09/21/2006 11:00PM

Mott's backup figures bang-up

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The undefeated Win With a Wink will go after win number three in Saturday's Gimma for 2-year-old New York-bred fillies. A field of 10 was entered.P

By DAVID GRENING

ELMONT, N.Y. - The absence of leading New York-bred juvenile filly Chief Officer leaves Saturday's $100,000 Joseph A. Gimma Stakes a wide-open affair. A field of 10 was entered in the seven-furlong race restricted to statebreds.

While he won't have Chief Officer to run, trainer Bill Mott will send out Win With a Wink in the Gimma. Win With a Wink, a daughter of Dixieland Band, has won both of her career starts, including a game nose victory over sharp debut winner Laurentide Ice in a first-level allowance race at Saratoga.

"I don't know if she's as fast as Chief Officer but she sure is as game as any of them. She was head and head with another horse for the entire race last time and she was as game as you could be," said Mott, who noted that Chief Officer won't run again this year.

Win With a Wink drew the rail and will be ridden by Fernando Jara.

Laurentide Ice, trained by Mark Hennig, will break from post 10 under Garrett Gomez. Laurentide Ice was a perfect-trip debut winner on Aug. 4 at Saratoga, sitting behind three speed horses before tipping four wide in the stretch and powering home an 8 1/4-length winner.

Laurentide Ice returned 20 days later against Win With a Wink and dueled between horses down the backstretch. She ran with Win With a Wink through the lane, but could not get by that rival.

"Her style in her first race I liked a lot better," Hennig said. "Second time, she broke a little sharper and kind of got stuck between horses and was closer to the pace than she probably wants to be."

Crosstown Traffic, who breaks from post 2 under Javier Castellano, could be the main speed in this field. After breaking poorly and finishing fifth in her debut - contested in a driving rainstorm - Crosstown Traffic broke much better and rolled to a four-length victory over odds-on favorite Second Marriage in a six-furlong maiden race on Aug. 20.

"She finished with such energy I don't think the additional furlong should make a difference," trainer John Kimmel said.

Distinct Pleasure could be live at a price coming off a troubled third behind Win With a Wink and Laurentide Ice. Hold That Thought tries dirt after a sharp debut win on turf.

Ebony Breeze retired

Ebony Breeze, a multiple stakes winner and earner of more than $1omillion for owner/breeder George Steinbrenner, has been retired from racing, Mott said Friday. Ebony Breeze will be bred to 2003 Horse of the Year Mineshaft.

Ebony Breeze, a daughter of Belong to Me and Valid Carnauba, had a record of 12 wins, 8 seconds, and 8 thirds from 38 lifetime starts over five seasons. She won four Grade 3 stakes and earned $1,039,922. After winning the Gradeo3 Chicago Breeders' Cup at Arlington in June, Ebony Breeze ended her career with a fourth-place finish in the Grade 1 Princess Rooney at Calder and a fifth-place finish in the Endine Handicap on Sept. 9 at Delaware Park.

"She retired completely sound," Mott said. "She could've gone on, but they decided she'd done enough. They reached their goal of her earning $1 million this summer. For me, she's been an awful nice addition to the barn for the last several years."

Pine Island straight to BC Distaff

Pine Island, the multiple Grade 1-winning 3-year-old filly, will train up to the Breeders' Cup Distaff, trainer Shug McGaughey confirmed Friday. Following Pine Island's victory in the Grade 1 Gazelle here on Sept. 9, McGaughey said he was undecided whether to run in the Beldame or train to the Distaff on Nov. 4 at Churchill Downs.

"I thought I could run her back in the Beldame and I think she'd run well, but I don't want to take a chance of her going over the top," McGaughey said. "I haven't been the kindest to her running her in Grade 1 races in her third, fourth, fifth, and sixth starts. So, I'll give her a little time, and I think two turns at Churchill Downs may just be perfect for her."

McGaughey said Pine Island would do all of her training at Belmont, before shipping to Churchill a few days before the Distaff.

McGaughey has won three runnings of the Distaff: 1988 at Churchill with Personal Ensign, 1995 with Inside Information, and last year with Pleasant Home.

Friendly Island to try turf

Friendly Island, the 5-year-old multiple-stakes-winning New York-bred sprinter who finished third in the Grade 1 Forego last out, is likely to try the turf in his next start, trainer Todd Pletcher said.

Friendly Island is under consideration for next Saturday's Grade 2, $250,000 Kelso Breeders' Cup Handicap here or the Grade 1, $600,000 Shadwell Turf Mile at Keeneland on Oct. 7.

On Sept. 18, Friendly Island, a son of Crafty Friend, worked four furlongs on the Saratoga training turf course in 47.95 seconds in company with Manchu Prince, who was given the same time.

"We'll probably give him one try on turf just in case we want to look at the Breeders' Cup Mile," Pletcher said.

Friendly Island has never won beyond six furlongs, but Pletcher was encouraged with the way Friendly Island ran in the seven-furlong Forego, coming from off the pace to be third, just 2 1/2 lengths behind Pomeroy and a neck behind War Front.

"I thought he ran very well at seven-eighths," Pletcher said. "If he can get seven-eighths on dirt he could get a mile on turf."

Rebel Rebel to run in Hong Kong

One horse Friendly Island won't have to worry about facing in the Kelso or the Breeders' Cup Mile is Rebel Rebel, the runner-up in the Grade 1, $1 million Woodbine Mile on Sept. 17. Rebel Rebel is being pointed to the $2.1 million Hong Kong Mile at Sha Tin Racecourse on Dec. 10.

Trainer Richard Dutrow Jr. said Rebel Rebel would not be pointed to the Breeders' Cup Mile because of his failure to handle the Churchill Downs turf course.

"We ran him on that turf course two times and he didn't like it and I don't want to do it again," Dutrow said. "One turn, that seems to be his game, so we'll let him play his game. It looks like we got him straightened out now."

Dutrow said he would look to run Rebel Rebel one time before the Hong Kong Mile, but had not yet picked out that race.

o Jockey Pablo Fragoso was taken to North Shore University Hospital complaining of pain in his back and ribs after being unseated by his mount Undeniably Silver in Friday's seventh race. It appeared as if Gilded Threat clipped heels with Libby's Moment down the backstretch.

Fragoso was taken off the turf course on a stretcher and transported to the hospital via ambulance.

o John Velazquez took off all of his mounts on Friday, complaining of a sore ankle. He was expected to resume riding on Saturday.