05/28/2007 11:00PM

Kaplan sending gray trio to Belmont


MIAMI - Trainer Bill Kaplan is sending his gray brigade to New York for Belmont weekend.

Kaplan will ship three horses, all grays, to Belmont Park on Wednesday. The group is led by Imawildandcrazyguy, who continues to train well in preparation for the $1 million Belmont Stakes. He'll be accompanied by stablemates Storm in May and Emma's Candy.

Storm in May, who finished 16th in the Kentucky Derby, worked five furlongs in 1:01 at Calder with jockey Juan Leyva aboard Tuesday. He'll run in the Grade 3 Hill Prince Stakes the day before the Belmont.

"I'm switching him back to the turf because that's his strong suit," Kaplan said. "The shorter distance of the Hill Prince, one mile, will also fit him better. He really doesn't want to go much further than a mile and one-sixteenth or possibly a mile and one-eighth. I knew the Derby was too far for him, and he ran more or less like I expected. He pretty much made me run him there because he finished second to Curlin in the Arkansas Derby."

Emma's Candy will run in a restricted overnight stakes for fillies on the grass at Belmont.

"It's a good spot for her, and besides it didn't cost us anything extra to put her on the same plane with the other two," Kaplan explained.

Kaplan also had a fourth member of his stable, Drums of Thunder, nominated for a race on Belmont weekend, but he will not make the trip.

"He's nominated for the Woody Stephens, but he's been off three and one-half months and I just felt that was too tough a spot to bring him back in coming off that kind of layoff," Kaplan said. "I'll wait and look for an overnight stakes here at Calder for his next start."

Cat Can Do wins first stakes

Trainer Ralph Ziadie entered the 4-year-old filly Cat Can Do in Saturday's $50,000 Sara's Success Stakes on the hope that the race might be switched from the turf to the dirt. And as luck would have it, that's exactly what happened. Cat Can Do then did the rest, rallying from off the pace under jockey Manoel Cruz to register her first career stakes victory in the one-mile overnight event.

"I've been trying to get her into a three-other-than allowance race here, but the condition won't fill," said Ziadie, who trains the homebred Cat Can Do for owner-breeder Lucille Geranis. "So I just took a shot entering her in the stakes and then prayed for rain, and sure enough, we got lucky."

Cat Can Do, a former claimer, was coming off perhaps the best race of her career earlier in the meet when finishing a late-running third behind Potra Clasica in the Emergency Nurse Stakes.

"She's getting better and ran a huge race on Saturday," Ziadie said. "Cruz rode her perfectly, too, sitting and waiting before letting her make one big run at the end."

Ziadie deserves to have a little good fortune come his way. The winner of five local training titles lost the best horse in his barn earlier this winter when the 3-year-old filly Meditation broke down as the 4-5 favorite during the running of Gulfstream Park's Grade 1 Davona Dale Stakes.

"She was obviously a very nice filly," Ziadie said. "She had to have 16 screws put into her cannon bone to repair the damage. She missed the current breeding season, but hopefully they'll be able to get her bred next year."

Lo Duca checks on Tiara di Oro

All-Star catcher Paul Lo Duca was in town over the weekend with the New York Mets and took some time out before Sunday's game with the Florida Marlins to visit the Calder backstretch. Lo Duca was on hand to see his 2-year-old filly Tiara di Oro, whom he owns in partnership with former major-league pitcher Rob Murphy's M375 Thoroughbreds and their mutual friend Dave Wielhouwer.

Tiara di Oro is a daughter of A.P. Indy out of Murphy's graded-stakes-placed mare Platinum Tiara. She arrived locally from Ocala early last week and is trained by Marty Wolfson, who hopes to have the filly up to a race in early June.

Take D' Tour targets Ogden Phipps

Multiple Grade 1 winner Take D' Tour continues to keep her regular weekly work schedule in preparation for a defense of her title in the Grade 1 Ogden Phipps at Belmont on June 16. Take D' Tour breezed for the fifth time in the last five weeks Monday, going a half-mile in 48.18 seconds before galloping out five furlongs in 1:01.19. Take D' Tour has not started since finishing second in Oaklawn's Apple Blossom on April 8.