06/30/2006 11:00PM

Jazil getting into gear


ELMONT, N.Y. - Belmont Stakes winner Jazil began preparing for the second half of the season by working four furlongs in 49.63 seconds Saturday morning at Belmont Park. What race Jazil is working toward is a little unclear.

Trainer Kiaran McLaughlin said that while he is training Jazil with the idea of running in the $500,000 Jim Dandy Stakes at Saratoga on July 29, he said it is quite possible Jazil could simply train up to the $1 million Travers there on Aug. 26.

"He's doing great, I don't want anybody to think there's anything wrong," McLaughlin said. "He's a light-framed, sound, fit horse. The Jim Dandy may have Bernardini, Bluegrass Cat, or Sunriver and other horses in it. If they all run in there, eight of them get hot and dirty and one comes away happy.

"We're pointing for the Jim Dandy, but we'll talk to Sheikh Hamdan," McLaughlin added, referring to the owner of Shadwell Stable, Jazil's owner.

"The distance you wonder about - cutting back to a mile and an eighth," he said. "A mile and a quarter may be better. Pace becomes essential backing up, though you would think there'd be enough pace going a mile and an eighth."

On a clear morning over a dry and fast main track, Jazil, under exercise rider Simon Harris, worked four furlongs in company with the 4-year-old maiden Qadar, finishing about two lengths in front of him. Jazil's breeze was the 23rd-fastest of 46 recorded at the distance.

McLaughlin said he worked Jazil in company because the horse has a tendency to go too slowly when he breezes by himself.

"It was a perfect work," McLaughlin said. "If he doesn't go in company, he's eligible to go in 53."