06/20/2002 11:00PM

High hopes for Hatchett duo


MIAMI - The good news for trainer Jim Hatchett is that he has two of the top 2-year-old prospects on the grounds, Hear No Evil and Crimson and Roses. The bad news is that neither youngster is eligible for the Florida Stallion Series, which offers $1.2 million in purses spread over six races, three for each sex.

Hear No Evil jumped to the top of the colt division and became the instant favorite for the $100,000 Criterium Stakes on July 6 with a 9 1/2-length victory in an entry-level allowance race on Tuesday. His final time of 1:04.49 equaled the 5 1/2-furlong track record.

"He's really a nice colt," said Hatchett, who trains both Hear No Evil and Crimson and Roses for their breeder, the Jacks Or Better Farm. "He was a little green the first time he ran. He took the lead then waited on horses and got beat. I put blinkers on for his next start to get him to focus a little better and it really has made a big difference."

After dropping a half-length decision to Sea Pleasure in his debut, Hear No Evil returned to graduate by nearly two lengths with the blinkers added before his win on Tuesday in a field that included Sea Pleasure.

"The Criterium will be next, and if he runs well then we'll think about sending him to Saratoga for some of the 2-year-old stakes this summer," said Hatchett. "He's by Carson City but he's not your typical Carson City, stocky and short cut. So I think he just might be able to get the extra distance."

Crimson and Roses also dropped her first start, finishing second behind Running Debate on May 5, and returned with an 11-length maiden victory 16 days later. Crimson and Roses will get an opportunity to avenge her setback when she faces Running Debate in the $100,000 J j'sdream Stakes on Saturday.

"I'm really anxious to run her back," said Hatchett, adding that she missed a race when she came up with a cough. "She's trained extremely well ever since and I just hope she'll run to her works in the stakes."

Hatchett says a trip to Saratoga could be in the offing for Crimson and Roses, too, if she performs to expectations in the J j'sdream.

The 5 1/2-furlong J j'sdream closed with 16 nominations, including such promising fillies as Heavenly Miss, Formal Miss, and Forest Native.

Sugar N Spice back for third try

With Xtra Heat expected to ship in for the $400,000 Princess Rooney Handicap on July 13, the field for the Grade 2 dash is likely to be a small one. But it does figure to include the 7-year-old Sugar N Spice, who will be back for her third consecutive start in the Princess Rooney, the country's richest sprint race for fillies and mares.

Sugar N Spice finished fifth in the 2000 Princess Rooney and third a year ago, behind Dream Supreme and Hidden Assets. Overall, Sugar N Spice has won 12 races and earned more than $360,000 in her 51-race career.

Sugar N Spice finished third last Sunday in the Miss Gibson County.

"She didn't handle the wet track in her last start, and also got thumped in the eye somewhere along the way," said Barry Croft, who owns, trains, and bred Sugar N Spice. "But she came out of the race like gangbusters and is training very well. She got a nice chunk of money just for finishing third last year [in the Princess Rooney] and I'd be extremely happy if she is able to hit the board again this year, especially if she has to go up against a filly like Xtra Heat."

Familiar rivals meet again

Old friends Coolbythepool and Castlebrook will hook up in Sunday's $40,000 Hurricane Viv Stakes. The overnight handicap drew a field of six fillies and mares.

Coolbythepool has finished in front of Castlebrook in all four of their meetings this year after Castlebrook held the edge over Coolbythepool here last summer. Both are coming off victories, Coolbythepool in the Nancy's Glitter Handicap on May 11 and Castlebrook in an optional claiming race earlier this month.