08/27/2003 12:00AM

Greenhill enjoying new career


Having worked for nearly 17 years as a chemical engineer, Jeff Greenhill is now having a lot more fun in his career as a trainer of Thoroughbred racehorses. Based at River Downs, where the richest races of the meet take place this weekend, Greenhill said he got into racing "for the fun, not to get rich or famous - although I sure wouldn't mind winning that hundred-grander on Saturday."

That Saturday race is the $100,000 Bassinet Stakes, the sister race to the River Downs showcase, the $200,000 Cradle Stakes, which will be run Monday at the Cincinnati track. Greenhill will saddle Snappy Little Cat, a gray homebred who won the Aug. 10 Bassinet prep and figures to be among the middle wagering choices in a field of 11 2-year-old fillies in the six-furlong race.

Greenhill, 47, is unlike many trainers in at least one respect: He was 40 when he got his first trainer's license, in 1996. Since then, Greenhill and his wife, Sherri - who also happens to be one of his main clients - have had many enjoyable experiences in racing, including three stakes wins in the late 1990's by Snappy Little Tune, whose first foal is Snappy Little Cat.

"I was looking to sell Snappy Little Cat at auction, but then one of my longtime owners, Stan Schofer, bought half of her for a pretty fair amount," Greenhill said. "So Sherri and I are racing her in partnership with Stan, and hopefully it'll work out the way we hope."

Greenhill has shifted his stable from the Trackside training facility in Louisville, Ky., to River, which is about 70 miles from his home in La Grange, Ky.

"The stall situation in Louisville pretty much forced me into that move," he said. "It's okay, because I really like the surface at River."

In the Bassinet, for which entries were drawn Tuesday, Snappy Little Cat, by Tactical Cat, will face several of the fillies she defeated in the prep. However, a handful of newcomers figure to make the Bassinet considerably tougher. Those new shooters include Stoneway, Mocha Queen, and In Rome, all of whom won maiden races this month at Ellis Park, and Ding's Thing, already a winner of two Ohio-bred stakes for trainer Tim Hamm.

Meanwhile, entries for the 1 1/16-mile Cradle were to be drawn Thursday. Blushing Indian, second in the Sanford at Saratoga for trainer Dale Romans, should be a solid favorite in what is shaping up as a medium-size field of 2-year-old colts and geldings.