07/12/2001 12:00AM

Minus Zip, Carry Back wide open


MIAMI - The late defection of City Zip has suddenly changed the $250,000 Carry Back Stakes from a mismatch to the most wide open of the four races on Saturday's Summit of Speed undercard.

City Zip figured to be odds-on to defeat 10 other 3-year-olds in the six-furlong Carry Back for 3-year-old colts and geldings. The Carry Back is the highlight of the Summit of Speed undercard along with its filly counterpart, the six-furlong Azalea Stakes. They will be preceded on the 13-race program by the $100,000 Calder Turf Sprint and $50,000 Rocket Man Stakes.

Trainer Linda Rice's decision to keep City Zip home this weekend will likely make the lightly raced Illusioned the tepid favorite to win the Carry Back. A son of Woodman, Illusioned has won 3 of 4 starts. He has not run since easily defeating third-level allowance company at Belmont over a muddy and speed-favoring strip on May 27.

Illusioned began his career at Tampa Bay Downs under the tutelage of Richard Ciardullo Jr. and will be making his second start for current trainer Bill Mott on Saturday. He also figures to be part of a very honest pace in the Carry Back that may include Red's Honor and California invader Beyond Brilliant.

Red's Honor had his three-race win streak snapped when he was overmatched in the Grade 2 Riva Ridge Stakes on June 9. Beyond Brilliant shipped to Delaware Park to win the Legal Light Stakes on June 2 where he was hard-pressed to defeat runner-up Max Jones, a horse who had just won his preliminary allowance condition.

A torrid pace could play into the hands of One by the Knows, who turns back to six furlongs off a trio of longer races. He finished a tiring third to Meetyouatthebrig after contesting a lively pace in the Grade 3 Derby Trial. Trained by Elliott Walden, One by the Knows won Turfway Park's Hansel Stakes in his 3-year-old debut at six furlongs.

Northend and Gallant Frolic, first and second in the Naked Greed Handicap here June 10, may be best of the locals, along with Tarek.

Thinking through the Azalea

Hattiesburg and Xtreme Bid ship in from the Midwest for the six-furlong Azalea sporting four-race win streaks. But the ones to beat in the Azalea may be speedy Spanish Glitter or locally-based stablemates Silk Concorde and Valid Forbes.

Spanish Glitter has won her last two starts in allowance company and looks like the controlling speed if she can break alertly under Pat Day.

Silk Concorde and Valid Forbes combined to sweep the Florida Stallion Series filly division in 2000 and both come off sharp preps for this event.

Hattiesburg continues to improve and has won three straight stakes at as many different tracks. Xtreme Bid has also been perfect in her last four appearances, but has been idle since winning Oaklawn Park's Grade 3 Honeybee on March 10. She will make her first start Saturday for trainer Todd Pletcher.

- The well-traveled Morluc and Texas Glitter renew their rivalry in the Calder Turf Sprint. They will take on Honorable Pic, who is perfect over the local course, and the stretch-running Sejm's Madness, who finished third in this race a year ago.

- Ultimate Warrior appears to be a standout in the two-furlong Rocket Man as long as he leaves the gate alertly.