11/01/2004 1:00AM

G P Fleet hits favored course - at owners' favorite track


LOUISVILLE, Ky. - The Klein family has won major races at tracks throughout the United States, but the members will readily tell you they get their biggest kicks when winning at their home track of Churchill Downs.

The chance for another hometown thrill comes Wednesday, when G P Fleet, carrying the familiar lime and black silks of Bert, Elaine, and Richard Klein, runs in the feature race, a $65,900 allowance at 1 1/16 miles on turf.

G P Fleet has done some of his best work over the Matt Winn turf course at Churchill, getting two wins and two seconds in four starts. Trained by Steve Flint, G P Fleet enters in sharp form, having won the Tri State Handicap at Ellis Park in September before finishing a respectable fourth in the Carey Memorial last month at Hawthorne.

Red-hot Rafael Bejarano has the call on G P Fleet, a 4-year-old gelding who will start from post 2 in a field of eight entered in the ninth of 10 Wednesday races.

Among the top challengers to G P Fleet are Change Course, whose trainer, Graham Motion, won the Breeders' Cup Turf on Saturday with Better Talk Now, and Stage Call, whose past performances are dotted with stakes attempts.

Patriot Act dud creates showtime

When Patriot Act finished fifth at 1-5 odds in the fourth race on the opening-day card Sunday at Churchill, the 2-year-old colt made the bridge-jumpers very unhappy.

From a total of $372,113 wagered in the show pool for that race, $352,332 was bet on Patriot Act, ridden by Robby Albarado. With Patriot Act finishing out of the money, the $2 show mutuels went through the roof, with the top three finishers returning $60.80, $9.20, and a whopping $254.

Patriot Act had finished second behind Consolidator in the Grade 1 Breeders' Futurity at Keeneland Oct. 8 before reverting to maiden company Sunday. Trainer Neil Howard said Monday that he found nothing wrong with Patriot Act upon examination after the Sunday race and said the colt may run back later in the meet.

"I should have waited more than three weeks to run him back," said Howard. "At the risk of sounding like I'm making excuses, I was a little concerned about how hard he ran in the Futurity. He really ran hard. I think maybe it was a misjudgment on my part. It was just one of those things."

Churchill does not keep records on its biggest show prices, but the $254 that Dynamic Storm, an 86-1 shot, returned to show would be good enough for 10th on the track's all-time list for win mutuels.

Roses in May 'possible' for Clark

Trainer Dale Romans said Monday that Roses in May, runner-up in the Breeders' Cup Classic, is "possible" to run back in the Nov. 26 Clark Handicap. "Nothing's decided, but we will think about it," said Romans.

Neil Howard also said Midway Road, winner of the Fayette Stakes at Keeneland last weekend, is possible for the Grade 2, $500,000 Clark, the traditional highlight of the Churchill fall meet.

* Three stakes will be run here this coming weekend: the $200,000 Churchill Downs Distaff, with John Velazquez riding favored Lady Tak, on Saturday, followed by a pair of Sunday stakes for 2-year-olds, the $100,000 Iroquois and $100,000 Pocahontas.