04/11/2005 11:00PM

Ghostzapper almost back to work

Trainer Bobby Frankel said that Ghostzapper, who missed the Oaklawn Handicap with a sinus infection, is being pointed for the Met Mile.

LEXINGTON, Ky. - Ghostzapper, the reigning Horse of the Year, is nearing his first workout since having recovered from a serious sinus infection, trainer Bobby Frankel said Tuesday at Churchill Downs.

Ghostzapper will breeze at Churchill, "probably over the weekend," Frankel said before Ghostzapper went out for a routine gallop. "This is the fifth day he's gone to the racetrack, and the third day he's galloped."

Ghostzapper has a tiny hole near the center of his forehead, about two inches over his right eye. The hole was drilled to drain the horse's blocked sinuses, a fairly common procedure for racehorses.

Ghostzapper, owned by Stronach Stables, was scheduled to make his 5-year-old debut in the Oaklawn Handicap last weekend before falling ill. Frankel then looked toward the April 28 Ben Ali at Keeneland but now has settled on the May 30 Metropolitan Handicap at Belmont.

Asmussen keen on Oaks for Summerly

Trainer Steve Asmussen said he "definitely" intends to run Summerly in the May 6 Kentucky Oaks, even after the filly finished a highly disappointing fourth, beaten 20 lengths, in the Ashland Stakes last weekend at Keeneland.

"What, we slowed her down 24 lengths?" he said, referring to how Summerly had won her previous start, the Fair Grounds Oaks, by nearly five lengths. "Obviously, that wasn't her. She's gotten enough done to deserve another shot. We'll get her back in the game and see how she does, but I'd really like to have her in the Oaks."

Asmussen, who left Louisville on Tuesday for the start of the Lone Star Park meet in Dallas, said that Razor, the beaten favorite in the Lafayette Stakes on Sunday, will be pointed to the May 14 Matt Winn Stakes at Churchill.

Also, Lady Tak, who breezed five furlongs Monday at Churchill in 1:02.60, is being pointed for the Grade 1 Humana Distaff on the May 7 Kentucky Derby undercard, said Asmussen. Lady Tak, now 5, is unraced this year.

Maker's Mark to have eight or nine

Artie Schiller, the beaten favorite in the Breeders' Cup Mile last fall, heads the prospective lineup for the $250,000 Maker's Mark Mile, the Grade 2 turf race to be run Friday at Keeneland.

Keeneland stakes coordinator Dan Bork said he expects about eight or nine starters for the Maker's Mark, with the balance to include Good Reward, Gulch Approval, Mr. Light, and Trade Fair.

The Saturday co-feature, the Grade 2, $400,000 Commonwealth Breeders' Cup, appears to be coming up a terrific race. Among the expected starters for the seven-furlong race are Bwana Charlie, Cajun Beat, Clock Stopper, Gators N Bears, Lion Tamer, and Sir Shackleton.

* Churchill Downs' senior vice president, Donnie Richardson, said the 12 supporting stakes during Derby Week attracted about 700 nominations, or about 15 percent more than last year. Nomination lists were scheduled for release by Thursday morning. The supporting stakes begin with the April 30 Derby Trial and do not include the Derby, Oaks, or Woodford Reserve.

* Trainer Neil Howard said he would "look closely" at the Ben Ali for Alumni Hall, the 6-year-old horse who won a classified allowance Saturday over a field that included Pies Prospect.

* Golden Marlin, a multiple stakes winner for a partnership headed by Doug Glass, has been retired to be bred to Unbridled's Song. Golden Marlin, a 5-year-old by Marlin, earned nearly $390,000 for trainer Greg Foley.