10/11/2006 11:00PM

Hard to predict how Siphon City will run


MIAMI - Will the real Siphon City show up for Saturday's Grade 3, $100,000 Spend a Buck Handicap at Calder?

Handicappers will have to decide if they will be seeing the Siphon City who won the Grade 3 Memorial Day Handicap here by 1 1/2 lengths and the Grade 2 Cornhusker Breeders' Cup at Prairie Meadows by six lengths. Or will it be the Siphon City who was beaten 17 lengths in the Grade 1 Whitney and then tired badly to finish fifth and last as the 1-2 favorite in a minor stakes four weeks ago at Monmouth Park?

Trainer Dan Hurtak said even he's not sure what to expect.

"He ran down very badly in behind over the cuppy track at Saratoga, but I have no idea what happened to him at Monmouth Park," said Hurtak. "Maybe he just didn't like the hard racetrack."

Hurtak noted that Siphon City was trying to get out and that regular rider Elvis Trujillo was fighting him the whole way in the Formal Gold at Monmouth.

"He's trained okay since he's come back here, although not quite like he used to, but it's obvious he's happy to be back home and he likes this racetrack a lot," Hurtak said. "If he's 100 percent for this race I think he wins, but right now I'm not quite sure if that's the case, although all his blood work is good or I wouldn't run him. We're just hoping for the best."

Siphon City, as usual, will try to set all the pace in the 1 1/16-mile Spend a Buck, although he could have company with Mister Fotis stretching out around two turns for the first time since having throat surgery late last year. Mister Fotis won the Grade 2, seven-furlong Richter Scale Handicap at Gulfstream Park in March but has not started since finishing fifth in the Grade 2 Smile Sprint Handicap on July 15.

If the race ties up late, it could set the stage for one of the two 3-year-olds in the field, Big Lover or Rehoboth.

Big Lover comes off a nine-length victory over older allowance horses for which he earned a career-best 99 Beyer Speed Figure. He has now won four of his last five starts over a fast track with his lone loss during that period coming at the hands of the 4-5 B. B. Best in the Ambehaving Stakes.

Rehoboth has won his last two starts, including the Carterista Handicap against older horses last month in which he also earned a career-high 99 Beyer.

Other contenders include Dazzling Dr. Cevin, Supervisor, and Illinois invader Nkosi Reigns.

Shocker T: Sunset Kisses sharp

Sunset Kisses, a former stablemate of Nkosi Reigns in Chicago, will share high weight of 118 pounds with Mocita in the $100,000 Shocker T. Handicap.

Like Nkosi Reigns, Sunset Kisses was transferred from trainer Christine Janks following the conclusion of the Arlington Park meet to Ron Spatz, who sent Sunset Kisses out to an easy 2 1/2-length victory in the Cinnamon Girl overnight stakes in her local debut on Sept. 22. The win was the fourth in eight starts this season for the 6-year-old Sunset Kisses, who also finished third in the Grade 3 Arlington Matron.

Mocita had won two in a row until she was outfinished by Darluna in the Sambacarioca Stakes over a sloppy track on Aug. 26. Darluna is also among the eight fillies and mares entered for the Shocker T.

"She's a little filly and carried a lot of weight in that last race," said trainer Marty Wolfson, referring to the 123 pounds Mocita packed in the Sambacarioca. "And she also got a little bit too far back that day. I expect to see her closer on Saturday."