06/07/2007 11:00PM

Invasor works in company with Jazil


ELMONT, N.Y. - After capturing the Dubai World Cup in March, Invasor got a very brief break, then went right along in his training in preparation for a defense of his Horse of the Year title. His trainer, Kiaran McLaughlin, has circled the Grade 1, $400,000 Suburban Handicap on June 30 at Belmont Park as the start of his second season, and on Friday morning at Belmont, Invasor inched closer to the Suburban with a half-mile workout.

It wasn't the usual work, though. McLaughlin put Invasor in company with Jazil, who one year ago won the Belmont Stakes. Each was timed in 48.63 seconds on the fast main track. Exercise rider Barry Downes was aboard Invasor, with jockey Fernando Jara on Jazil.

Invasor is "for sure" going in the Suburban, McLaughlin said. His rivals are expected to include Corinthian, the Met Mile winner. In his first work since the Met Mile, Corinthian worked a half-mile on Friday in 48.14 seconds for trainer Jimmy Jerkens.

Jazil, according to McLaughlin, is being "kept in reserve" for the Suburban, but he's also being considered for the Grade 1, $750,000 Hollywood Gold Cup the same day at Hollywood Park.

McLaughlin is hesitating over the Gold Cup, though, because it is run on the synthetic surface Cushion Track. Jazil had made all his starts on dirt until trying turf last time out in the Elkhorn Stakes at Keeneland. He finished last.

"I don't know if I want to change surfaces," McLaughlin said. "We tried the turf, and that didn't work."

McLaughlin on Friday also worked Flashy Bull a half-mile in 48.42 seconds. He is coming off a victory in the Schaefer Handicap at Pimlico on the Preakness undercard.

Marcavelly rallies in Hill Prince

Marcavelly, racing over the firm turf he prefers, came roaring down the outside in the stretch to collar Distorted Reality and then pulled away for a 1 1/4-length victory in the Grade 3, $100,000 Hill Prince Stakes for 3-year-olds on Friday at Belmont Park.

Distorted Reality finished 4 3/4 lengths in front of third-place Codeword, with Reptilian Smarts and Storm in May completing the order of finish. The field was reduced from seven to five by the scratches of Believeinmenow and Royal War Academy.

Edgar Prado rode Marcavelly, who completed one mile in 1:33.45.

Marcavelly ($4.10), the favorite, made amends for being beaten as the favorite in the American Turf at Churchill Downs on May 4. He finished fourth that day, on a yielding course.

"He saw daylight that day and used himself up early, plus the turf was soft," said Bill Mott, who trains Marcavelly for Ahmed Zayet's Zayet Stables LLC.

On Friday, Marcavelly got cover for the first six furlongs. He sat in a pocket along the rail, just behind Storm in May and Distorted Reality, who led through fractions of 24.51 seconds, 47.52, and 1:10.48 for the first six furlongs. As the field turned into the stretch, Prado used Marcavelly to push aside Reptilian Smarts to secure room, then took aim on Distorted Reality.

"When he found a clear spot, he just took off," Prado said.

Marcavelly reached Distorted Reality a furlong out, and gradually pulled away.

"We were a little concerned with the lack of early pace on paper, but some pace developed in front of him," Mott said. "He comes with a nice kick."

Marcavelly, a colt by Johannesburg, has now won 4 times in 7 starts.

Sunriver dazzles in turf debut

Sunriver, who was third to Jazil in last year's Belmont, had struggled since. He had lost three straight races, and had finished out of the money twice. On Thursday, trainer Todd Pletcher put him on the grass for the first time, and Sunriver responded as though he were meant for it his whole career. He romped to a 4 1/2-length victory in a swift 1:46.94 for 1 1/8 miles on firm turf, opening new avenues for Pletcher.

"I might look at something like the Bowling Green," Pletcher said Friday morning, referring to the Grade 2, $150,000 Bowling Green Handicap at 1 3/8 miles at Belmont on July 15.

Sunriver, 4, is a full brother to the champion filly Ashado. He had won 3 of his previous 11 starts, but was coming off a poor effort in the Schaefer, in which he finished seventh of eight.

Last Sunday, Pletcher worked Sunriver on turf for the first time, and was so impressed by how well Sunriver performed "that I started looking for a race in the condition book for him," Pletcher said.

He found it quickly. There was a third-level allowance on Thursday. Entries were being taken Sunday morning.

"I had to enter him that day," Pletcher said. "He worked at 9:30, and I ended up entering him at 10."

Pletcher's primary jockey, John Velazquez, already had a mount lined up for the race.

"I had to scramble for a rider," Pletcher said. "There's no racing at Delaware on Thursday, so I called Ramon Dominguez's agent, and he said Ramon would come over."

It all worked out.

Bustin Stones recovering from bruise

Bustin Stones, the talented New York-bred 3-year-old who has won his first three starts by a combined 14 1/2 lengths, was forced to miss Saturday's Grade 2 Woody Stephens Stakes due to a foot bruise, trainer Bruce Levine said.

Levine said Bustin Stones missed about a week of training after bruising his right front foot. The bruise was found shortly after Bustin Stones worked five furlongs in 1:00.64 on May 22 at Belmont.

"We had to pull the shoe and we waited till he got right," said Levine, who was planning to return Bustin Stones to light training over the weekend.

Bustin Stones, a son of City Zip, won his first three starts against restricted company. He won a maiden race by seven lengths, a division of the New York Stallion Stakes by 4 1/4 lengths, and an overnight stakes called the Screenland by 3 1/4 lengths.

Levine said he would point Bustin Stones to either the Mike Lee for New York-breds at seven furlongs on June 24 or the Grade 3, $150,000 Jersey Shore Breeders' Cup Sprint at six furlongs at Monmouth Park on July 4.

- additional reporting by David Grening