03/23/2009 11:00PM

I Want Revenge drills for Wood


OZONE PARK, N.Y. - Trainer Jeff Mullins is trying to stay calm, but his horse, I Want Revenge, is making it hard on him.

I Want Revenge continued preparations for his start as the favorite in the Grade 1 Wood Memorial at Aqueduct on April 4 with a sharp five-furlong drill in 58.20 seconds Sunday morning over Hollywood Park's Cushion Track. It was the second-fastest of 29 moves at the distance. Joe Talamo was aboard I Want Revenge for the work, which was done in company with an unraced 3-year-old named I Want My Money.

"Everything went well, he came out of it good so far, couldn't be any better at this point," Mullins said by phone Monday from Southern California. "We put a horse four lengths in front of him, just making sure he got something out of the work."

Mullins said everything has gone well with I Want Revenge since he returned to California after his eye-catching 8 1/2-length victory in the Grade 3 Gotham Stakes here March 7. But as a horse trainer, Mullins knows that in racing, things can change in an instant.

"I hope the horse just keeps making little steps forward and we can keep him healthy," Mullins said. "It's nice to know you got a good horse leading into a race like this. I'm trying to keep myself grounded. They are living, breathing creatures; anything can happen. We just pray that every day he's healthy and we can get through the Wood."

Though a deal is seemingly in the works to sell a half-interest in I Want Revenge to the IEAH Stables led by Michael Iavarone, Mullins is expected to remain the colt's trainer.

"I think all that's in the contract," Mullins said. "Basically that's what's getting sorted out right now. As of [Sunday] night, there wasn't anything final."

Mullins said I Want Revenge will work again Sunday at Hollywood Park and is scheduled to ship to New York on April 1.

The Wood field is expected to include Gotham second- and third-place finishers Imperial Council and Mr. Fantasy as well as Al Khali, Atomic Rain, and West Side Bernie. Danger to Society and Hello Broadway are possible.

Musket Man, winner of the Tampa Bay Derby, is headed to the Illinois Derby on April 4, trainer Derek Ryan said Monday. Ryan said Eibar Coa will ride, in part because Coa has ridden several horses in the past for Eric Fein, part-owner of Musket Man. Coa replaces Daniel Centeno, who rode Musket Man in the Tampa Derby.

Secret Gypsy to Humana Distaff

Secret Gypsy came out of her victory in Saturday's Grade 2 Distaff Handicap in good order and will now be pointed to the Grade 1 Humana Distaff at Churchill Downs on May 2, trainer Ronny Werner said Monday.

Secret Gypsy vanned from Aqueduct to Werner's home outside of Louisville, where the trainer has a two-stall barn and three small paddocks. She will stay there for a week or so before returning to the racetrack.

"I like to turn them out, let them chill out, fill them back up," Werner said. "It keeps them fresh a little bit mentally."

Werner was obviously pleased to get Secret Gypsy her first graded stakes victory, and he especially liked the fact that jockey Robby Albarado didn't have to resort to the whip. Secret Gypsy ran six furlongs in 1:10.01 and earned a 93 Beyer Speed Figure.

"I like the way she did it; it didn't look like he got after her a whole lot down the lane," Werner said. "I've hauled into Aqueduct before, that track can sometimes be hard to haul into. I think it worked out good for us."

Things didn't work out quite as well for Zada Belle, who was pulled up after a quarter-mile of the Distaff and was diagnosed with two fractured sesamoids in her right ankle, ending her racing career. On Monday, she was vanned to the Rood and Riddle Equine Hospital in Lexington, where she was to undergo surgery Tuesday.

"It was medial and lateral, a pretty nasty fracture," trainer Tom Albertrani said. "Hopefully, everything can work out well for her and she can retire and be a broodmare."

Zada Belle, a daughter of Indian Charlie, won 6 of 10 starts, including three listed stakes, and banked $247,899 for Sheikh Mohammed al-Maktoum's Darley Stable.

Seventh Street eyes Apple Blossom

Seventh Street, another Darley-owned filly, will make her next start in the Grade 1 Apple Blossom at Oaklawn Park on April 4, her connections said Monday.

Seventh Street is coming off a second-place finish in the Grade 2 Barbara Fritchie on Feb. 16 at Laurel Park, a race in which she reared at the start and caused jockey Rajiv Maragh to lose both irons.

"We think she's a top filly - we're dying to try top fillies, no time like the present," said Art Magnuson, assistant to trainer Kiaran McLaughlin. "Jim Bell with Darley wanted to try it. Darley is all about big races, and she's a big-race filly. We're excited about trying it."

Among the fillies and mares scheduled to run in the Apple Blossom are defending 3-year-old champion Proud Spell and Acoma.

Driven by Success may try Carter

The New York-bred Driven by Success, who finished a troubled fifth in the Grade 3 Toboggan Stakes, is likely to make his next start in the Grade 1 Carter on April 4, trainer Bruce Levine said Monday.

"I know it's going to be tough, but I don't have a lot of options," said Levine, who won last year's Carter with the New York-bred Bustin Stones.

Driven by Success had won three straight races entering the Toboggan, where he broke slowly from the rail and rushed up to get involved in a hot pace duel before finishing fifth, 3o1/4 lengths behind upset winner Ah Day.

"Broke slow, rushed up, pinned down inside, he did back up, caught his breath, and he was still running at the end," Levine said.

Others pointing to the Carter include Ah Day, Fabulous Strike, True Quality, Tale of Ekati, and Understatement.

Last Friday, Driven by Success drilled five furlongs in 1:00.55 over Belmont's training track.