11/22/2006 1:00AM

The Green Monkey won't race in 2006

Email

OZONE PARK, N.Y. - The Green Monkey, who sold for a world-record $16 million at the Fasig-Tipton 2-year-olds in training auction earlier this year, has been sent to his owner's farm in Kentucky and won't make it to the races until next year.

Trainer Todd Pletcher said The Green Monkey re-aggravated a gluteal muscle that he originally injured during the summer at Saratoga. That injury kept The Green Monkey off the work tab for two months. He resumed breezing on Oct. 3 and recorded four workouts, including a pedestrian five-furlong move in 1:05.36 over Belmont Park's training track. Following that breeze, the decision was made to give the colt some time.

"We sort of ran out of time [to race] at Aqueduct so we're going to point for a Florida campaign," Pletcher said Wednesday. "We'll give him a little bit of time off."

Pletcher said The Green Monkey was sent to Ashford Stud in Versailles, Ky. Ashford is the North American division of Coolmore Stud, which owns the colt. John Magnier heads Coolmore.

The Green Monkey, a son of Forestry, breezed a furlong in 9.80 seconds prior to the sale, and created a huge buzz at that sale when he was the subject of a bidding war between Sheikh Mohammed and Coolmore.

Pletcher absent from Saturday stakes

Last year, on the final weekend of major stakes racing on this circuit, Pletcher won the Cigar Mile with Purge, the Remsen with Bluegrass Cat, and ran two-three-four in the Demoiselle.

This year, when Aqueduct hosts that same trio of stakes, Pletcher, the leading trainer in the nation in stakes wins and purse money earned, will be conspicuous by his absence. While Pletcher wasn't planning on running a horse in the Cigar Mile, his prospects for the Remsen and Demoiselle came up with problems.

Air Lord, whom Pletcher was planning on running in the Remsen, will miss the race due to a foot bruise. Air Lord, a son of Stormin Fever, won the Whirling Ash at Delaware and finished second in the Dover.

My Golden Quest, a 10 3/4-length maiden winner at Monmouth Park on Sept. 20, tied up earlier this week and will miss the Demoiselle.

Strong Contender works; Ward waits

Though Super Derby winner Strong Contender is giving every indication he is ready to run soon, trainer John Ward is in no hurry to put him in the entry box.

On Tuesday morning, Strong Contender worked a solid five furlongs in 1:00.35 over the Belmont Park training track, his fifth breeze in the last six weeks. Still, Ward plans to wait to run Strong Contender until the $100,000 Hal's Hope Handicap at Gulfstream Park on Jan. 6.

Ward hopes to use the Hal's Hope as a prep for the Donn Handicap on Feb. 3, where he could face Breeders' Cup Classic winner Invasor.

"Since I decided not to run in the Breeders' Cup, I put some more time between his workouts," Ward said. "We've just now starting to get serious in preparing him for his 4-year-old campaign. He's pretty ready right now - he's really developing his style and he's coming along nicely. He should be a pretty serviceable horse for us next year.'"

Strong Contender began his 3-year-old campaign with a solid allowance win at Gulfstream Park. He also won the Grade 2 Dwyer at Belmont.

Chapman ships in two for stakes

Trainer Jimmy Chapman arrived in New York at around 9:30 p.m. Tuesday night with two fillies in tow. Chapman personally drove Malibu Mint and Sweeping Glance here from Kentucky, and both are slated to run in stakes this holiday weekend at Aqueduct.

Malibu Mint, who won the Grade 1 Princess Rooney at Calder in July, will attempt to win beyond seven furlongs for the first time in Friday's Grade 2, $150,000 Top Flight Handicap at one mile.

Sweeping Glance, a recent addition to Chapman's stable, will face fellow New York-breds in Sunday's $65,000 Montauk Handicap at 1 1/8 miles.

Malibu Mint, a daughter of Malibu Moon, won a pair of stakes over the synthetic surfaces of Turfway Park and Keeneland in the fall before finding the boys a bit much when running 12th in the Breeders' Cup Sprint.

"When I saw the track I just wished we weren't there," said Chapman, whose filly broke from post 12 on a day when the rail was the best part of the track.

On Nov. 18, Malibu Mint worked five furlongs in 58.40 seconds over Turfway Park's synthetic surface. She worked in company with Sweeping Glance, whom John Mulholland, the owner of Malibu Mint, purchased out of the November breeding stock sale on Nov. 10 for $85,000. She was consigned by Lane's End.

Sweeping Glance, a daughter of Precise End, finished third as the favorite in the off-the-turf Ticonderoga Handicap at Belmont in 2005.

Others scheduled to run in the Montauk are Judy Soda, Carlow, Shady Lane, and Pretty Partisan. Higher Incentive is possible, as is No Reason, who was entered in the Top Flight.

Attila's Storm ready for De Francis

Following Attila's Storm's fifth-place finish in the Breeders' Cup Sprint, trainer Richard Schosberg was planning to run him back in the Gravesend Handicap at Aqueduct in December, figuring that could be an easy spot to get the colt a graded stakes victory.

Upon further review, Schosberg has chosen to wheel Attila's Storm back in Saturday's Grade 1 Frank J. De Francis Memorial Dash at Laurel Park, where he will face BC Sprint winner Thor's Echo and third-place finisher Nightmare Affair.

"He started really coming around, looking good, tearing the place up, and there's only so many opportunities to run in Grade 1 sprints," Schosberg said. "We're going to try to beat [Thor's Echo]. We've beaten him once, he's beaten us once."

Attila's Storm got stepped on in the Sprint and was running with a bent left-hind shoe for part of the race.

By changing plans, Schosberg will have to change riders. With Cornelio Velasquez scheduled to ride Nobiz Like Shobiz in Saturday's Remsen in New York, Schosberg has reached out to Rosie Napravnik for the De Francis.

Attila's Storm blew out three furlongs in 36.67 seconds Monday morning over Belmont's training track.

* Abel Castellano, the brother of Javier Castellano, officially joined the New York riding colony on Wednesday. Kevin Meyocks is the agent for Abel Castellano, who has been riding in south Florida.