02/18/2009 12:00AM

Hard to keep True Quality in barn


OZONE PARK, N.Y. - A third meeting between elite sprinters True Quality and Fabulous Strike will likely take place in the Grade 1 Carter Handicap at Aqueduct on April 4, but the connections of True Quality haven't ruled out running their horse once more before then.

True Quality defeated Fabulous Strike by 1 1/2 lengths in Monday's Grade 2 General George Handicap at Laurel Park. In December, Fabulous Strike defeated True Quality by 1 3/4 lengths in the Grade 3 Gravesend Handicap over Aqueduct's inner track.

In between those races, True Quality won the Paumonok Stakes at Aqueduct. Ernie Paragallo, the authorized agent for his family-run Paraneck Stable, said it might be a difficult chore keeping True Quality in the barn between now and the Carter.

"The way he trains in the morning, he'll tell us if he wants to run before [the Carter] or not,'' Paragallo said by phone Wednesday afternoon. "I don't know if my exercise rider or my trainer can handle seven weeks.''

Paragallo compared True Quality to Paraneck's former stars Artax and Unbridled's Song.

"He trains like Artax and Unbridled's Song,'' Paragallo said. "Every time he goes out there, it's a race.''

Paragallo said there was some concern late last week whether True Quality would make the General George. He said that True Quality had a little irritation on the top of the coronet band of his left front foot.

"It was sensitive to the touch,'' Paragallo said.

But noted equine hoof specialist Ian McKinlay worked on True Quality's foot and the horse had no issues after blowing out three furlongs in 35.02 seconds Saturday at Aqueduct.

As for the General George itself, True Quality was able to get away with soft fractions while in receipt of 10 pounds from Fabulous Strike.

"If the fractions were slow they were slow for Fabulous Strike too,'' Paragallo said. "When the real running came he outran the other horse and he galloped out an eighth of a mile in front of him; he had plenty left. At the quarter pole they were together. It was an out-and-out sprint for the last quarter-mile. He went a lot faster than the other horse and he didn't switch leads.''

Paragallo said McKinlay was scheduled to check True Quality's feet on Thursday before the colt would return to the track.

Meanwhile, trainer Todd Beattie said Fabulous Strike came out of the race in good order and would target the Carter provided he was satisfied with the weights.

"I won't do the Carter if we're carrying the weight we've been carrying and have that same spread,'' said Beattie, whose horse carried 127 pounds in the General George, 10 more than True Quality.

Beattie said that whatever happens in the Carter, the early fractions will be faster than in the General George.

"There'll be more pace in the next one, I'll make sure of that,'' he said.

Plenty of options for Seventh Street

On Saturday afternoon, while at the Daytona Speedway enjoying his other passion, Art Magnuson, the assistant to trainer Kiaran McLaughlin, was being inundated with text messages on his cell phone. All were about the incredible race turned in by Seventh Street, who seemed left for dead at the break only to come running late under Rajiv Maragh to be second to Royale Michele in the Grade 2 Barbara Fritchie Handicap at Laurel on Saturday.

Magnsuon finally got to see the race for himself on Tuesday night and was amazed with what he saw.

"Rajiv did a great job staying on,'' said Magnuson, who added that Maragh told him he didn't have his foot in the irons for the opening quarter-mile. "Nobody's fault, just unlucky.''

Magnuson said Seventh Street came out of the race in good order and that options for the 4-year-old filly's next start include any or all of the following Grade 2 stakes: the Distaff Handicap (March 21), Bed o' Roses (April 18), and Shuvee (May 16).

Though frustrated with what happened in the Fritchie, Magnuson said he wasn't more eager to run Seventh Street back than he would otherwise be.

"Her whole career we've been on the patient side,'' Magnuson said. "We were hoping she could step up to a Grade 2 and show she belonged, and she sure did.''

Magnuson said that Dearly Precious winner Dream Play would be pointed to the Grade 3, $100,000 Cicada on March 14.

Not for Silver to stretch out gradually

Trainer Michael Trombetta said he plans to stretch out his undefeated 3-year-old Not for Silver "in small doses,'' and suggested a race like the $50,000 Private Terms at Laurel on March 21 may be a better fit than the $250,000 Gotham Stakes at Aqueduct on March 7.

The Private Terms is a one-turn mile while the Gotham is run at 1 1/16 miles around two turns.

Not for Silver improved his record to 3 for 3 - all at six furlongs - with a 1 1/4-length victory in the Fred "Cappy" Capossela Stakes at Aqueduct on Sunday. He ran six furlongs in 1:10.38 and earned a Beyer Speed Figure of 94.

Trombetta, who on Wednesday had just returned from attending Ocala's 2-year-olds in-training auction, said jockey Ramon Dominguez told his assistant that Not for Silver "should go further."

Meanwhile, Trombetta said he entered the impressive debut winner Perfect Song in a first-level allowance race Saturday at Turfway Park going 6 1/2 furlongs. Trombetta is hoping Perfect Song, who won his debut by 6 1/2 lengths at Philadelphia Park on Jan. 20, takes to the synthetic surface and could possibly run back in a race such as the $500,000 Lane's End on March 21 at Turfway Park.