the $400,000 Washington Park Handicap at Arlington the same day.