04/02/2003 12:00AM

Ivana's light workout regimen


HALLANDALE BEACH, Fla. - Ivanavinalot has been conspicuous by her absence from the workout tab since her 1 3/4-length victory over My Boston Gal in the Grade 2 Bonnie Miss Stakes March 14. But trainer Kathleen O'Connell says the lack of a serious workout during the past 2 1/2 weeks was not out of necessity but by design as she prepares Ivanavinalot for her stiffest assignment, Saturday's $500,000 Ashland Stakes at Keeneland.

"She's been going super but it's just too close between races to work her too hard," O'Connell said. "We already know she's got plenty of speed so the most I've done with her since the Bonnie Miss is give her one long two-minute lick."

Ivanavinalot was scheduled to fly out of Miami for Kentucky Thursday morning. She will be in an Ashland field expected to include the undefeated Lady Tak, Yell, Holiday Lady, Elloluv, Allspice, and Unbridled Femme.

Ivanavinalot, with John Velazquez riding for the first time, rallied from just off the early pace to win the Bonnie Miss. O'Connell will be forced to make another rider change Saturday as Velazquez has opted to stay aboard Yell for trainer Shug McGaughey in the Ashland. Yell rallied to an easy victory over Ivanavinalot in the Grade 2 Davona Dale Stakes here Feb. 23.

"I've said all along this filly didn't have to be in front to win and she finally proved that in the Bonnie Miss," O'Connell said. "Unfortunately John won't be able to ride her back in the Ashland but I've gotten Mark Guidry to replace him on Saturday."

Tour of the Cat will stay sprinting

A much anticipated rematch between Tour of the Cat and Burning Roma in Saturday's $100,000 Artax Handicap is not likely to happen.

Tour of the Cat outgamed Burning Roma by a head following a stretch-long battle in the Grade 2 Richter Scale Breeders' Cup Handicap March 8. But while Tour of the Cat will return in the seven-furlong Artax, it appears Burning Roma will sit this one out to await the 1 1/16-mile Skip Away Handicap April 20.

Tour of the Cat rebounded from a five-length setback to Burning Roma in the Tampa Bay Breeders' Cup on turf to win the Richter Scale on the dirt under a ground-saving ride by her regular jockey Abad Cabassa Jr. Trainer Myra Mora plans to keep Tour of the Cat on dirt and sprinting for the foreseeable future.

"He ran some very big races at Calder last year, but I guess you can say his last effort was his best yet," Mora said from her base at Tampa Bay Downs Wednesday morning. "It certainly was the richest and most important victory of his career."

In 2002, Tour of the Cat won four stakes, including the Groomstick and Jack Dudley Sprint handicaps, and banked nearly $250,000 for his owner, the Double G Stable. His win in the Richter Scale pushed his lifetime earnings to just under $600,000.

"He's always had foot problems but his feet are okay right now," Mora said. "And he's got a lot of heart. He's proven that time and again, and especially in his last race. After Saturday I'll point him for the Smile Handicap at Calder. He had trouble in the paddock before the race last summer and that threw him all out of whack. And hopefully there won't be any Orientates in the field this year."

The $500,000 Smile Handicap will be run July 13. Orientate won the race last year, en route to being voted the nation's top sprinter.

Murphy tries announcer's booth

Former major league pitcher and current horse owner-breeder Rob Murphy will become announcer Rob Murphy here Friday. Murphy will call the third race, a 1 1/16-mile allowance race, which drew a field of eight.

Murphy posted the high bid of $300 for the opportunity to call a race on Friday's card. The auction was held during a charity softball event last week between the media and the jockeys.

While Murphy will be a first-time starter when it comes to race calling, he has the breeding to come out a winner. Murphy's grandfather, Frank Ashley, called races for many years at Arlington Park and Oaklawn Park.

* Jockey Paul Toscano has moved his tack to south Florida and will begin riding here Thursday. Toscano, who won six races during the Aqueduct winter meet, plans to remain here on a regular basis when action on the circuit moves to Calder later this month. He has hired agent Dick Diego to be his agent.