05/17/2005 11:00PM

Miss Terrible's plans changed

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Benoit & Associates
Miss Terrible is scheduled to run in the May 30 Gamely at Hollywood.

ARLINGTON HEIGHTS, Ill. - Miss Terrible still is coming to Arlington Park, says her trainer, Bradley Ross, but she may be coming here from Kentucky by way of California.

Ross called an audible last week, shipping Miss Terrible from a stall at Churchill Downs - where she had won the Grade 3 Distaff Turf Mile on Derby Day - to bucolic Keeneland Race Course rather than to Arlington, as he had initially planned. Ross said Miss Terrible is scheduled to work Monday at Keeneland under jockey Mike Smith, and if the work goes well she will be shipped to California for the Grade 1 Gamely Breeders' Cup Handicap on May 30 at Hollywood Park.

"She looks like she should work well," Ross said Wednesday morning. "If not, we'll come straight on up to Arlington."

Miss Terrible, an Argentine champion in 2002 before she was sold for $1.5 million, overcame a broken knee and several other physical problems to win consecutive graded stakes in her two starts this year. She is the only horse trained by Ross, who said he took Miss Terrible to Keeneland "so she could just be a horse again."

"I wanted to get her turned out a little, get her doing some different things," Ross said. "The pony and her go off riding over the countryside. She's riding across the hills. I wanted to get her this kind of break."

Among racetracks, only Keeneland, which doesn't run a race meet again until October, offers this kind of horse paradise. Miss Terrible is stabled among the stock of trainer Alice Cohn at a barn located behind and down a hill from the main racetrack. She can gallop on the nearby training track, which draws raves for its synthetic Polytrack surface, or go up to the main track, where she will have her Monday workout.

To ship for her race, Miss Terrible need only cross Versailles Road and board a plane at Bluegrass Field. Then it is on to California, to run in the same race where she made her U.S. debut in 2003, when she finished a tiring fourth.

Herculated getting back in shape

Herculated, the graded-stakes-class turf horse, and Culinary, winner of the Arlington-Washington Lassie last fall, both turned in strong workouts here in the last week for trainer Mike Stidham. On Saturday, Herculated worked a half-mile in 48.20 seconds, fifth-best of 69 works at the distance. On Tuesday, Culinary worked a half-mile in 47.80, also among the fastest works of the morning.

Herculated has mostly swum upstream since he nearly won the Grade 2 Mervin Muniz Handicap on March 21, 2004. Since his half-length win here last Aug. 7 in the Sea O'Erin Handicap, Herculated has started just twice and has suffered recurring lung problems, including a bout with pleurisy last winter at Fair Grounds.

"[Pleurisy] disturbs the air sacs and the lungs, and they can't get their air," Stidham said. "It took about six weeks for him to get over that. We're sitting there at the track he likes best, and we can't do a thing with him."

Herculated fought off the pleurisy, and Stidham said he thought he had Herculated going the right way. Herculated finished eighth April 9 in the John Connally Handicap at Sam Houston, though, and came out of the race coughing again.

"We got him up here, and found he still had a fluid pocket in his lungs up near his heart," Stidham said.

Stidham said Herculated seems to be back on track. "His work was good, he came out of it good, and there was no more coughing," he said. "We're hoping to make the [May 30] Mister Gus Stakes if all goes well."

Culinary, who ended her 2-year-old season with an eighth-place finish in the Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies, finished fourth April 5 at Churchill in the La Troienne, her 3-year-old debut.

"She grew up a little bit, and right now, with that race under her belt, she's as good as she's been in a long time," Stidham said.

Iosilver better prepared this time

Trainer Chris Block was just trying to get a comeback race into Iosilver when the horse nearly won a second-level route allowance last month at Hawthorne. Friday, in the featured eighth race at Arlington, Iosilver runs with the benefit of a start under his belt. He was unlucky at the post-position draw, however, and will break from the 11-hole and might not run as well on turf as he has on dirt.

Still, the Block barn has started Arlington hot, with three winners in the first four days, and Iosilver showed enough talent at 3 to be taken seriously this season. Other contenders in the 1 1/16-mile grass race include Boom a Cat a Boom, Public Official, and Gottabeachboy.