09/11/2005 11:00PM

New option for Commentator

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Adam Coglianese/NYRA
Better Talk Now might use a rabbit in next month's Breeders' Cup Turf.

ELMONT, N.Y. - While Commentator could not withstand the full-court press put on him by trainer Richard Dutrow Jr. in Saturday's , he came out of the race well enough for his connections to consider pushing on to the Breeders' Cup World Thoroughbred Championships to be run here Oct. 29.

Only, instead of a rematch against Saint Liam in the Classic at 1 1/4 miles, it is possible Commentator could be turned back in distance to run in the $1 million Breeders' Cup Sprint at six furlongs.

"I think we would definitely consider the Breeders' Cup Sprint," said Lincoln Collins, the racing manager for owner Tracy Farmer. "We know the horse can run very fast at Belmont. Personally, I wish it were seven furlongs and not six furlongs. It'll be a serious discussion. At this stage it's more likely to do that than run him in the Classic. Whether we'll give him a race in between or not, I don't know."

If Commentator did run again before the Sprint, the most likely spot would be the Grade 1 Vosburgh at Belmont on Oct. 1. The Vosburgh is run at six furlongs.

Commentator finished third, 14 1/2 lengths behind Saint Liam, in the Woodward. Dutrow, the trainer of Saint Liam, used two rabbits - Show Boot and Crafty Player - to apply early pressure on Commentator. Commentator succumbed to the pressure, tiring after putting away both rabbits. Saint Liam won by two lengths over Sir Shackleton without ever feeling the leather from Jerry Bailey's whip.

Saint Liam, who earned a 109 Beyer Speed Figure for his Woodward victory, will simply train up to the Classic, Dutrow said.

Before the Woodward, Commentator was undefeated in seven starts around one turn. None of those races, however, was run at six furlongs. Commentator has never run shorter than seven furlongs.

Commentator, trained by Nick Zito, has been impressive sprinting at Belmont. He owns the track record for 7 1/2 furlongs at 1:27.44, set last year in a New York-bred allowance race. In July, he ran seven furlongs in 1:20.23, winning an open allowance race by 16 1/2 lengths. The final time was just 0.06 of a second off Left Bank's track record.

"It's too early for us to make any definite decision, but I think we'll bring him back to sprinting," Collins said.

Meanwhile, Collins said Farmer might have two horses pointed to the Classic. Sun King, who won the Pennsylvania Derby on Sept. 5, is likely to have one more start before trying the Classic, Collins said. That race could come in the Indiana Derby on Oct. 1 or the Meadowlands Cup on Oct. 7. Collins said the $1 million Jockey Club Gold Cup at Belmont on Oct. 1 "is an outside possibility."

Collins said Sir Shackleton's runner-up performance to Saint Liam in the Woodward was good enough to place him under consideration for the Classic.

Motion may bring rabbit to Cup

When Better Talk Now seeks to defend his title in next month's Breeders' Cup Turf, he may bring along his stablemate, Shake the Bank. Trainer Graham Motion said he and his owners, Bushwood Stable, would consider running Shake the Bank in the Turf if they feel the pace in the race is not sufficient.

Shake the Bank, who would serve as a rabbit to ensure a fast pace in the Turf, would only get into the field if the race does not oversubscribe. The field is limited to 14 starters, and Shake the Bank would have none of the qualifying points needed to earn a spot.

Shake the Bank has been a useful rabbit for Better Talk Now, setting a strong pace in both the United Nations Stakes and the Man o' War, both won by Better Talk Now.

"By and large, in a race like the Breeders' Cup, there tends to be a legitimate pace, whether it be because there are more horses or you get such a cross-section of horses, but it's something we're going to discuss," Motion said. "It's just worked so well having the stablemate. You can look pretty silly doing things like that, but this has worked better than any of us could have imagined. Clearly, he's going to be a better horse when he gets an honest pace in front of him."

North American plans for Luas Line

Luas Line, winner of Saturday's , is likely to remain in the United States, though her next start has not yet been decided.

Luas Line is likely to make her next start in the Queen Elizabeth II Challenge Cup at Keeneland on Oct. 15. She could also be considered for the Breeders' Cup Filly and Mare Turf on Oct. 29.

"I have a preference for the Queen Elizabeth," said trainer David Wachman from Keeneland on Sunday. "It's her own age group. It might be easier. We'll see closer to the time."

Luas Line set a Garden City stakes record for nine furlongs by running in 1:45.62. She earned a Beyer Speed Figure of 108.

Wachman said Luas Line would remain at Belmont Park for now.

Discreet Cat to pass on Futurity

Discreet Cat, who owns the highest Beyer Speed Figure (106) by a 2-year-old colt this year, will likely skip Saturday's Grade 2, $300,000 Futurity at Belmont Park, trainer Stanley Hough said.

Discreet Cat, who ran six furlongs in 1:09.76 when winning his debut by 3 1/2 lengths Aug. 27, has yet to work back since the race. Hough said Discreet Cat had a little bit of a shin issue entering the race, and Hough is likely to proceed conservatively with the colt through the fall.

Hough said he is more likely to use races like the Cowdin, Nashua, and Remsen than he is the Futurity, Champagne, and Breeders' Cup Juvenile.

"He's doing well, I just don't want to rush him into something he's not ready for," Hough said. "The shin is better. It seems to have responded well to treatment."

Though Hough said nothing is definite, he did say that the Breeders' Cup "is not a priority for me."

Violette suspended one week

Trainer Rick Violette began serving a seven-day suspension Monday as a result of one of his horses testing positive for the banned substance Lidocaine, an anesthetic. The suspension was reduced from 15 days after Violette waived his right of appeal. He was also fined $1,000.

The drug was found in the post-race urine samples of Tax Considerations, who won the fifth race at Aqueduct on March 26. Tax Considerations was disqualified and unplaced in the order of finish, and the purse was redistributed.

In Violette's absence, his assistant, Melissa Cohen, will be listed as the trainer of record in the program. The stable runs four horses on Wednesday's Belmont card.

* Kitten's Joy worked five furlongs in 1:02.45 Monday morning over Belmont Park's turf course. It was his first breeze since finishing second to Powerscourt in the Arlington Million. Kitten's Joy is being pointed to the Joe Hirsch Turf Classic Invitational on Oct. 1.