08/09/2002 11:00PM

Left Bank rushed to clinic with colic


SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. - Left Bank, who established himself as one of the top horses in the country with an authoritative victory in the Whitney Handicap on Aug. 3, underwent colic surgery Saturday afternoon at the equine clinic at Tufts University in Massachusetts, and his racing career is most likely over.

Pletcher said Left Bank began showing signs of colic at 6:30 a.m. After he failed to respond to treatment, Left Bank was put on a van at 10:20 and arrived at Tufts at 1 p.m. As of 5 p.m., Pletcher said he hadn't heard how the surgery went. However, he said doctors were only going to call him immediately "if something catastrophic happened. So I guess no news is good news."

It was uncertain whether the operation would involve removing part of Left Bank's intestine. Pletcher said Left Bank had 12-feet of his intestine removed as a 2-year-old.

While no official decision has been made about his racing future, Pletcher said, "There's not that much time left in the year,"

Left Bank, a 5-year-old son of French Deputy owned by Michael Tabor, established himself as a leader in both the sprint and handicap division this year. He set the Belmont Park track record for seven furlongs (1:20.17) winning the Tom Fool Handicap on July 5 and equaled the nine-furlong Saratoga track record (1:47.04) when beating Street Cry, Lido Palace and Macho Uno in the Whitney.

Left Bank has won 14 of 24 starts and earned $1,402,806. In addition to the Tom Fool and Whitney, Left Bank's stakes wins include the Vosburgh and Cigar Mile (both Grade 1's) and the Bold Ruler and Discovery handicaps (both Grade 3's).

Pletcher said this is the most brutal blow he's suffered in his eight-year training career.

"One week ago today we're on top of the world, we're riding pretty high, today . . . " Pletcher said. "It's a tough game, that's why you got to savor the good moments."

Mayakovsky to undergo myectomy

Another of Tabor's talented runners, Mayakovsky, was to undergo a myectomy on Sunday morning to correct a breathing problem. The surgery will preclude Mayakovsky from running in the Grade 1 King's Bishop Stakes on Aug. 24.

Trainer Patrick Biancone said Mayakovsky flipped his palate while finishing fourth in the Amsterdam Stakes on Aug. 3.

"He's got a breathing problem. We are going to operate on him Sunday, and he will be off two weeks,'' said Biancone, who noted that Dr. Paul Thorpe would be performing the operation. "It's not a huge problem, it's a little problem, but we need to fix it.''

Biancone said if everything goes well Mayakovsky could be ready to run in either the Grade 2 Jerome Handicap on Sept. 14 of the Grade 1 Vosburgh on Sept. 21. Both races are at Belmont Park.

Mayakovsky joins Came Home and Greatness as talented 3-year-old sprinters who will miss the King's Bishop. Came Home is remaining in California to run in the Pacific Classic while Greatness came out of the Amsterdam with sore shins and will be sidelined indefinitely.

With those three out, Gygistar, Labamta Babe, and Amsterdam winner Listen Here are expected to headline the King's Bishop.

Saturday, Dwyer Stakes winner Gygistar worked five furlongs in 1:00.84.

Frankel four drill for upcoming stakes

Shortly before 9 a.m. Saturday, Bobby Frankel led a brigade of superstars from his barn at the Oklahoma training track to the main track for workouts. You, Tates Creek, Sightseek, and Kappa King all drilled over the main track for upcoming events.

You, who put in a courageous performance winning the Grade 1 Test last month, worked five furlongs in 1:00.85 under Rudy Rodriguez in preparation for Saturday's Grade 1 Alabama Stakes.

Right behind You was Tates Creek, the Diana winner, who went the same distance in 1:01.83 under Jerry Bailey in preparation for Saturday's Beverly D. at Arlington.

Shortly after that duo finished, Sightseek, an impressive maiden winner and a half-sister to Tates Creek, went four furlongs in 48.86 seconds. She is being pointed to the Grade 1 Gazelle at Belmont, but might run once before then.

Finally, Kappa King, who was beaten a neck in the Arlington Handicap, worked five furlongs in 1:01.85. He is scheduled to run next in the Grade 2 Fourstardave on Aug. 24.

Frankel said You looked a little light to him immediately following the Test score, but she has rebounded nicely. Frankel knows he is testing You's distance capabilities by trying her 10 furlongs when she hasn't won beyond 1 1/16 miles.

"She loves it up here so why not take a chance?'' Frankel said. "It's a question, but like I said, she might be that much better.''

Tates Creek is coming off a hard-fought victory in the Diana, and will face an even better field in the Beverly D.

"She's probably in the toughest of all my horses,'' Frankel said. "But I've got two other horses for Juddmonte going there. Who knows? You never know, right? She tries hard enough and I got the right rider on her.''

Frankel is also sending Beat Hollow and Chiselling to Arlington for the Arlington Million and Secretariat Stakes, respectively. Bailey will ride Tates Creek and Beat Hollow. Kent Desormeaux will ride Chiselling.

In addition, Frankel mentioned that Squirtle Squirt, last year's sprint champion, will be shipping to Saratoga on Aug. 20 and may run in the Grade 1 Forego Handicap here on Sept. 1. Squirtle Squirt breezed five furlongs in 1:00.20 at Del Mar on Saturday. Frankel said he wanted to see how Sunday's Vanderbilt Handicap shakes out before finalizing plans for Squirtle Squirt.