02/05/2007 12:00AM

Johannesburg Star sent to Florida


OZONE PARK, N.Y. - Johannesburg Star, the beaten favorite in the Count Fleet Stakes, was shipped from Aqueduct to south Florida over the weekend and will be pointed to the Grade 2, $350,000 Fountain of Youth Stakes on March 3 at Gulfstream Park. Johannesburg Star had been pointing to Saturday's Whirlaway Stakes here.

The horse was transported by van on Saturday from Joe Parker's Aqueduct barn to Collin Maragh's Gulfstream barn. Shivananda Parbhoo, the son of owner Bisnath Parboo, said the change of plans came as a result of the brutally cold weather that has enveloped the Northeast and that is forecast for the remainder of the week.

"You could see him in the cold, even in the stall you could see him shaking," Parbhoo said Monday morning from south Florida. "I know this week coming up it's going to be freezing. The cold was really getting to him, we could see it. I have nothing against Joe Parker; he still trains horses for me."

Said Parker, "It's a business. You can't get upset with this thing."

Parbhoo said that he could already see changes in Johannesburg Star's demeanor once he got a feel of the warm Florida weather.

"He is so happy," Parbhoo said. "I've never seen this horse more happy than he is right now."

Parbhoo said he is "98 percent" sure that Johannesburg Star will run in the Fountain of Youth. If he does, he will likely face Nobiz Like Shobiz, the authoritative winner of Saturday's Holy Bull Stakes and last year's Remsen winner.

"That's the chance we have to take," Parbhoo said. "I think he has the ability. We'll see how he performs, then we'll know where he'll best fit in."

It is likely that jockey Rajiv Maragh, the son of Collin Maragh, will ride Johannesburg Star in the Fountain of Youth, but "that could change," Parbhoo said.

Johannesburg Star earned a Beyer Speed Figure of 102 when he won a two-turn maiden race by 9 1/2 lengths over the inner track on Dec. 9. In the Count Fleet, he was fifth through the early stages and had a wide trip while finishing second to longshot Pink Viper.

Summer Doldrums pointed to Whirlaway

As of Monday, there were five definite starters for the Whirlaway, including Summer Doldrums, who comes off an 8 1/2-length first-level allowance win on Jan. 12.

Trainer Rick Violette scrapped plans to work Summer Doldrums on Monday or Tuesday because of the freezing weather at Aqueduct. The temperature was not expected to reach 20 degrees on Monday, and the forecast wasn't much better for Tuesday.

Violette said Summer Doldrums worked six furlongs in 1:12.80 last week, though he was credited with a three-furlong move in 36.68 seconds.

"We're in pretty good shape," Violette said from Florida. "I would have liked to have worked him [Monday or Tuesday], but we'll just gallop him a little bit more and live with what we have."

Violette has had to go searching for a rider. Shaun Bridgmohan, who rode Summer Doldrums last out, will be riding Sports Town in the Whirlaway. Violette had Ramon Dominguez, but he was injured in a spill last week and will be out a few weeks. Violette said Mike Luzzi would probably ride.

Others pointing to the Whirlaway are the Damon Runyon winner, Lawrence the Roman, and the Count Fleet's first- and third-place finishers, Pink Viper and Sir Whimsey. Brass Run and Helios are still listed as possible.

Edgar Prado is expected to fly in from Florida to ride Lawrence the Roman, whom he rode in the colt's debut victory.