08/08/2007 12:00AM

Idiot Proof finds soft prep

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DEL MAR, Calif. - The $100,000 Real Good Deal Stakes is typically a sleepy stakes race for statebred sprinters that seldom draws a nationally prominent horse.

That is far from the case this year. The field of nine is led by Idiot Proof, who won the Grade 3 Jersey Shore Breeders' Cup Stakes at Monmouth Park on July 4 and is considered a candidate for the $2 million Breeders' Cup Sprint.

So what is Idiot Proof doing in the seven-furlong Real Good Deal?

"Where else do you run him?" trainer Clifford Sise said.

Sise and owner-breeders Marty and Pam Wygod hope to use the Real Good Deal as a prep to a major stakes in the early fall, such as the Vosburgh Stakes at Belmont Park Sept. 30 or the Ancient Title Breeders' Cup Stakes at the Oak Tree at Santa Anita meeting on Oct. 7.

A winner of 4 of 6 starts and $237,272, Idiot Proof ran by far the best race of his career in the Jersey Shore BC Stakes, setting a six-furlong track record of 1:07.47. He was just off the pace for the first quarter-mile, took the lead on the final turn, and pulled clear from six rivals to win by 7 1/4 lengths despite running erratically through the final furlong.

"I don't know how fast he is," Sise said. "If he'd had something to run at and run a straight course, who knows how fast he could have run? He wasn't slowing down."

Idiot Proof will be heavily favored in the Real Good Deal and is likely to race near the front, though Sise said he's better coming from off the pace.

The field may be reduced by one since Unusual Suspect, second in a division of the Oceanside Stakes on July 18, is likely to start in Saturday's La Jolla Handicap on turf, trainer Barry Abrams said.

Aside from Idiot Proof, the race has drawn three stakes winners - Leesider, Pirates Deputy, and Zoning In.

Leesider won the $250,000 Snow Chief Stakes for 3-year-old statebred males in April, and was fourth in the Alydar Stakes in May.

Pirates Deputy won the California Breeders' Champion Stakes last December, but has failed to finish in the first three in four starts this year.

Zoning In, who will show speed, won the Captain Squire Handicap over six furlongs on turf at Hollywood Park on June 29.