10/10/2006 11:00PM

Go Between to ship for Hawthorne Derby


CHICAGO - The Hawthorne Derby continues to shape up nicely, with trainer Bill Mott confirming that he plans to ship Go Between in for Saturday's race.

Mott won the race last year with Gun Salute, and Go Between seems to be a horse of that caliber, but this year's Hawthorne Derby is a tougher spot than the 2005 edition. As many as 10 or 11 could pass the entry box when the race is drawn Thursday, and the field is expected to include Brilliant, sharp winner of the Kent Breeders' Cup in his most recent race. Brilliant is trained by Neil Howard. The Hawthorne Derby would really shine if trainer Ronny Werner elects to send Kingship from Churchill to Hawthorne rather than to Keeneland for Sunday's Bryan Station Stakes.

Mott also has a horse for the Bryan Station, Union Avenue, and said he has spotted Go Between at Hawthorne because the race here is 1 1/8 miles, more to Go Between's liking, while the Bryan Station is at 1 1/16 miles, better suited to a miler-type horse.

"There've been times when I've felt that Union Avenue was best at a mile," Mott said. "Now, that may or may not be fact, but that was my impression of him early on. Go Between is best at a mile and an eighth to a mile and a quarter."

Go Between has been stabled in New York, and Belmont on Saturday has the nine-furlong Jamaica Handicap, a race in his division, but Mott said wants to avoid Showing Up, the likely Jamaica favorite.

"I've chased him around a couple times, and I don't want any more of him right now," Mott said.

Go Between finished third behind Showing Up in the June 24 Colonial Turf Cup, but finished a distant last of six when Showing Up won the Secretariat Stakes.

"I could see any horse getting beat, but he didn't show up at all that day," Mott said. "He was done on the backstretch. We couldn't find anything wrong with him, so we just freshened him up."

When Go Between shows up at Hawthorne, it will be after a plane trip from New York to Kentucky and a van ride on to Hawthorne. Larry Melancon has the mount Saturday, Mott said.

Nicole's Dream won't go in sale

Nicole's Dream, the standout Chicago-based turf sprinter, was cataloged for Keeneland's November sale of bloodstock and horses of racing age, but won't actually go into the sales ring, according to trainer Larry Rivelli. Entered in the sale as Hip No. 1642, Nicole's Dream will instead race at Churchill Downs and perhaps be sold privately before the end of the year, Rivelli said.

Nicole's Dream is light on pedigree - she's by Northern Trend and out of a mare by Two's a Plenty - but has won 24 of 51 career starts, and 20 of 37 on turf. Nicole's Dream bounced back from a slow start to her season and won four races in a row over the summer, but in her most recent start, on Sept. 23 at Laurel, she finished fourth as the odds-on favorite. Jockey E.T. Baird told Rivelli that Nicole's Dream "was just spinning her wheels over that course," according to Rivelli.

Nicole's Dream worked a bullet half-mile on dirt at Hawthorne last Saturday, and is scheduled to race Nov. 3 in the Cherokee Run BC at Churchill.

Honor in War last horse at Arlington

Arlington Park closed for the season on Sept. 12, and horses had to leave the grounds a couple weeks later - all except for Honor in War. Long a fixture in Midwest graded turf stakes, Honor in War was recently sold, and will head to Australia for a start in the ultra-prestigious Cox Plate and a career at stud there. He leaves Thursday, and pending his departure has been allowed to remain at Arlington, galloping daily on the training track and getting in a recent six-furlong breeze on Arlington's turf course. Honor in War may be feeling lonely with no other horses around, but trainer Hector Magana, who has been overseeing Honor in War's training, said the horse is doing well.

"I like the way he worked," Magana said.

Magana has trained for one of Honor in War's new owners, but said he wasn't quite sure how he got involved with the strange situation.

"As soon as he leaves this country, I'm out of the picture," he said.

No clear favorite in feature

Wintry weather is forecast to descend upon Chicago this week, and it figures to be dark and cold by the time Hawthorne gets around to its nominal feature on a twilight Friday card. Race 9, an entry-level sprint allowance, is the only open allowance race on the program.

It's a typically inscrutable Hawthorne race, with no clear-cut standout and many peripheral options. Bettors might settle on Tricks After Dark as the favorite - they did last time, and she finished third in a race much like Friday's. Tricks After Dark is trained by Scott Blasi, whose Hawthorne string has been active so far this meet, compiling six wins through midafternoon Wednesday.