06/24/2007 11:00PM

Injury sidelines Harlington


ELMONT, N.Y. - Invasor was not the only defection from Saturday's Grade 1 Suburban Handicap.

Harlington, winner of 6 of 8 career starts, was declared from the $400,000 race due to an unspecified foot injury, trainer Todd Pletcher said Monday. Pletcher will still be represented in the Suburban with Fairbanks.

"He's got a foot issue that we can't get resolved," Pletcher said of Harlington. "He galloped [Sunday], but he wasn't right. X-rays are negative and we can't find it, so we're assuming it's a bruise until we know differently."

Invasor, last year's Suburban winner and the reigning Horse of the Year, was removed from consideration for the race Saturday when he suffered a fractured sesamoid bone in his right hind leg following a workout. He was subsequently retired.

The loss of Invasor and Harlington prompted the connections of Hesanoldsalt and Malibu Moonshine to join the Suburban field. They will run against probable favorite Corinthian, Fairbanks, and Political Force. Evening Attire is possible.

Harlington, a son of champions Unbridled and Serena's Song, would have been a major player in the Suburban. He won last year's Gradeo2 Gulfstream Park Handicap, and the only two times he lost, he came out of those races with injuries. Last month, Harlington returned from a year layoff to win an allowance race by 3 1/4 lengths.

When word began to spread about the defection of Invasor and Harlington, trainer Gary Contessa immediately canceled plans to ship Malibu Moonshine to Canada for next Sunday's Dominion Day Handicap at Woodbine. Malibu Moonshine won the Pleasant Colony Stakes at 1 3/4 miles at Aqueduct on April 7.

"With Invasor out, it levels the playing field," Contessa said Sunday. "Our horse is definitely a mile and a quarter horse, so why not, we're going to give it a shot."

With Contessa serving a weeklong suspension, Malibu Moonshine will be saddled by Kim Laudati.

Hesanoldsalt, trained by Nick Zito, has finished second in five consecutive races since winning the Grade 3 Fred Hooper Handicap on Dec. 16. He was second to Invasor in the Donn, beaten a neck by Corinthian in the Gulfstream Park Handicap, a head by Flashy Bull in the William Donald Schaefer, and, most recently, five lengths by Papi Chullo in the Birdstone Stakes.

"That's a pretty good lineup, am I right?" Zito said Monday from Saratoga. "He's a very consistent horse, very solid horse. You always wish you had another week or two, but you can't have everything."

With Invasor out, Corinthian will be the starting highweight at 119 pounds. Hesanoldsalt was assigned 117, followed by Fairbanks (116), Political Force (116), Malibu Moonshine (114), and Evening Attire (114).

Rags to Riches gets back to work

Rags to Riches, the first filly to win the Belmont Stakes in 102 years, worked four furlongs in 50.02 seconds Sunday morning over the main track. It was her first breeze since outfinishing Curlin to win the Belmont by a head on June 10.

"Perfect, just a nice, easy maintenance work," Pletcher said. "Did it very well, came out of it very well."

Rags to Riches remains on course for the Coaching Club American Oaks for fillies to be run here July 21. After that she could run in either the Alabama for fillies on Aug. 18 or, less likely, take on the males in the Travers on Aug. 25.

Asked if the retirement of Invasor opens the door to a possible start against colts in the Breeders' Cup Classic in October, Pletcher said, "It's so far down the line it'd be hard to speculate this far out. You can't make plans like that in this business."

Rags to Riches will likely have three more breezes before the Coaching Club, a Grade 1 race worth $300,000.

Short field for Mother Goose

Octave, who ran second to Rags to Riches in the Kentucky Oaks, heads what is shaping up to be a small field for Saturday's Grade 1, $250,000 Mother Goose Stakes for 3-year-old fillies.

As of Monday, the only other confirmed starters for the Mother Goose were Boca Grande, winner of the Grade 2 Comely; Lady Joanne, winner of the Grade 3 Dogwood; and Pleasant Rhapsody, beaten by a head in a first-level allowance last out. Trainer Mark Hennig said that if the field stays small he may run Bold Assurance.

Since winning the Grade 2 Adirondack at Saratoga last summer, Octave has finished second in five consecutive graded stakes, four of them Grade 1 events. In addition to the Kentucky Oaks, Octave was a bridesmaid in the Matron here last fall, the Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies, the Fair Grounds Oaks, and the Ashland.

On Sunday, Octave worked five furlongs in 59.29 seconds in company with Garifine, a recent 3-year-old maiden winner who was timed in 59.89.

The Green Monkey breezing again

There may be some life in those legs of The Green Monkey yet.

On Sunday, The Green Monkey, the $16 million 2-year-old-in-training purchase who has yet to make it to the races, breezed four furlongs in 49.59 seconds. It was his second breeze since returning to Pletcher's barn this spring. He had been sidelined since last fall after suffering a pulled gluteal muscle.

Pletcher said he has been pleased with what he's seen thus far from The Green Monkey, who last year breezed nine times from May 14 to Aug. 2.

"Much more forward and aggressive than he was last year," Pletcher said. "Seems more enthusiastic and eager to work."

Pletcher said that if all continues to go well, The Green Monkey could debut at Saratoga.

Makderah eyes Diana or Beverly D.

Last Saturday wasn't a total loss for trainer Kiaran McLaughlin. While he was forced to retire his star older male colt, Invasor, he may have discovered a star turf mare in Makderah, who rolled to a four-length victory in the Grade 2 New York Stakes.

Makderah, a 4-year-old daughter of Danehill, demonstrated an explosive turn of foot that carried her past the field as she covered 1 1/4 miles in 2:00.07 while earning a Beyer Speed Figure of 102.

"She's a top filly," said McLaughlin, who felt the key to victory was jockey Alan Garcia getting her to settle. "She's not Breeders' Cup eligible, so we have to talk about that, not that we can't supplement."

McLaughlin said he would look to run Makderah back in either the Diana at Saratoga on July 29 or the Beverly D. at Arlington on Aug. 11. Both are part of the new Breeders' Cup initiative "Win and You're In," meaning a victory in either race assures the winner a berth in the Breeders' Cup Filly and Mare Turf. While she could get into the Breeders' Cup with a victory in either spot, Makderah's connections would still have to pay a supplemental fee to make her eligible.

Meanwhile, Jimmy Toner, trainer of New York runner-up Masseuse, said he would point his mare to whichever race Makderah does not run in.

"I hope they go to the Beverly D., so I could do the Diana," Toner said. "I'm planning on the Diana right now."

Cordero bobblehead at Saratoga

New York Racing Association officials announced their Saratoga giveaways for this summer, and the highlight will be a bobblehead doll of Hall of Fame jockey Angel Cordero Jr., the Spa's leading rider for 13 years. That giveaway will be Thursday, July 26.

Other giveaways and their dates are: Baseball cap (July 29), T-shirt (Aug. 5), folding chair (Aug. 12), umbrella (Aug. 19), and cooler bag (Sept. 2).

Also new at Saratoga this year will be simulcast racing from the United Kingdom. It will be offered during the mornings, but fans - who must pay to get in - can only wager in a designated area behind Big Red Spring.

* Sightseeing, the Peter Pan winner, worked a sharp six furlongs in 1:12.18 on Monday in preparation for the Dwyer Stakes on July 4.