10/08/2002 11:00PM

Macaw on upswing for Realization


ELMONT, N.Y. - Barclay Tagg was as happy as a trainer could be after his newest acquisition, Macaw, finished fourth in last month's Grade 2 Jamaica Handicap at Belmont Park.

After all, the 3-year-old Irish-bred colt had been in Tagg's barn for all of two weeks, and the previous trainer had hardly trained him at all following the completion of the sale in late August. Still, Macaw was beaten all of 3 1/2 lengths in the Jamaica by Finality.

"I thought he ran pretty damn good," Tagg said. "The only thing I could do with him was blow him out a half-mile two days before the race.''

After watching Macaw breeze a half-mile that was timed in 48.46 seconds over the Belmont turf course on Wednesday, Tagg believes he has Macaw significantly tighter for Saturday's Grade 3, $150,000 Lawrence Realization at 12 furlongs. Tagg actually clocked Macaw in under 48 seconds.

"He went a lot faster than I thought he'd go, but he seemed to be doing it real comfortably,'' Tagg said. "He's done nothing to disappoint me so far in the morning or in his races. I hope he keeps moving forward.''

Tagg believes Macaw should appreciate the extra three furlongs of the Lawrence Realization. Before coming to the U.S., Macaw won the 10-furlong Seabeach Handicap, a listed stakes at Goodwood.

With Jose Santos riding in Florida on Saturday, Jean-Luc Samyn has picked up the mount on Macaw. Samyn was aboard for Wednesday's workout.

Weighted at 115 pounds, Macaw will be in receipt of five pounds from Chiselling. Also expected to run are Finality, Extra Check, Irish Colonial, and Van Minister. Loup Masque, Battier, and Racey Dreamer are possible.

Pletcher has feature covered

Whether Friday's featured entry-level allowance race for juvenile fillies is run on turf or dirt, trainer Todd Pletcher appears to have the right horse. If the race stays on turf as scheduled, he'll send out Marc's Rainbow. If forecasted showers transfer the race to the main track, Pletcher will go with Feather Boa.

Marc's Rainbow, a New York-bred daughter of Summer Squall, rolled to a five-length victory in a maiden statebred race at a mile on turf, earning a Beyer Figure of 71. Friday's race would be her first time against open company, but the field isn't that tough.

The Angel Penna-trained Feijoda won her debut at a mile on turf, but her final time was more than a second slower than Marc's Rainbow's.

On Sept. 18, Tap Out, a New York-bred daughter of Signal Tap, finished third, beaten three lengths by Heart ofa Champion in an open company allowance on turf. She returned 11 days later to run eighth in the Joe A. Gimma Stakes for New York breds on dirt.

If on dirt, Friday's race figures to come down to Feather Boa or Virgin Voyage. Feather Boa won a seven-furlong maiden race in the slop at Saratoga, while Virgin Voyage splashed her way to 9 3/4-length victory in a mile race at Belmont on Sept. 27.

Evening Attire works for Classic

Evening Attire had his first breeze since winning the Jockey Club Gold Cup on Wednesday, breezing five furlongs in 1:03.08 over Belmont's training track.

"He was supposed to do just a little open gallop,'' trainer Pat Kelly said. "His open gallops are works for most horses.''

Kelly said he plans to work Evening Attire at the beginning of the week, then van him to Arlington Park on Tuesday or Wednesday where he will have one work over that track. Kelly initially planned to fly Evening Attire to Chicago, but the flight scheduled for next Wednesday was postponed.

No Classic for Pure Prize

Pure Prize, winner of the Kentucky Cup Classic, will not run in the Breeders' Cup Classic, trainer Shug McGaughey confirmed Wednesday. Instead, Pure Prize will be pointed to the $150,000 Fayette Handicap at Keeneland on Oct. 26.

"If he runs well there we might think about the Clark Handicap,'' said McGaughey, referring to the $400,000 race at Churchill Downs on Nov. 29.

On Tuesday, Pure Prize worked three furlongs in 38.02 seconds. Also working Tuesday for McGaughey was Saarland, last year's Remsen winner, who finished 10th in the Kentucky Derby.

McGaughey said he is pointing Saarland to an allowance race during the upcoming Aqueduct meet.

"I think he's doing good,'' McGaughey said. "He had a couple of things pop up that slowed me down a time or two.''

* Funny Cide, the unbeaten New York-bred 2-year-old, worked four furlongs in 46.51 seconds, handily, on Wednesday. It was the fastest of 57 moves at the distance. Trainer Barclay Tagg is pointing the colt to the $100,000 Sleepy Hollow Stakes here on Oct. 19.

* Belmont will be open on Monday, Columbus Day. Entries for that day's card will be taken on Saturday. Belmont will be dark next Tuesday and Wednesday. Entries for Thursday's card will be taken on Monday. There will be no entries on Sunday or Tuesday.