06/26/2001 11:00PM

Hennig fillies attack Mother Goose


ELMONT, N.Y. - Trainer Mark Hennig has already won six stakes this year with his talented group of 3-year-old fillies. Saturday, he'll be looking for a bigger prize when he sends out the talented duo of Mystic Lady and Tap Dance in the Grade 1, $250,000 Mother Goose Stakes at Belmont Park.

Mystic Lady and Tap Dance appear to have usurped Gold Mover, Raging Fever, and With Ability as the top fillies in Hennig's barn. Those three won eight stakes last year for Hennig, but have not done as well at 3.

Mystic Lady has won three stakes on dirt this year, including the Grade 2 Fantasy at Oaklawn in April. Mystic Lady's prowess on dirt has been surprising given her breeding. Mystic Lady is out of Diane Suzanne who is a half-sister to millionaire turf earners Fourstars Allstar and Fourstardave.

Three of Mystic Lady's stakes wins have come in races that were rained off the turf. That includes the Jersey Derby, in which Mystic Lady beat colts at Monmouth Park.

A savvy Hennig was cognizant of the rainy forecast that weekend and was rewarded when the race was rained off the turf. He had no intention of running if the race remained on the turf.

Mystic Lady "does basically what you ask her to do," Hennig said. "The question mark with her is the distance. But with Flute being out, I'm not so worried about her stacking up with the rest of them. She does train well over the track."

Hennig will also send out Tap Dance, a gate-to-wire winner of the Bonnie Miss at Gulfstream. She finished fifth, beaten only six lengths after dueling through quick fractions in the Kentucky Oaks. She was inhibited by a poor start when she finished third in the Black-Eyed Susan Stakes last out.

"She's trained well since the Black-Eyed Susan," Hennig said. "I want to make the Coaching Club [American Oaks] with her. She's built perfectly for a mile and a half and I really think that's going to be her race."

Entries for the Mother Goose were to be taken Thursday. Expected to run are Fleet Renee, Forest Secrets, Two Item Limit, Real Cozzy, Indy Glory, Exogenous, Lady Katie, and Zonk.

Pletcher's plans

Trainer Todd Pletcher said it is unlikely that either of his Triple Crown horses, Invisible Ink or Balto Star, would run at Saratoga this summer. Both horses have remained in light training since the Triple Crown ended.

Pletcher said Invisible Ink, who finished second in the Kentucky Derby and fifth in the Belmont Stakes, would probably be pointed to the $500,000 Pennsylvania Derby at Philadelphia Park on Sept. 3. Meanwhile, Balto Star, who finished 14th in the Kentucky Derby and eighth in the Belmont, will be pointed to the $500,000 West Virginia Derby on Aug. 11.

Pletcher said Invisible Ink "is just a little bit tired. He lost some weight and broke out with a skin disease. He was just stressed a little bit."

Pletcher pointed out that Invisible Ink had been racing since November without a break. "If you're going to have a horse for the fall of the year, you got to give them a break," he said. "Now seems the logical time to freshen him up a little bit."

Pletcher will have plenty of stakes action to keep him busy. Saturday, he'll run Smok'n Frolic in the Astoria for juvenile fillies and on July 4 he will run Trippi in the Tom Fool Handicap and Harmony Lodge in the Prioress.

On Wednesday, Harmony Lodge breezed five furlongs in 1:00.65 over Belmont's main track. A daughter of Hennessy, Harmony Lodge has won three of four starts and is coming off a nine-length victory in the Little Silver Stakes at Monmouth on June 2.

Dutrow leads the way

Richard Dutrow, the leading trainer at the Belmont meet, is not doing it with just his usual array of older, hard-trying sprinters. He's got several high quality 2-year-olds as well.

Wednesday, Dutrow won his fourth 2-year-old race of the meet when Trial Prep rolled to a three-length victory in a New York-bred maiden race. He joins Lord Ryan, Draw Play, and In High Gear as juvenile colt winners this spring for Dutrow.

Figure-wise, In High Gear was the most impressive earning a Beyer Speed Figure of 104 while outdueling the Todd Pletcher-trained Warners on June 10.

Moreover, he did it while being bothered by an ascended testicle, which forced him to bear out during the race. That testicle was surgically removed last week, meaning In High Gear will have to skip Saturday's Tremont Stakes. He was set to arrive in Dutrow's barn on Wednesday and will be pointed to the Sanford Stakes on opening day at Saratoga.

"I can't imagine him not being better," Dutrow said. "He's got a race under his belt and he's not going to be getting out. He's going to be dangerous. They're going to have him to deal with."

Meanwhile, Dutrow will run Draw Play in the Tremont. Draw Play finished second in his first start before winning his maiden in the slop by a neck over the D. Wayne Lukas-trained Proud Citizen.

Peeping Tom drills for Tom Fool

Peeping Tom, winner of the Carter Handicap and runner-up in the Metropolitan Handicap, breezed five furlongs in 59.89 seconds over Belmont's main track on Wednesday. He breezed in company with Bluesbreaker, a 3-year-old New York-bred stakes winner, who was timed in 1:00.68 for the same distance.

Trainer Pat Reynolds said he wanted to make sure Peeping Tom's foot - which he bruised in the Metropolitan Handicap - was okay before committing Peeping Tom to the Tom Fool. But, he said chances of making it are "pretty good."