07/06/2005 11:00PM

Klesaris has hottest of hands with firsters

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Adam Coglianese/NYRA
Diabolical, trained by Steve Klesaris, romps Thursday in his debut.

ELMONT, N.Y. - Oh baby, is Steve Klesaris on a roll.

When Diabolical won Thursday's fourth race at Belmont Park by 9 3/4 lengths, it represented the fourth 2-year-old debut winner saddled by Klesaris at this meet. Add Master of Disaster, a first-out winner at Delaware Park, and Klesaris is 5 for 5 with debuting 2-year-olds this year.

And there may be more where those came from. Klesaris and owner Jeffrey Puglisi spent more than $4 million since last summer on their current crop of 22 juveniles. Master of Disaster, a 13 1/4-length winner at Delaware Park on May 10, is being pointed to the Grade 2 Saratoga Special on July 28. Diabolical was impressive enough Wednesday that he could join his stablemate in the starting gate in that race.

Diabolical, a son of Artax who cost $300,000 at auction, broke alertly and carved out fractions of 22.64 seconds, 45.84, 57.40, and covered 5 1/2 furlongs in 1:03.38 over a fast track under Cornelio Velasquez.

"He trained very forwardly, he did absolutely everything right," said Klesaris, who is based at Delaware Park. "My feeling coming up here was it was going to take somebody pretty good to beat him.''

The race that Diabolical won was marred by the breakdown of Chief Two Crowns, who was euthanized after lacerating the tendon in his left foreleg while being pulled up during the running of the race. Chief Two Crowns was bumped hard entering the far turn and suffered a fractured right hind pastern. He could have been saved had he not lacerated the tendon, New York Racing Association veterinarians said.

Master of Disaster, a Florida-bred son of Dance Master, was entered to run in the Flash Stakes here on June 10 but was scratched to await the Special.

Speed of Sound, a $550,000 New York-bred son of Phone Trick, won his maiden here on May 19 by five lengths. He came back in the Flash Stakes on June 10 and finished third, beaten two noses.

On consecutive days in June, Klesaris sent out fillies Little Miss Zip, a New York-bred, and Cajun Mistress, a Louisiana-bred, to debut victories. One of the two could start in the $150,000 Adirondack at Saratoga on July 27.

"We were pretty active this year at the sales. We had a good team and did a lot work for the baby sales," Klesaris said. "I thought we went in with a real good team, a good concept of how to do it properly."

Weighing options for Roman Ruler

Trainer Bob Baffert wants to enjoy the triumphant return of Roman Ruler a little longer before deciding where the 3-year-old colt will make his next start. In his first start since finishing last in the San Felipe in March, Roman Ruler won Monday's Dwyer Stakes at Belmont by a half-length. He earned a Beyer Speed Figure of 104.

Baffert said he would have an idea next week whether Roman Ruler would make his next start in the $500,000 Jim Dandy at Saratoga on July 30 or the $1 million Haskell Invitational at Monmouth Park on Aug. 7.

"I could give you a million reasons why I would want to go in the Haskell," said Baffert, who has won the Haskell with Point Given and War Emblem. "I like the Haskell. I don't know what I'm going to do yet. See how he is. These horses, they change. Right now, I'm glad he's back. He seemed to come out of the race fine. The options are the Haskell, the Jim Dandy, or pass on both and wait for the King's Bishop."

The Grade 1 King's Bishop is a seven-furlong race scheduled for Travers Day, Aug. 27. After watching Roman Ruler settle and finish in the Jim Dandy, Baffert is feeling better about Roman Ruler's chances about getting to nine or 10 furlongs.

"The way he did it the other day he could do it," Baffert said. "Who would have thought that Afleet Alex could go that far, but if you're a good horse and you can lope around there and kick, you can do it."

Bejarano to summer in New York

Rafael Bejarano, who will finish as the leading rider at Churchill Downs, will be moving his tack to New York for the summer. Bejarano, who won last weekend's Astoria Stakes aboard Adieu, will be here Saturday to ride Burnish in the Grade 1 Prioress as well as five other mounts.

After riding Sunday's closing day card at Churchill Downs, Bejarano will begin riding regularly in New York beginning next Wednesday.

* Eibar Coa was suspended seven days for careless riding during Monday's 10th race when his mount, Sovereign Kit, cut off He Flies in the stretch. Sovereign Kit was disqualified from first and placed third. Coa appealed his suspension, and a stay was granted.

* Charlie Campbell, the New York Racing Association blacksmith, died Monday after a battle with brain cancer. He was 53. Campbell, his twin brother, Joe, and their father, Elmer, were all blacksmiths at tracks on the East Coast. A funeral mass will be offered on Saturday at St. Anne's Roman Catholic Church, 35 Dartmouth St. in Garden City, N.Y., at 9:30 a.m.