07/24/2002 11:00PM

Medaglia d'Oro in fine shape for Jim Dandy


SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. - Medaglia d'Oro, the Belmont Stakes runner-up, completed his serious preparations for the Aug. 4 Jim Dandy Stakes by drilling six furlongs in 1:13.85 over Saratoga's main track Thursday morning.

Richard Migliore was aboard for the move, which was the second fastest of four works at the distance. Migliore was aboard for Medaglia d'Oro's last major move before the Belmont Stakes, and compared this work favorably to that.

"Very similar, very good," Migliore said. "Maybe a touch better."

Bobby Frankel was all smiles following the workout, and has been extremely impressed by the way Medaglia d'Oro held up to the Triple Crown grind. Medaglia d'Oro, who finished fourth in the Kentucky Derby and eighth in the Preakness, was one of three horses to run in all three races.

"Considering what he's been through he's holding up pretty good," Frankel said. "Going through the Triple Crown they usually look like crows by now."

Frankel has not yet chosen a rider for Medaglia d'Oro, who figures to be a strong favorite in what is shaping up to be a light Jim Dandy. Only Medaglia d'Oro, Iron Deputy, Quest, and Nothing Flat are confirmed starters for the $500,000 race that serves as a prep for the Travers.

Among the question marks are Essence of Dubai, Fisher Pond, Gygistar, Mr. Mellon, Peekskill, Stephentown, Puzzlement, and Running Tide.

Puzzlement may skip Jim Dandy

Although Allen Jerkens said Puzzlement came out of his opening-day allowance win in good order, he said he may skip the Jim Dandy and train the colt up to the $1 million Travers on Aug. 24.

"We probably will, but we don't know for sure yet," Jerkens said. "He walked fine this morning. We have to weigh whether [the Jim Dandy] will help us or hurt us to win to the Travers."

Puzzlement rallied from well off the pace to run down Wild Years and win an allowance race over a wet track on Wednesday. Though Jerkens said Puzzlement "didn't overexert himself, he had to exert himself to get by that horse and that other horse is no slouch."

Puzzlement was making his start since running second behind Sunday Break in the Peter Pan Stakes on May 25. He was scratched out of the Belmont Stakes two days before the race with a bruised foot.

Mike's Wildcat has lung infection

Mike's Wildcat, who finished sixth as the 2-1 favorite in Wednesday's $150,000 Schuylerville Stakes, came out of the race with a lung infection, trainer John Ward said.

"She got something between the time she last ran and yesterday," trainer John Ward said. "I didn't have time to work her with the race coming up so quick. If I had time to work her, we probably would have detected that."

Jockey Jose Santos, who had ridden Mike's Wildcat to an eight-length victory in the Astoria Stakes at Belmont, said Mike's Wildcat was breathing awkwardly when she came back.

"Jose Santos was very disappointed," Ward said. "He said that was nowhere near the filly he rode last time. We got a few screws to loosen and tighten, but we got 30 days to get right for the Spinaway."

Meanwhile, Schuylerville winner Freedom's Daughter came out of the race in good order. Trainer Todd Pletcher said he has not decided where to run her next.

Xtra Heat possible for Honorable Miss

Trainer John Salzman said he would review the weights before making a final decision, but he is seriously considering running Xtra Heat in next Friday's Grade 3, $100,000 Honorable Miss Stakes.

"We'll see what the weights are," said Salzman, in Saratoga to saddle Run Production in Thursday's Sanford Stakes. "I've got a few other options and this one is only $100,000."

Salzman's other option for Xtra Heat is $125,000 Straight Deal Stakes at Laurel Park on Aug. 10. That race is at seven furlongs.

Weight assignments for the Honorable Miss are due out Saturday.

Gold Mover, who defeated Xtra Heat in the Princess Rooney Handicap at Calder on July 13, is also being considered for the Honorable Miss. Others pointing to the race are Dat You Miz Blue, La Galerie, Mandy's Gold, Nasty Storm, and Shine Again.

Capsized to Fourstardave

Capsized, who won a classified allowance race by three lengths on Wednesday, will make his next start in the $200,000 Fourstardave Handicap on Aug. 24, trainer Lisa Lewis said.

Although Capsized has never won a graded stakes, he has finished in the money in the last three graded events in which he has run. His win Wednesday made him 2 for 2 over the Saratoga turf course.

"I think that was his best race," Lewis said. "We've always been two or three lengths behind winning a graded stakes with him. The way he ran [Wednesday] maybe he can make that difference up."

* Denon, runner-up in the United Nations, worked five furlongs in 1:00.27, handily, over the Oklahoma training turf course. He worked in company with Harrisand. Denon is prepping for the Sword Dancer Invitational on Aug. 10.

* Unshaded, the 2000 Travers winner, worked five furlongs in 59.85 seconds, handily, Thursday at Saratoga in preparation for the $750,000 Whitney Handicap on Aug. 3. The move was the fourth fastest of 34 at the distance.