09/23/2002 11:00PM

If track's wet, Abreeze likely in Jockey Club Gold Cup


ELMONT, N.Y. - Yes, handicappers, there will be pace in Saturday's $1 million Jockey Club Gold Cup.

Trainer Kiaran McLaughlin said Tuesday that provided no other speed horse enters the fray, he will start the front-running Abreeze in Saturday's Jockey Club Gold Cup at Belmont Park.

"If there's no speed and only five or six horses, we'll probably run," McLaughlin said. "There's rain in the forecast and he likes it sloppy."

Abreeze would be running back just two weeks after finishing fourth in the Kentucky Cup Classic Handicap at Turfway Park on Sept. 14.

"[The race is] not ideal, but it makes up for it with a short field, no pace, and some rain," he said.

Trainer Todd Pletcher has said he might consider running Balto Star if he were the only speed, but would probably not run if Abreeze does.

Abreeze, a 7-year-old gelded son of Danzig, entered a quarantine situation Monday at Saratoga, but McLaughlin said he can easily pull Abreeze out of quarantine to run. Under USDA rules, horses that come from overseas and stable in North America for an extended period of time must do 30 days in quarantine before shipping back. Abreeze, who has been in the states since the spring, is expected to return to Dubai by the end of October.

Abreeze is owned in part by McLaughlin's wife, Letty, and his brother Neil. Abreeze won a $35,000 claiming race and two allowance races before running a good second behind Evening Attire in the Saratoga Breeders Cup Handicap on Aug. 17. In that race, Abreeze was inhibited by Gander, who was running loose after dumping jockey Mike Smith leaving the starting gate.

As of Tuesday, the Jockey Club Gold Cup field consisted of of Abreeze, Evening Attire, Lido Palace, Milwaukee Brew, Nothing Flat, and Repent. Puzzlement was listed as a possible runner. Harlan's Holiday will enter, but is more likely to run in the Pegasus at The Meadowlands on Friday night.

On Tuesday, Milwaukee Brew worked an easy half-mile in 50.02 seconds, a little slower than trainer Bobby Frankel was looking for.

"It's no big deal, he just worked six days ago," Frankel said.

Timboroa returns in Turf Classic

Timboroa, who has not run this year, will seek to repeat his Turf Classic Invitational victory of a year ago when the $750,000, Grade 1 race is run here on Sunday. Timboroa will be coupled in the wagering with Denon in the 12-furlong race.

Timboroa, a 6-year-old Great Britain-bred, has not run since finishing last in the Japan Cup Nov. 25 in Tokyo.

According to Frankel, Timboroa underwent surgery to remove an ankle chip following the Japan Cup. Then, Timboroa had a strained suspensory that needed time to heal. On Sunday, Timboroa worked seven furlongs in 1:31.85 over Belmont's inner turf in company with Denon.

"Right now he's good and healthy and he worked good the other day," Frankel said. "He worked so good the other day I confused [Edgar] Prado. I said, 'Who do you want to ride?' He said, 'I don't know.' "

Prado rode Timboroa to victory in last year's Turf Classic and to a third-place finish in the Breeders' Cup Turf. Sunday, Prado will ride Denon, whom he rode to a second-place finish behind With Anticipation in the Sword Dancer Invitational. John Velazquez will ride Timboroa.

Frankel said he hopes the rain forecast for the weekend does arrive because both Denon and Timboroa like some give in the ground.

Expected to face the Frankel-entry in the Turf Classic are With Anticipation, Ulundi, Kim Loves Bucky, Man From Wicklow, Delta Form, Whitmore's Conn, and Blazing Fury.

Originally on the calendar for Saturday, the Turf Classic was moved to Sunday to accommodate television. The Turf Classic will be one of several races shown live on NBC in a 90-minute telecast emanating from Arlington Park beginning at 4:30 p.m. Eastern.

Banks Hill, Kazzia arrive

Banks Hill and Kazzia, the two expected favorites for Saturday's Flower Bowl Invitational, have arrived in New York. Banks Hill, whose victory in last year's Breeders' Cup Filly and Mare Turf earned a divisional championship, arrived on Tuesday and was in quarantine at Aqueduct. She was expected to be released form quarantine late Wednesday.

Kazzia, winner of the 1000 Guineas Stakes at Newmarket and the English Oaks, arrived in the early hours Tuesday morning. She worked at Newmarket on Monday before shipping and was to be released from quarantine early on Wednesday.

Kazzia, a 3-year-old, is coming off the only loss of her career, a fourth-place finish in the Yorkshire Oaks on Aug. 21. She had missed some training time leading up to that race because of a quarter crack. Another quarter crack developed on her other front hoof last week, but Godolphin assistant trainer Tom Albertrani said "she should be fine. As far as I know, it's all right."

The connections of Banks Hill have said that she would not run if the course came up soft. There is rain in the forecast for Saturday. If Banks Hill does not run, Starine, who finished third in last year's Flower Bowl, will run. If Banks Hill does run, Frankel said he would ship Starine to Keeneland for the Winstar Galaxy on Oct. 4.

Others expected for the Flower Bowl are England's Legend, Turtle Bow, Mot Juste, and possibly Tarfshi and Voodoo Dancer.

You to Spinster

You, who finished second in the Ruffian in her last start, will most likely go next in the Grade 1 Spinster at Keeneland on Oct. 6, Frankel said.

"I think that kind of speed-favoring track will help her," Frankel said. "Just go straight to the lead."

You may find company on the front end in the Spinster. Take Charge Lady, who breezed five furlongs in 58.48 seconds here Sunday, is also expected to run in the Spinster.

* Robin Carroll, wife of trainer Del Carroll, is now the agent for jockey Dennis Carr. Carroll last booked mounts for a jockey in the mid-1990's when she handled business for Filiberto Leon.