10/22/2001 12:00AM

Mile: The colt who's undefeated and unnoticed


ELMONT, N.Y. - Numerous Times, the Canadian turf star, is the only older horse with an unbeaten record on Saturday's Breeders' Cup program at Belmont Park.

Numerous Times has won six races in six starts, but has prepared for the $1 million Breeders' Cup Mile with little fanfare in the U.S.

The Mile will be Numerous Times's first start away from Woodbine, near Toronto, Ontario, and his second start in a stakes, coming seven weeks after he won the Grade 1 Atto Mile against a strong field.

"That was kind of a surprise," trainer Sid Attard said. "We knew he was a good horse, but it was a big jump."

Owned by The Committee, a partnership of six Toronto-area residents, Numerous Times has past performances that may lead bettors to think of him as a horse for the Woodbine course. "I really think he'll run well, but I know it will be a tougher race," Attard said.

The 4-year-old Numerous Times won three starts at 3 and three times this year at 4, with four of the wins coming on turf.

Injuries and an illness have limited his career. Numerous Times suffered from a hind end injury at 2, and sore shins at 3, Attard said. Last year, he endured a episode of colic.

"He lost a lot of weight and it took him a long time to recover," Attard said. "This year he came in late so we took our time and picked our spots."

On Monday, Numerous Times worked five furlongs in 1:03.60, as timed by official clockers, on turf at Woodbine. He trailed a stablemate by a long distance and failed to make up the ground, Attard said.

"The other horse was 20 lengths in front of him and he couldn't catch him," Attard said. "He had too much to do. I thought he worked well."

Numerous Times is among 13 probables for the Mile and is likely to be around 12-1. Noverre, the European 3-year-old star, is the likely favorite. Val Royal, the winner of the Oak Tree Breeders' Cup Mile at Santa Anita on Oct. 7, worked a half-mile in 47.40 seconds at Santa Anita on Monday.

I Love Silver scratched

On Sunday, I Love Silver, who has never started on turf, was withdrawn from consideration.

Trainer Dean Greenman said the 3-year-old I Love Silver will be pointed for the Cigar Mile at Aqueduct on Nov. 24 and the Malibu Stakes at Santa Anita on Dec. 26.

There are five other 3-year-olds expected for the Mile - Noverre, Balto Star, City Zip, Express Tour, and Navesink.

Balto Star, a veteran of the Triple Crown campaign, will be trying turf for the second time. He won an allowance race at Saratoga on Sept. 2 and 20 days later was a game second to Guided Tour in the Kentucky Cup Classic at Turfway Park.

Trainer Todd Pletcher said his colt Balto Star has shown renewed vigor since his return following a 14th in the Kentucky Derby and an eighth in the Belmont Stakes.

"He went through a phase when he was kind of fatigued after the Derby and again after the Belmont," Pletcher said. "We regrouped after the Belmont and his two races after the Belmont have been very good."

Balto Star worked five furlongs in 1:03.60 on Sunday, including a final quarter-mile in 22.95 seconds, according to Pletcher.

Also on Sunday, Sarafan, who was second in the Kelso Handicap at Belmont Park on Oct. 6, worked six furlongs on turf in 1:14 in company with the filly La Ronge. City Zip, third in the Kelso, worked five furlongs on turf in 1:01.80.

Trainer Neil Drysdale was unhappy with Sarafan's work, but blamed himself for not giving the right instructions to the exercise riders.

"There was a bit of a trainer error," Drysdale said. "It didn't go as to plan. He was supposed to be upside the other horse and he was behind the whole way."

The weather forecast for the second half of the week calls for a chance of rain on Thursday and cool weather on Friday and Saturday. Consequently, trainer Linda Rice said a decision will be made on Wednesday, when entries are due, on whether City Zip enters the Mile or Sprint. Rice wants to avoid starting City Zip on a soggy turf course.

"Right now, I'm happy to be in both spots," she said.