12/11/2006 12:00AM

Johannesburg Star creates stir


OZONE PARK, N.Y. - If you attempted to call trainer Joe Parker on his cell phone after 10oa.m. Monday morning, chances are you got the following message: "Sorry, that mailbox is full. Please try your call again later."

Parker's phone has been ringing off the hook ever since Johannesburg Star rolled to a 9 1/2-length maiden win Saturday over Aqueduct's inner track. Johannesburg Star on three occasions ran away from Point Blake - a $600,000 son of Quiet American trained by Todd Pletcher - and ran the mile and 70 yards in 1:41.98. He earned a Beyer Speed Figure of 102, the third-highest figure earned by a 2-year-old colt this year. Only Street Sense (108) and Notional (105) have earned higher figures.

Johannesburg Star, a son of Johannesburg, was making his fifth career start on Saturday. He was coming off a decent third-place finish in his last start, a one-turn mile maiden race on Nov. 18 after some mediocre efforts sprinting.

On Saturday, Johannesburg Star won the race to the first turn, set modest fractions, and finished very strongly while receiving two taps from jockey C.C. Lopez's whip.

"To be honest with you, I really, really was expecting that kind of performance," Parker said on Monday. "The longer he goes, it's better for him. He's getting more relaxed as he goes."

Parker said Johannesburg Star will be pointed to the $65,000 Count Fleet Stakes at Aqueduct on Jan. 6. Parker hopes Johannesburg Star develops into a horse he could point to the Wood Memorial in April and ultimately the Kentucky Derby.

"You know what the dream of every horse trainer is, to just have that one [big] horse," Parker said. "This is my dream right now. The possibilities are great."

Parker, 55, came to this country in 1972 but has only trained horses sporadically since the mid-1980's. His 3 wins from 55 starters are the most he's had in one year in each category.

Parker trains Johannesburg Star for Parboo Bisnath, a relative newcomer to the game. Both men are from Trinidad. Parker said he met Bisnath at Saratoga in the summer of 2005.

"This guy has been going to the track for years and he just moved to New York and wanted to get in the horse business," Parker said.

Parker went to Florida looking for horses in the spring. Parker said he saw Johannesburg Star at Becky Thomas's Sequel Stallions in Ocala, Fla. The horse, who sold for $105,000 at a Fasig-Tipton Kentucky sale in 2004, was entered in an OBS 2-year-olds in training sale in Florida, but Parker was able to convince Thomas to sell the horse to him privately and he was withdrawn. Parker said he bought the horse for $100,000.

Jazil fires bullet, heads to Florida

Belmont Stakes winner Jazil on Sunday had his strongest workout since returning from injury, drilling five furlongs in 1:00.09 in company with recent maiden winner R.J.s Brigade over the Belmont training track. Jazil's time was the fastest of 51 at the distance that day.

Trainer Kiaran McLaughlin said Jazil will likely be vanned to Florida this week and will most likely make his next start sometime early in the Gulfstream Park meeting. McLaughlin said Jazil remains a candidate for the Grade 1 Donn Handicap on Feb. 3, a spot McLaughlin is also looking at for Breeders' Cup Classic winner Invasor.

"He's getting close," McLaughlin said of Jazil. "He's doing very well. We work him in company often when we're getting ready and his workmate went off a little faster than what we wanted, but that's okay, it's time to get going. He gallops out so strong every time he works."

Jazil has not run since winning the Belmont on June 10. He suffered an injury to a hind cannon bone, and while he began training in early September, he lost too much time to make any of the big races in the fall.

Generosity live in Wednesday feature

If Generosity ever learns to run as well in the afternoon as she does in the morning, she could give her connections a lot of fun this winter.

"She has the talent," trainer Bruce Levine said. "She could outwork any horse in the barn with the exception of one or two. I'm hoping she turned the corner last time."

In her last start, Generosity won a first-level allowance race by 1 1/2 lengths over a muddy Belmont Park surface on Oct. 1. On Wednesday, she makes her first start since then in a second-level allowance race that serves as the feature event at Aqueduct.

"She showed signs in her last race, but I won't tell you she beat any star-studded field," Levine said.

Levine said he had been trying to run Generosity for a while, but one time the race didn't fill and a second time the race went but the surface was wet. Even though Generosity had won on a wet track, Levine didn't like the fact that Aqueduct's main track had problems when wet. Rain is in the forecast for Wednesday, but this race is on the inner track.

Generosity should be able to sit a nice trip under Eibar Coa. There is plenty of speed in this race with Little Miss Zip, Zippy Shannon, and Pennyrile in the field.

Coa near entering elite company

Despite going winless with his last 20 mounts, jockey Eibar Coa is closing in on 300 wins for the year on this circuit, which would put him in elite company. Coa has 291 victories with 10 racing days left at Aqueduct in 2006.

Since 1940, a jockey has won 300 or more races on this circuit only five times, topped of course by Steve Cauthen's amazing 433 victories in 1977. Angel Cordero and Mike Smith both topped the 300-win plateau twice. Cordero won 340 races in 1982 and 309 races in 1983. Smith won 330 races in 1991 and 313 in 1993.

Coa was off to a red-hot start to the inner-track meet, winning with 16 of his first 49 mounts, and had five multiple-win days from the first seven inner-track cards. He hit a snag lately, going 1 for 23 the last three days, including 0 for 8 on Sunday when he was beaten aboard five favorites.

Regardless of whether he reaches 300 wins in New York, this is already a career year for Coa. He has 308 wins overall, ranking him fourth nationally, and already topped his previous high of 305, set in 1996. His purse earnings of $12,280,705 this year are also a personal best.