01/11/2006 1:00AM

'Judiths' looks great to go

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HALLANDALE BEACH, Fla. - Judiths Wild Rush opened his 2005 campaign running for a $50,000 claiming price at Gulfstream Park. He ended it by being named the Sovereign Award winner as Canada's top sprinter.

Judiths Wild Rush has returned to south Florida for another winter, and if Wednesday morning's workout is any indication, he figures to have a major impact on the remaining sprint races on Gulfstream's 2006 stakes schedule. With jockey Shaun Bridgmohan aboard, Judiths Wild Rush worked five furlongs in 57.40 seconds shortly after the second renovation break, galloping out three-quarters of a mile in 1:10 and change.

"We didn't mean for him to go that quick," trainer Reade Baker said at his barn later that morning.

Judiths Wild Rush, a 5-year-old son of Wild Rush, was trained by Julian Canet when he captured his 4-year-old debut by seven lengths against $50,000 claiming competition on opening day of the 2005 meeting. He returned 12 days later to finish second in an overnight stakes and was also third on two other occasions against high-priced optional claiming and allowance company later in the meet.

Judiths Wild Rush was turned over to Baker when he shipped to Canada during the spring. He made five starts at Woodbine, winning both the Group 3 Vigil Handicap and the Bold Venture Handicap, before ending his championship year at Monmouth Park with a third-place finish behind Wildcat Heir in the Teddy Drone Stakes on Aug. 7.

"There was a pretty good gap in the sprint stakes scheduled at Woodbine last summer, which is why we went to Monmouth for his last start," Baker said. "He'd been going a long time by that point. He hadn't had a break in two years, so I just decided to give him some time off and get him ready for this meet.

"They've got a pretty good sprint stakes program here," Baker added, "and while I'd have preferred to start him back in an allowance race, it doesn't look like that will happen, so he'll probably make his first start in the Deputy Minister."

The 6 1/2-furlong Deputy Minister will be run on Feb. 5.

Judiths Wild Rush was one of three Sovereign Awards that Baker, 58, brought home in 2005, including one for himself as trainer of the year in Canada. He also won the 3-year-old filly championship with Gold Strike.

"We had a pretty good year up there," Baker said. "The barn won 10 stakes and over $3.4 million in American dollars in purse money."

Baker has 10 horses bedded down locally but plans to exchange some of the maidens for the better horses on the farm, including Gold Strike, whom he hopes to run at Gulfstream before the end of the meet.

"I also have an Elusive Quality filly named Elusive Sugar who will run in an allowance race Saturday with Edgar Prado aboard, and a 3-year-old named Edmonton who won his only start and is the best horse I've been around since Afleet," said Baker.

Afleet was Canada's Horse of the Year in 1987.

"We were thinking big for him in the fall," he said of Edmonton, "but he was still kind of immature, so I decided to turn him out in Virginia and wait a bit instead of bringing him right down and putting him in against all the big 3-year-olds here this winter."

Prado visits mother in Peru

Prado took off his mounts here Wednesday after flying to Peru earlier in the week to visit his mother, who became ill over the weekend.

Prado was scheduled to return Thursday but will head out of town again to ride in stakes races at Santa Anita on Sunday and Monday. He will ride Play Ballado for trainer John Ward and Folklore, the 2005 Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies winner, for D. Wayne Lukas.

* Silver Wagon, who may also be a candidate for the Deputy Minister, worked four furlongs in 49.60 seconds at Calder on Wednesday. Silver Wagon closed out his 2005 campaign by finishing third as the favorite in Calder's Kenny Noe Jr. Handicap on Dec. 17.

* Jockey Elias Toledo posted his first U.S. win when he guided Riggins to victory for trainer Eddie Plesa Jr. in Wednesday's second race. Toledo, 18, began his career in his native Chile.

* Blacksmith Jim Brummit, whose clients have included Skip Away as well as trainers Bill Mott, Christophe Clement, and Shug McGaughey, is ailing and would like to hear from his many friends on the track. Brummit can be contacted at (954) 718-0641.