02/18/2005 1:00AM

Galloping Grocer bruises right foot

Adam Coglianese/NYRA
Galloping Grocer may skip the Fountain of Youth after hurting his foot during training.

OZONE PARK, N.Y. - Galloping Grocer, a leading Kentucky Derby contender, suffered a bruised right front foot during training Thursday and may be forced to skip the Fountain of Youth on March 5 at Gulfstream Park.

"The Fountain of Youth right now is questionable," trainer Dominick Schettino said Friday.

Schettino said the injury is relatively minor, but Galloping Grocer will miss about three or four days of training and will not breeze Wednesday as scheduled. Schettino said he wanted to breeze Galloping Grocer twice before shipping to Florida on March 3. Schettino said if Galloping Grocer does miss the Fountain of Youth, he could be pointed to either the Louisiana Derby on March 12 or the Gotham at Aqueduct on March 19.

Schettino said he believes Galloping Grocer may have "stepped on something" during training Thursday morning. He was noticeably lame walking off the track, and exercise rider Gary Richards jumped off the horse and walked him back to the barn. Schettino said the bruise is on the inside quarter of the foot. X-rays were negative.

"He was sound this morning," Schettino said. "We'll give him a couple of extra days off as a precaution and then start back with him."

A New York-bred son of A. P Jet, Galloping Grocer won his first three races, all against statebred company, by a combined 31 3/4 lengths. He then finished second, a neck behind Rockport Harbor, in the Grade 2 Remsen last November.

In his 3-year-old debut, Galloping Grocer finished fourth to Sort It Out in the Whirlaway.

Shake You Down gets one more chance

Shake You Down went from a mid-level claimer to a multiple graded stakes winner, but now his future as a racehorse may depend on how he runs in a $54,000 allowance race Sunday.

Shake You Down appears to outclass four rivals Sunday, but his last two starts indicate he is tailing off. In two starts this year, Shake You Down has finished seventh of 10 in the Mr. Prospector Handicap at Gulfstream and sixth of 11 in the Sunshine Millions Sprint at Santa Anita.

Trainer Scott Lake said he believes the Sunshine Millions is a throw-out because of how poorly Shake You Down broke, but he did say Sunday's race will determine his future.

"This is the deciding factor for him," Lake said. "I expect him to run well the way he trained today. He trained a lot better today than he had at Gulfstream."

Korbyn Gold, who won a $75,000 claimer on Dec. 30, is the horse Shake You Down must catch.

Imbriale calls his final race

All John Imbriale wanted to do was get through the day without making a mistake.

"I've glanced down at my cheat notes it seems like for the entire race on a couple of occasions," Imbriale said before calling Friday's ninth race. "You just don't want to say the wrong thing."

As usual, Imbriale did not say the wrong thing. One week shy of his 50th birthday, Imbriale retired from the New York Racing Association on Friday after a 25-year career here, the last 15 as the back-up track announcer. Imbriale also was the host of "Thoroughbred Action," the nightly replay show, the last seven years.

Imbriale said Friday was "a tough day" saying goodbye to co-workers, some he figures he won't see again. Imbriale took congratulatory phone calls and visits throughout the day.

"I kind of got a little stomach butterfly thing around the seventh race," Imbriale said. "I was kind of worried - Is the day going to drag? Am I going to look for the end of the day? - but the day went so fast thanks to people calling and coming up."

Larry Collmus will call the races until Tom Durkin returns in April. Thoroughbred Action duties will be handled by Jason Blewitt, Eric Donovan, and Jan Rushton.

Main track opening delayed

The opening of the main track has been pushed back one week, to March 16, New York Racing Association officials announced Friday.

As a result of the delay, the Grade 3 Toboggan Handicap and the $75,000 Broadway Handicap will be run at six furlongs on the inner track March 12. Both races were to be run at seven furlongs.