07/13/2003 11:00PM

Iron Deputy avoids Saratoga heavies

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CHICAGO - Saturday's $400,000 Washington Park Handicap picked up a pair of starters over the weekend as the connections of Iron Deputy and Flatter announced plans to run in the Grade 2 race.

Iron Deputy's presence is a surprising and significant boost to the Washington Park, contested at 1 3/16 miles on dirt. The last time he raced, Iron Deputy won the Brooklyn Handicap by 2 1/2 lengths, beating a strong field that included Volponi, Saarland, and Harlan's Holiday. Based in New York with trainer James Jerkens, Iron Deputy was expected to race during the Saratoga meet, but with Mineshaft and Medaglia d'Oro heading for a Saratoga showdown, Iron Deputy flies west Wednesday evening seeking shallower waters.

The owners John and Susan Moore "really didn't want to run against Mineshaft and Medaglia d'Oro," said Jerkens, reached by phone Monday morning at his Belmont Park barn. "This may be a little easier spot for him."

Jerkens said Iron Deputy is "doing very well right now. He just worked a mile in 1:37 the other day [July 9]."

Injuries have interrupted Iron Deputy's career, which reached its zenith last month in the Brooklyn. There, Iron Deputy jumped out to an early lead, set a fast pace, and turned back a challenge from Volponi. Belmont's track surface clearly carried speed that afternoon, a track bias Jerkens acknowledged.

"I'm sure he was aided by the track that day," Jerkens said.

Richard Migliore, aboard Iron Deputy in all eight of his career starts, rides again Saturday.

Flatter ships in from Kentucky for trainer Steve Penrod and owners Claiborne Farm and Adele Dilschneider. Flatter has gone 4 for 4 after a loss in his career debut, but missed eight months of racing after a leg fracture last fall. Flatter cruised to an easy one-turn Churchill Downs allowance win in his first start back from the injury, and adds pace to the Washington Park.

As of Monday, track officials had five definite starters for the race, with Perfect Drift, Phantom Light, and Aeneas also expected to start. Four are possible for the race, including the 2002 Kentucky Derby runner-up, Proud Citizen.

Perfect Drift, who will be favored, tuned up for the Washington Park with a breeze Saturday at the Trackside training center in Louisville. "We wanted to be cautious with him since he can breeze too fast," trainer Murray Johnson said. "He really came home well the last eighth of a mile."

Lukas unleashes a runner

D. Wayne Lukas's "A" team may be in New York right now, but there is nothing second-string about Race for Glory, who impressively won his career debut Sunday at Arlington.

Bob and Beverly Lewis paid $600,000 for Race for Glory, a Cape Town colt, at Keeneland's 2-year-olds in training sale in April. After his race Sunday, one can see why.

Away from the gate quickly from an inside post under rider Rene Douglas, Race for Glory was trapped along the rail and dueling on the pace, but the pressure had no effect on him. Race for Glory opened daylight at the three-sixteenths pole and drew away for a six-length win, running five furlongs in 57.87 seconds with his ears still pricked at the finish.

"He relaxed so good, and he stayed within himself," a visibly excited Douglas told assistant trainer Greg Falk after the race.

A smiling Falk had already seen positive qualities in Race for Glory's morning exercise. "I think this is just the tip of the iceberg with this rascal," Falk said. "He told us that he was a racehorse all along."

Falk didn't know what Lukas had planned for Race for Glory. "I can't say for sure, but I would venture to say he could go to Saratoga."

Reinstedler fillies to Saratoga

Trainer Tony Reinstedler has the stock right now to race competitively at the Saratoga meet. In fact, he may rule the 3-year-old filly turf division there.

During August, Reinstedler will have 12 horses in Chicago and 16 at Saratoga, including two 3-year-old fillies being pointed to grass stakes races there. Sand Springs, second to Dimitrova last out in the American Oaks, will get a brief freshening and point for the Lake Placid Stakes Aug. 17. Aud, winner of an overnight handicap July 6 at Arlington, has been penciled in for the July 28 Lake George at Saratoga.

"We got Aud to settle last time, and that really helped her make a big run," Reinstedler said.

There are no big late runs from Sand Springs, a turf filly who likes to tear along on the front end. She did so in the 10-furlong American Oaks, leading into deep stretch.

"We learned last year you don't get in any fights with her," Reinstedler said.

After a down year, Reinstedler has come up with a solid core of young horses this season. "I'm fortunate to have some good horses right now," he said. "You're only as good as what you have looking through those stall webbings."

Sue's Good News hits the road

Sue's Good News, trainer Steve Hobby's unbeaten 3-year-old filly, punched her ticket to the Delaware Oaks with a strong workout Saturday. Sue's Good News breezed five furlongs in 1:01 under jockey Chris Emigh, a move Hobby termed "perfect."

"She did everything right," he said.

Sue's Good News will ship by van to Delaware Tuesday night for Saturday's Oaks. "I'd like to let her gallop on the track a couple times," Hobby said. Tim Doocy will fly in from Louisiana Downs to ride. "He's sticking close to her," Hobby said.

Sue's Good News easily beat older allowance horses here in her most recent race, but bad luck has interrupted her development. She caught a mild virus days before the Grade 3 Dogwood at Churchill, and missed the Real Delight here after tying up following her final workout for the race.

"Right now, everything's fine, but you've got to hold your breath with her," Hobby said.

Evolving Tactics arrives

Evolving Tactics, trainer Dermot Weld's hope for Sunday's American Derby and, perhaps, the Grade 1 Secretariat, arrived at Arlington Sunday night after a flight from Paris. The American Derby, the second leg of Arlington's Mid-America Triple for 3-year-old turf horses, is expected to attract a field of seven or eight horses.

Lismore Knight, who won the Arlington Classic last month, is passing the race.