06/30/2009 12:00AM

It's a Bird brings streak to Suburban

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Bob Coglianese
It's a Bird will look to extend his winning streak to three in Saturday's Suburban Handicap.

ELMONT, N.Y. - A year ago at this time, It's a Bird was running in races where he could have been claimed for $40,000. Saturday, he'll attempt to win his third consecutive graded stakes when he runs in the Grade 2, $400,000 Suburban Handicap at Belmont Park.

It's a Bird brings a two-race winning streak into the Suburban, having taken the Grade 2 Oaklawn Handicap in April before getting up to beat Jonesboro in the Grade 3 Lone Star Park Handicap on May 25. Trainer Marty Wolfson opted to forgo the Grade 1 Stephen Foster at Churchill Downs on June 13 to give his 5-year-old horse more time between races.

"I thought three weeks was a little too soon after the Lone Star race," Wolfson said Monday by phone from south Florida. "Texas was a long way to go from here; New York is such an easy trip."

Since coming into Wolfson's barn last summer, It's a Bird has won 6 of 10 starts at distances ranging from a mile to 1 1/2 miles. Wolfson ran him in a $40,000 claiming race at Calder last August after the horse had lost a $50,000 claiming race at Arlington when trained by Todd Pletcher.

"I didn't think he'd get up to this level until after his third race, when he beat Gottcha Gold, who is a tough horse, and he outgamed him," Wolfson said, referring to a head victory by It's a Bird in the Grade 3 Spend a Buck last October at Calder.

Wolfson has tabbed Javier Castellano to ride It's a Bird, replacing Julien Leparoux, who has a commitment to ride Informed Decision in Saturday's Chicago Handicap at Arlington Park. Others pointing to the Suburban include Asiatic Boy, Cool Coal Man, Dry Martini, Finallymadeit, Real Merchant, Rising Moon, and Stud Muffin.

It's a Bird was scheduled to arrive in New York on Wednesday.

Borel to ride Warrior's Reward in Dwyer

One week after winning the Grade 1 Mother Goose aboard Rachel Alexandra, Calvin Borel will return to Belmont on Saturday to ride Warrior's Reward in the Grade 2, $200,000 Dwyer Stakes for 3-year-old colts and geldings.

Warrior's Reward is coming off a tough-luck head loss to Successful Dan in the Grade 2 Northern Dancer three weeks ago at Churchill Downs. Ian Wilkes, the trainer of Warrior's Reward, said he chose to run in the Dwyer because his horse needs some more experience before the big races this summer at Saratoga.

"I ran in the Northern Dancer because I didn't have to ship, and he had six weeks between races," Wilkes said. "Now, it's time to get to work a little bit. He needs the racing."

On Monday, Warrior's Reward worked five furlongs in 1:00.20 at Churchill Downs. He was scheduled to ship to New York on Tuesday.

Among those pointing to the Dwyer are American Dance, Convocation, Just Ben, Kensei, Masala, Sunday Sunrise, and possibly Despite the Odds.

Charitable Man, Munnings to skip Dwyer

Charitable Man, who finished fourth in the Belmont Stakes, will not run in the Dwyer, trainer Kiaran McLaughlin said. Instead, the Peter Pan winner will be pointed to a race the first weekend of August, either the Grade 2 Jim Dandy at Saratoga on Aug. 1 or the $1 million Haskell Invitational at Monmouth Park on Aug. 2.

McLaughlin said his major goal for Charitable Man is the Travers at Saratoga on Aug. 29 and he wants just one race before then.

"He's doing great, but to run in three top races like that is asking a lot," McLaughlin said. "More time can only be a plus."

Meanwhile, trainer Todd Pletcher said Monday that Munnings would skip the Dwyer to run in Sunday's Tom Fool against older horses at seven furlongs. Pletcher was pleased enough with the fact Munnings would get an 11-pound weight break from Fabulous Strike in the $200,000 Tom Fool.

Fabulous Strike was assigned high weight of 123 pounds, while Munnings, a 3-year-old, got in at 112. On Monday, Fabulous Strike worked five furlongs in 1:00.20 at Penn National.

True Quality being trained by DeMola

True Quality, the best horse the now defunct Paraneck Stable had in training, is now owned by Joe Sgro's Fever Racing and trained by Joe DeMola. On Sunday, True Quality worked five furlongs in 59.66 seconds at Aqueduct, his second work since he finished fifth in the Grade 1 Carter Handicap on April 4.

"The horse worked like a monster," DeMola said. "I sent him a half-mile, and he breezed 34-and-4, 46-and-3, and he galloped out in 59-and-change. He's right now coming back to form real big. He had a good rest, we got all his infirmities cleared up."

This winter, when with John Campo Jr., True Quality was developing into one of the top sprinters on the East Coast despite chronic foot problems. He won the Paumonok Handicap and then defeated Fabulous Strike in the Gradeo2 General George at Laurel in February before the Carter.

DeMola said that if all goes well he would like to point True Quality to the Grade 2, $350,000 Smile Sprint Handicap at Calder on July 11.

Paraneck Stable was forced to disperse its stable after its stable manager, Ernie Paragallo, was charged with multiple counts of animal cruelty after horses on his farm in upstate New York were found to be malnourished. Paragallo's daughters, Kristen and Jennifer, were officially the owners of Paraneck Stable, but recently turned in their racing licenses.

Rule change may mean more superfectas

The New York State Racing and Wagering Board on Monday announced new rules that go into effect immediately and could lead to superfectas being offered in more races.

The rule allows superfectas to be offered on races where there are seven betting interests carded, and the wager would still be offered even if the field scratches to six after horses leave the paddock. Previously, there had to be eight betting interests carded and seven had to run.

"We are looking constantly for ways to help the fans, the tracks, and the horsemen," board chairman John Sabini said. "When we rewrite guidelines in a way that has a positive impact on overall handle, everyone comes out a winner."

Saratoga giveaways announced

The New York Racing Association announced its four weekend giveaways for the upcoming Saratoga meet, which begins July 29.

On Aug. 2, there will be an Alabama Stakes hat giveaway, though the Alabama won't be run until Aug. 22. On Aug. 16, there is a short-sleeve T-shirt giveaway, followed the next week by a long-sleeve T-shirt on Aug. 23. The final giveaway item is a knit winter cap, which will be distributed Sept. 6.

Also planned for select weekday giveaways is a jockey autograph book.