11/02/2006 12:00AM

Mott takes a shot at two graded stakes


Bill Mott will be at Churchill Downs on Saturday attempting to orchestrate two upsets in the Breeders' Cup World Championships. George Steinbrenner will be in Tampa, Fla., trying to scheme a way to make his New York Yankees better.

Briefly, both men's attention will be focused at Aqueduct, where Grade 1 winners Splendid Blended, trained by Mott, and Sweet Symphony, owned by Steinbrenner and trained by Mott, will be running in separate graded events.

Splendid Blended, who won Grade 1 races at 2 and 3 for Neil Drysdale, heads a seven-horse field entered in the Grade 2, $150,000 First Flight Handicap at seven furlongs. Sweet Symphony, winless since taking the Grade 1 Alabama in August 2005, meets five rivals in the Grade 3, $100,000 Turnback the Alarm Handicap at 1 1/8 miles. The First Flight was originally scheduled for last Saturday, but was postponed when that card was scrapped because of bad weather.

Only seven of the 10 fillies originally entered in the First Flight were entered back. The race lost Annika Lass, Pleasant Laughter, and Heavenly Psalm.

Mott shipped Splendid Blended from Kentucky to New York last week hoping the First Flight would be run in the mud; she won a stakes on a sloppy Philadelphia Park surface two starts back.

Splendid Blended, who breaks from post 5 under Eibar Coa, has good speed, but Mott said he has no concern if someone such as Win McCool or Great Intentions outfoots her early.

"She doesn't have to be on the lead, but she's kind of a free-running type," Mott said Thursday at Churchill Downs, where he is preparing Got the Last Laugh for the Juvenile and My Typhoon for the Filly and Mare Turf.

Great Intentions and Win McCool traded decisions in their last two starts. Great Intentions won the Grade 2 Gallant Bloom on Oct. 8, and Win McCool took the Grade 3 Floral Park on Sept. 16 and was reported to have lost a shoe in the Gallant Bloom.

Sweet Symphony comes into the Turnback the Alarm off a fifth-place finish to Fleet Indian in the Grade 1 Beldame, her first race after a four-month layoff. Mott wasn't planning to run Sweet Symphony in the Beldame off the layoff, but he was left with no other choice when an overnight stakes didn't fill.

Sweet Symphony has lost six consecutive races, but Mott said he feels he has her going good again after taking care of some infirmities.

"She had a couple of little physical problems that we thought we had straightened out," Mott said. "She was actually training very well going into the Beldame, but then you're in a spot where you're probably overmatched at that stage of the game. I should have been in a soft spot."

Teammate looms the main speed in the Turnback the Alarm, and she drops in class after running in six consecutive Grade 1 races. She finished second to Pine Island in the Alabama and Gazelle, but comes off a poor effort in the Beldame.

Pleasant Chimes enters the Turnback the Alarm on a three-race winning streak, but may need more pace than she is likely to get here.

Sport Page: Silver Wagon gets setup

Post positions changed, but the field remained intact for Saturday's Grade 3, $150,000 Sport Page Handicap for male sprinters at seven furlongs.

Speed horses Bishop Court Hill and Afrashad went from outside draws to inside posts when the race was re-drawn Thursday. Bishop Court Hill, the Carter winner, went from post 5 to the rail, and Afrashad went from post 6 to post 3. Seven furlongs may be a stretch for Afrashad, who has won 3 of 4 starts this year and earned a 111 Beyer Speed Figure in a third-level allowance win Sept. 14.

P. Kerney, a speed horse from Maryland, went from the rail to post 5.

With all the speed in the field, the race figures to set up nicely for Silver Wagon, who comes off a fifth-place finish as the favorite in the Grade 3 Phoenix Breeders' Cup over Keeneland's Polytrack. Two starts back, Silver Wagon finished fourth, beaten just three lengths by Pomeroy, in the Grade 1 Forego at Saratoga. Richard Dutrow Jr., trainer of Silver Wagon, also sends out Kazoo.

Sir Greeley, who went from post 2 to post 4, makes his first start since finishing sixth in the Metropolitan Handicap at Belmont on May 29. He had the summer off, but has trained well the past month for trainer Jimmy Jerkens.

Blazing Purrsuit completes the field.