10/04/2005 11:00PM

Janks says Fifteen Rounds is 'ready to win' the Phoenix

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STICKNEY, Ill. - The first part of Fifteen Rounds's Kentucky adventure - getting there - was a success. Part 2, his first graded-stakes start in two years, comes on Saturday, when Fifteen Rounds runs in the Grade 3 Phoenix Breeders' Cup at Keeneland.

Fifteen Rounds's trainer, Christine Janks, worried about how Fifteen Rounds would ship from his Chicago base. Earlier in his career, the 5-year-old Fifteen Rounds was not an adaptable animal, and Janks was adamant about sending Fifteen Rounds to Keeneland well in advance of his start. But Fifteen Rounds has undergone more than one sort of change since his earlier years. Once speed crazy, he rates and finishes now. And Fifteen Rounds, Janks said, has had little trouble settling into a new environment since traveling to Lexington by van on Sunday.

"He's down there, he's doing good, and he's ready to win it," Janks said. "He really seems to like it down there. He handled it well. He's calming down and settling in. He's got his game face on now."

Fifteen Rounds has lost only twice in seven starts this season, and he was by far the best sprinter at Arlington, turning in dazzling runs while winning five times during the meet. In his most recent start, Fifteen Rounds overcame a difficult trip to win the Arlington Sprint, and he has trained like a bear since then.

But even if Fifteen Rounds were to step up and run especially well in the Phoenix, Janks said she is disinclined to think about the Breeders' Cup Sprint. "That's very doubtful," she said. "We're expecting this to be his last race this year."

Coolwind draws tough post

Fifteen Rounds is not the only Hawthorne horse spending the week at Keeneland. Coolwind, third in the Arlington-Washington Lassie the last time she raced, shipped to Kentucky on Tuesday, and starts Friday in the Alcibiades Stakes. Her luck at Wednesday's post position draw, however, was poor: Coolwind breaks from post 10, and outside draws in the 1 1/16-mile races at Keeneland are always hard to overcome.

"What can you do?" trainer Greg Geier said. "You go from the break and see what happens. Hopefully there's enough speed in there."

Coolwind, an impressive debut winner in her only start before the Lassie, had a good five-furlong breeze here last Friday, galloping out an additional quarter-mile to prepare for her first try around two turns.

Lizzy's Township healthy again

Lizzy's Township, a stakes-winning 2-year-old filly, will be held out of competition until mid-November, and then start in the seven-furlong Joe O'Farrell Juvenile Fillies at Calder, a race restricted to horses bred in Florida.

"Everything's good with her right now," said trainer Jim DiVito.

Lizzy's Township was sick and scratched from the Arlington-Washington Lassie.

Friday's feature is wide-open race

Hawthorne's Friday feature, race 6 of 10, is for fourth-level allowance horses or $60,000 claimers at 6 1/2 furlongs, and the race drew a strong field of eight.

In from Fairmount Park is Knowwhatimean, who has earned a start in better competition by winning 4 of 7 starts at his home track this season. Knowwhatimean, a winner in 8 of 18 career starts, last raced Sept. 13, taking a high-level allowance race by four lengths while running six furlongs in 1:10.80, a snappy time for the Fairmount surface.

Knowwhatimean is an Illinois-bred, as is Just See James, who was a fish out of water when he finished ninth, beaten more than 20 lengths, in the Carey Handicap, a two-turn turf race here Sept. 24. Just See James is a dirt sprinter, and a very good one when on his game.

Without a Doubt, second by a nose facing similar competition in his last start, might end up the favorite, but he is only one of several with a decent chance. Stanislas, Shandy, Salty Sailor, Chandtrue, and even Johnathan all merit consideration in a wide-open race.