01/14/2008 12:00AM

Motion tempted to try Adriano on dirt


HALLANDALE BEACH, Fla. - The Gulfstream Park meet may be best known for Kentucky Derby preps such as the Florida Derby and Fountain of Youth. But it's the maiden and first-level allowance races early in the meet that often produce just as many potential Derby contenders. Recent examples include soon-to-be-named Horse of the Year Curlin, who won his maiden here a year ago, and Monarchos, a maiden and first-level allowance winner at Gulfstream in the months preceding his victory in the 2001 Kentucky Derby.

The current meeting is less than two weeks old but has already produced several promising 3-year-olds from the maiden and allowance ranks, including Visionaire, Legacy Thief, Bordeaux Bandit, and Adriano.

Adriano won his entry-level allowance condition last Friday over the turf, emerging from midpack entering the stretch to post an easy 6 3/4-length victory, earning a career-best 90 Beyer Speed Figure. A son of A.P. Indy, Adriano was making his first start since his fifth-place finish behind the highly regarded Cowboy Cal in the Laurel Futurity.

"To be honest, the race at Laurel was kind of a puzzle," said trainer Graham Motion. "We had expected him to run better coming off his previous race over the Polytrack at Keeneland. Ramon [Dominguez] was very high on him after that race."

Motion was referring to Adriano's fourth-place finish in the Grade 1 Lane's End Breeders' Futurity, the only one of the colt's five starts that has not been on turf.

Motion said he will consider switching Adriano to the main track for his next start, although where and when that might be remains up in the air.

"I guess with a 3-year-old at this time of year you have to start thinking about trying them on the dirt at least once," said Motion. "I'll probably nominate him for the Fountain of Youth and take a look, although that might be asking a little too much right now. What I'd really like to do is stretch him out to a mile and one-eighth for the next one, because I think the further he goes the better it will be for him."

Velasquez gets three-day suspension

Defending jockey champion Cornelio Velasquez lost two apparent victories Sunday afternoon when the stewards disqualified his mounts.

Comprise, the 3-5 favorite in the second race, was disqualified from first and placed third for trying to lug in badly through the stretch run of a $20,000 conditioned claimer.

In the seventh race, Frost Giant drifted from Velasquez's left-handed pressure, which caused him to brush against and carry out Parading through the final furlong of a one-mile turf race.

On Monday, the stewards absolved Velasquez of any blame for his ride aboard Comprise but suspended him three days for the incident with Frost Giant.

Pair of longshots hit board for Garcia

Trainer Rodolfo Garcia didn't win a race last weekend but was all smiles after his fillies Orinoquia and Bereba became graded-stakes-placed in the Old Hat Stakes and First Lady Handicap.

Orinoquia, sent off at odds of 121-1 in Saturday's Grade 2 Old Hat, rallied from last following a slow start to finish third behind Game Face and Melissa Jo. She was beaten 10 lengths by the winner but finished in front of the previously undefeated pair of Lovely Isle and Indy's Alexandra as well as Grade 3 winner Elusive Lady.

Bereba was also the longest price on the board at 25-1 for Sunday's Grade 3 First Lady and used a ground-saving trip to finish third behind the even-money Sugar Swirl and multiple stakes winner Rgirldoesn'tbluff.

"Getting these horses graded-stakes-placed is as good as a win," said Garcia.

Garcia also trains the promising 3-year-old prospect White Shoes, who won his maiden at second asking after setting a lightning-fast pace going 1 1/16 miles at Calder.

"This horse showed me all along he wanted a distance of ground, but I was surprised how difficult he was to rate when he won his maiden," said Garcia. "That's something we'll try to work on before his next start. But once he learns to settle, I think he'll be a horse to reckon with this year."

Shamdinan preps for Turf Handicap

Breeders' Cup Turf runner-up Shamdinan worked three furlongs in 43.00 seconds around the dogs over the Palm Meadows turf course on Monday. Shamdinan could make his 2008 debut in the Grade 1 Gulfstream Park Turf Handicap on Feb. 23.

Showing Up also worked over the Palm Meadows turf on Monday, going five-eighths in 1:03. Showing Up has not started since finishing second in the Maker's Mark Mile on April 11.