01/30/2008 12:00AM

Imawildandcrazyguy taking a drop


HALLANDALE BEACH, Fla. - The last two times trainer Bill Kaplan dropped Imawildandcrazyguy back to the allowance ranks, the gelding responded with easy victories. Kaplan will try a similar strategy, hoping for the same results, when Imawildandcrazyguy returns to allowance company in Friday's $49,000 feature at Gulfstream Park.

Imawildandcrazyguy held his own against the best of a strong 3-year-old division on several occasions in 2007, when he was graded-stakes-placed twice as well as fourth in the Kentucky Derby, Haskell, and Louisiana Derby. His only victory, however, came when Kaplan snuck him into a second-level allowance race and was rewarded with an easy victory last summer at Calder.

Imawildandcrazyguy, a son of Wild Event, is coming off one of the poorest performances of his career, a distant 10th-place finish in the Canadian Turf Handicap here Jan. 4.

"He's training well, and I was trying to find the easiest spot I could to get his confidence back and get him back to his winning ways," explained Kaplan.

Perhaps the biggest obstacles facing the late-running Imawildandcrazyguy will be the seven-furlong distance and lack of any substantial early pace in the race.

"He breezed quick the other day. Maybe I'll be on the lead," Kaplan said jokingly. "Actually, seven furlongs doesn't bother me that much, and I think he might be closer than usual."

The speed in the field belongs to the Giuseppe Iadisernia-trained entry of Miner's Lamp and Delosvientos. Miner's Lamp rallied from midpack to finish a surprising second when he stretched to a mile for the Grade 3 Hal's Hope but was on or near the pace at distances ranging from five to six furlongs on several occasions last year.

Delosvientos led throughout to post three straight victories within a five-week span last spring and summer at Calder but has been outrun in three subsequent starts, including twice here earlier in the meet.

Gold Trippi is in the best form of any member of the field, having won his last two starts, including a second-level optional claiming and allowance race over Gstaad and Merchant Marine. The victory avenged Gold Trippi's last defeat, which came at the hands of Merchant Marine going a mile at Belmont on Oct. 6.

Bold Start, who has placed in multiple Grade 2 stakes, figures to improve off a much-needed allowance try here two weeks ago, when he finished as a tepid favorite going six furlongs. The outing was the first for Bold Start since his sixth-place finish in the Grade 1 King's Bishop five months earlier.