11/14/2002 12:00AM

Kimmel's 2-year-olds


OZONE PARK, N.Y. - John Kimmel is getting ready to send the bulk of his barn to Florida for the winter. The next few weeks will give him an idea of just how much he has to look forward to in 2003.

Kimmel has several 2-year-old prospects he believes could be top-flight 3-year-olds. One of those is Silver Squire, who will be first or second choice in Sunday's $75,000 Huntington Stakes at Aqueduct.

Silver Squire, a son of Silver Ghost, has finished first in three of four career starts, though he was disqualified from first in an entry-level allowance race at Saratoga in what can best described as a marginal call. After stumbling at the start and losing all chance in the Grade 1 Futurity, he came back to win an allowance race by 5 1/4 lengths on Oct. 25.

"He stumbled so badly Richie [Migliore] thought he was going to fall off him," Kimmel said of what happened in the Futurity. "He gave him a chance to get his feet underneath him and when he asked him and he didn't respond, he was concerned perhaps the horse hurt himself stumbling so he really didn't push the issue. It was so bad, you have to throw the race out."

Kimmel believes Silver Squire will be able to stretch out next year, but said that since he's undefeated sprinting "there's no reason to think he shouldn't be competitive in this spot."

In two weeks, Kimmel will send out Outer Reef in the $200,000 Remsen Stakes against the highly touted Empire Maker. Outer Reef has just one win in five starts, and is coming off a second-place finish in the Nashua Stakes.

"I'm sure he is a good horse," Kimmel said of Empire Maker. "But, he's got to ship across the country, and my horse has had good seasoning. They don't give them away."

With Jerry Bailey slated to ride Empire Maker, Edgar Prado will ride Outer Reef.

On Monday, Kimmel unveiled the well-bred Indy Flag, who won a mile maiden race despite racing greenly early and having to circle five wide around the turn and into the stretch. A son of A.P. Indy out of the multiple stakes-winning mare Dixie Flag, Indy Flag covered a mile in 1:37.79. He will ship to Florida on Monday to prepare for his 3-year-old season.

On Saturday, Kimmel has another well-bred juvenile in the entries. Cyclone is a son of Storm Cat out of the champion mare Hidden Lake. Kimmel said he has breezed the horse in company with horses that have already won "and he's held his own."

Kimmel said he might scratch Cyclone if the track comes up wet. Kimmel is also high on Host, a 2-year-old who is winless in four tries but who showed improvement when stretched around two turns last time out.

Invisible Ink retired

Invisible Ink, runner-up to Monarchos in the 2001 Kentucky Derby, has been retired, trainer Todd Pletcher announced Thursday.

Owned by John Fort's Peachtree Stable, Invisible Ink overcame a near fatal intestinal problem as a yearling to make it to the races and post a 4-3-1 record from 14 starts. A son of 1995 Kentucky Derby winner Thunder Gulch, Invisible Ink earned $465,088.

After running third in the Florida Derby and fourth in the Blue Grass, Invisible Ink finished second at 55-1 in the Kentucky Derby. He suffered an ankle injury following his fifth-place finish in the Belmont Stakes, and never returned to form. He won only once in five starts this year.

"He seemed to just not be quite the same horse in his last couple of starts," Pletcher said. "He came back from ankle surgery. He ran very well his first time out finishing second, then he won an allowance at Churchill, but he never really got back on track.

"He proved himself one of the better 3-year-olds of his generation, finishing second in the [Kentucky] Derby and third in the Florida Derby. -We always felt like he was a top-quality horse and he certainly looks the part conformation-wise."

Harlan's Holiday to Cigar

After toying with the idea of sending Harlan's Holiday to California for the Hollywood Derby on turf, trainer Todd Pletcher said he is now leaning toward keeping his top 3-year-old home for the Grade 1 Cigar Mile on dirt.

"It seems like a lot to take on, traveling cross country to run on grass for the first time," Pletcher said. "All that being said I haven't made up my mind for sure."

Harlan's Holiday, the beaten favorite in the Kentucky Derby after wins in the Florida Derby and Blue Grass, is coming out of a ninth-place finish in the Breeders' Cup Classic.