06/02/2004 11:00PM

Look past Speedy Falcon's debacle


The bettors who got burned when Southern California shipper Speedy Falcon ran fourth, beaten 7 3/4 lengths, as the 1-5 favorite in last Saturday's Go for Wand Stakes understandably might consider the 3-year-old filly to be overrated.

What they saw, however, wasn't anything close to her best. The combination of too much travel and a much different surface than she was accustomed to out West proved too much of a hurdle for Speedy Falcon to overcome.

Her trainer, Henry Dominguez, isn't ready to cut short his East Coast experiment with Speedy Falcon. Dominguez, who is based in New Mexico, has turned Speedy Falcon over to Steve Klesaris while she remains indefinitely at Delaware Park.

"We have been shipping her around too much," Dominguez said. "I am sure that is definitely what caused her not to run her race because we shipped her to California and then we flew her East to Delaware. The jet lag probably took a toll on her. I think once she stays stabled in one place, she will show who she really is."

Like many horses who have never raced at Delaware, Speedy Falcon seemed to have difficulty adjusting to the surface. She led through six furlongs in 1:13.62 before fading badly in the 1 1/16-mile Go for Wand.

"The fractions were slow enough, but I could see she was struggling and in the end she did not have her normal kick, so in my mind that race is a throw-out," Dominguez said. "Out in the West we run on harder surfaces with more of a clay consistency, and in the East it is more sandy. It was just a different surface and sometimes it takes a little time to get used to."

Speedy Falcon had won five of her six starts before the Go for Wand, including the $250,000 Sunland Oaks. Dominguez said he's confident she will adapt to her new surroundings.

"I may have been too aggressive with her," Dominguez said. "I think she will adapt to the climate and to the situation."

Klesaris agrees with Dominguez's assessment. "She really did not get an opportunity to train over the track. Once she settles in and acclimates, and gets a good feel of the track, then we will find a spot for her. We look forward to having some fun with her."

Two point for Obeah

Misty Sixes, the two-length winner of the Summer King Stakes on May 22, and runner-up Gelli are both being pointed for the $100,000 Obeah Handicap on June 19. The 1 1/8-mile Obeah is the last local prep for the Grade 2, $750,000 Delaware Handicap on July 18.

Although the Summer King was the first loss in Gelli's career, trainer Charles Hadry still believed the race moved her forward.

"I really cannot be disappointed with her effort," Hadry said. "Things did not materialize the way we thought. They ran a little slow up front. She was not in the best position, and then the jockey had to take a hold of her around the turn to get her out. By then, the winner was gone, but she still finished well."

Spin Control tries to stay perfect

Spin Control, 2 for 2 lifetime on turf, figures to have a difficult time keeping her perfect record intact in Saturday's $100,000 John W. Rooney Memorial Handicap.

A 4-year-old filly trained by Graham Motion, Spin Control will be making her second start off a layoff, following an all-out drive to get up by a nose in an optional claiming race at Pimlico nearly four weeks ago.

"I always worry about the second race back," Motion said. "It seems like horses often tend to regress a little bit in their second effort back after a long layoff. I am hoping that a month is long enough for her to recover from her last race."

The competition in the 1 1/8-mile Rooney, formerly known as the New Castle, includes Formal Miss and Sweettrickydancer, the first- and third-place finishers in the Liberada Handicap at Calder; Caught in the Rain, third two starts ago in the Grade 3 Beaugay Handicap in New York who is cross-entered in the Just a Game Breeders' Cup at Belmon Park Saturday; and Spangled, who has run well in two United States starts for trainer Christophe Clement since arriving from France.