05/01/2005 11:00PM

Injury ends Consolidator's career

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Blue Grass Stakes winner Bandini breezes five furlongs in1:00.80 under regular rider John Velazquez in his final work for Saturday's Kentucky Derby.

LOUISVILLE, Ky. - The phone rang Monday morning at 5 a.m. at the Southern California home of Bob Lewis and his wife, Beverly. Trainer D. Wayne Lukas was on the line from here in Kentucky.

"The minute I heard his voice," Lewis said from California, "I knew it wasn't good."

It wasn't. Lukas was calling to report that Consolidator, one of two horses he and the Lewises intended to run in the 131st Kentucky Derby on Saturday at Churchill Downs, had suffered a career-ending sesamoid fracture in his right front leg. He will go to stud next year, Lukas said.

The injury to , a Storm Cat colt who won the San Felipe Stakes at Santa Anita earlier this year, leaves the Lewises and Lukas with the longshot Going Wild as their lone Derby candidate. Consolidator's defection left the likely number of Derby entrants right at the maximum of 20, which would allow owner B. Wayne Hughes the option to run both Don't Get Mad and supplemental entry Greeley's Galaxy, provided no heretofore unforeseen runners are 11th-hour entries on Wednesday morning.

Wednesday is the deadline for entries for the Derby, which this year carries a purse of $2 million. Because Greeley's Galaxy, the Illinois Derby winner, was not originally nominated to the Triple Crown, Hughes must pay a supplemental fee of $200,000 to run him. But if any nominated horse were to enter at the last second - even, hypothetically, an unstarted maiden - then Greeley's Galaxy would be on the bubble, and Hughes would have to decide whether to pull the entry of Don't Get Mad to get Greeley's Galaxy into the Derby.

The $50,000 it would cost an owner to enter and start in the Derby would seemingly dissuade such antics, but the Derby has been known over the years to cause irrational behavior, so Hughes and trainer Ron Ellis will not be able to relax until entries close at 11 a.m. on Wednesday. Post positions for the Derby will be chosen Wednesday from 5-6 p.m. on a telecast emanating from Churchill Downs and shown on ESPN.

Don't Get Mad became the latest Derby contender with his stylish, late-running victory on Saturday in the one-mile Derby Trial, in which he got a Beyer Speed Figure of 98. Gary Stevens rode him to his seven-length victory on Saturday, but since Stevens is committed to ride Noble Causeway in the Derby, either Tyler Baze or Alex Solis will pick up the mount on Don't Get Mad, Ellis said.

"Gary told me, 'I know you didn't want to win by that much, but I left something in the tank,'" Ellis said. "One thing about it - I'd rather be running back in a week than five weeks out just because I think these horses have to be pretty fit."

Rafael Bejarano, who had been scheduled to ride Consolidator, has picked up the mount on Andromeda's Hero, whom Bejarano worked last week for trainer Nick Zito. Over the weekend, Lukas announced that Jose Valdivia Jr. would ride Going Wild.

So, provided there are no last-second surprises, here are the 20 horses, and their jockeys, who will be entered on Wednesday: Afleet Alex (Jeremy Rose the rider), Andromeda's Hero (Bejarano), Bandini (John Velazquez), Bellamy Road (Javier Castellano), Buzzards Bay (Mark Guidry), Closing Argument (Cornelio Velasquez), Coin Silver (Patrick Valenzuela), Don't Get Mad (Baze or Solis), Flower Alley (Jorge Chavez), Giacomo (Mike Smith), Going Wild (Valdivia), Greater Good (John McKee), Greeley's Galaxy (Kent Desormeaux), High Fly (Jerry Bailey), High Limit (Ramon Dominguez), Noble Causeway (Stevens), Sort It Out (Brice Blanc), Spanish Chestnut (Joe Bravo), Sun King (Edgar Prado), and Wilko (Corey Nakatani).

The rainy weather of late last week is supposed to be largely gone. It was cool and dry for workouts here both Sunday and Monday. The National Weather Service is predicting showers on Thursday, but other than that Derby Week is supposed to be dry, with the cool temperatures gradually rising to the mid- to upper-70's by Friday and Saturday.

Seven Derby contenders worked at Churchill Downs on Sunday, another three on Monday, and workouts were recorded by Derby contenders in California both Sunday and Monday.

Most notable, and most impressive, was Bellamy Road, the Wood Memorial winner and probable Derby favorite. He worked strongly and galloped out sharply during a five-furlong drill in 1:00.40 on Sunday morning at Churchill Downs with exercise rider Maxine Correa.

"What we try to do in our program, since we are training horses, especially in the last 15 years, is basically try to get all of our horses to relax," Zito said. "I think our stable now, people know that we try to get our horses to go a mile and a quarter, no matter what race it is. With Bellamy Road, there has been so much talk that he won't rate and this and that, at least this last work and the work before at least shows us some indication that he will."

Zito on Sunday also worked High Fly and Noble Causeway, who finished one-two in the Florida Derby. High Fly, working in company with Last Samurai, covered five furlongs in 1:00.40. Noble Causeway, who worked with Capac, was timed in 1:00 for five furlongs. Correa was on both colts.

Trainer Todd Pletcher worked his three Derby runners five furlongs each, with Bandini and Flower Alley working Sunday, and Coin Silver on Monday.

Bandini, the Blue Grass Stakes winner, out-finished the older stakes horse Lion Tamer and was timed in 1:00.80 with Velazquez aboard. Flower Alley, who finished second in the Arkansas Derby, was timed in 1:00.60 with exercise rider Michelle Nihei while outworking Eclipse Award winner Ashado. Flower Alley wore blinkers in the workout and will race with them for the first time in the Derby.

Lexington Stakes winner Coin Silver, who had Hall of Fame rider Angel Cordero Jr. aboard, was timed in 1:01 while working in company with Monarch Lane.

Also Sunday, two of the race's expected pacesetters, Going Wild and Spanish Chestnut, worked five furlongs. Going Wild was timed in 59.60 seconds with exercise rider Stacy Prior. Spanish Chestnut, trained by Patrick Biancone, was timed in 1:00.40 with exercise rider Rodolphe Brisset.

On Monday at Churchill, Sort It Out worked a half-mile in company with Apalachee Tiger and was timed in 47.20 seconds. Dana Barnes was up for trainer Bob Baffert. Also, Closing Argument covered five furlongs in 1:01.60 while in company with Cartoonist. Danny Wright was aboard for trainer Kiaran McLaughlin.

In California on Monday, Santa Anita Derby winner Buzzards Bay zipped six furlongs in 1:11.40 at Santa Anita while in company with Florida Keys. The time was the best of nine at the distance. Guidry was aboard for trainer Jeff Mullins.

On Sunday at Hollywood Park, Giacomo worked six furlongs in 1:11.80 under exercise rider Sabina Seibel for trainer John Shirreffs while in company with Bullistic.

Both Buzzards Bay and Giacomo are scheduled to fly to Kentucky from California on Wednesday. Wilko arrived here from California on Sunday. Andromeda's Hero is training at Keeneland and is scheduled to be sent here by van on Thursday. Spanish Chestnut went back to Keeneland after his work on Sunday and is not scheduled to return until early Derby morning.

- additional reporting by David Grening