11/05/2004 12:00AM

Homecoming for Supah Blitz in Rose


MIAMI - Supah Blitz, once among the most notable residents in the Calder barn area, will return home next weekend to compete in the $200,000 Carl G. Rose Classic, one of eight stakes races on Saturday's $1.2 million Florida Million Day program.

Supah Blitz, a starter in the 2003 Kentucky Derby, was purchased privately this summer from trainer Manny Tortora by Doug O'Neill and moved to the West Coast, where he returned quick dividends by capturing the Grade 2 Del Mar Breeders' Cup Handicap. He returned four weeks later to finish a troubled third in Santa Anita's Grade 2 Goodwood Breeders' Cup.

Supah Blitz is one of two horses O'Neill intends to ship here for the Florida Million card. Sigfreto will run in the $150,000 Bonnie Heath Turf Cup.

"He came out of his last race in good shape," O'Neill said of Supah Blitz, whom he purchased for the partnership of the Black Saddle Stable, Kagele brothers, and Mark Leib. "He had to steady a little bit in the Goodwood, but I'm not sure if he would have won anyway. Right now he's doing awesome and this race looks like a good spot to get him back to his winning ways. Our main goal over the next couple of months is the Sunshine Millions Classic."

The $1 million Sunshine Classic will be run Jan. 29 at Gulfstream Park.

Sigfreto, claimed by O'Neill for $20,000 at Del Mar on Aug. 7, was also nominated to the Carl G. Rose but O'Neill said it made no sense to run both horses against one another.

"Sigfreto is so versatile it really doesn't matter whether he runs on turf or dirt," O'Neill explained. "He seems to be getting a little better with every start since I took him. He's got a lot of class to go back to, and it seems like he's close to getting back to his best form now."

O'Neill has lined up Jerry Bailey aboard Supah Blitz in the Carl G. Rose but has not committed to a rider for Sigrfeto in the Bonnie Heath.

O'Neill also noted that Sharp Lisa, whom he purchased privately from owner-trainer Steve Dwoskin here in September, came out of her sixth-place finish in the Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies in good order.

"She didn't get the best of trips and it was her third start in just a little over a month," said O'Neill. "I'll give her a little break and then look to go wherever Sweet Catomine doesn't. The Hollywood Starlet would be the main goal, but if Sweet Catomine goes there I will try my filly on the grass in the Miesque. Either way I'm looking forward to a good 3-year-old season with her."

Castillo relocates from New York

Heberto Castillo Jr., once a mainstay of the local jockey colony, returned here earlier this week and plans to remain in south Florida throughout the winter. Castillo rode 160 winners to easily capture the 1990 Calder title and won more than 1,000 races in his previous tenure at Calder, where he rode regularly from 1987 to 1997.

Prior to returning to south Florida, Castillo had been riding on the New York circuit. He wasted little time picking up some live mounts for New York-based trainers Todd Pletcher and Christophe Clement.

Castillo was named aboard Little Buttercup by Pletcher in the opening division of Saturday's Soft Parade Stakes and is slated to ride Celtic Sky, the likely favorite, for Clement in Sunday's $28,000 allowance feature.