06/22/2004 11:00PM

Next stop, the Suburban

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LOUISVILLE, Ky. - Trainer Walter Bindner Jr. confirmed Wednesday that Colonial Colony, the stunning winner of the Foster Handicap at 62-1, will make his next start July 3 in the Grade 1 Suburban Handicap at Belmont Park.

Bindner initially said Colonial Colony would run that day in the Cornhusker Breeders' Cup at Prairie Meadows but changed plans when it appeared the Suburban was coming up light.

Bindner said he is as eager as anyone "to see if the Foster was an aberration or not" but added that since the Foster, Colonial Colony "has never trained as good as he's training right now."

Maintenance work for Midway Road

Midway Road breezed a half-mile in 48 seconds Wednesday at Churchill, but trainer Neil Howard said the move was intended only as a maintenance work. After Midway Road finished last in the June 12 Stephen Foster Handicap, Howard said the colt would not race at least until early to mid-August.

"I just want to keep his fitness level the same while we decide what to do next," said Howard.

Meanwhile, Howard said the July 10 Black Tie Affair Handicap at Arlington Park is the probable next race for Alumni Hall, the 5-year-old horse who has won 3 of 4 starts.

Four confirmed for Locust Grove

As of Wednesday, only four filly-mare turf runners have been confirmed for Saturday's $150,000 Locust Grove Handicap, the lone stakes to be run here this weekend: Riskaverse, Sand Springs, Shaconage, and Two Dot Slew.

Pat Day will ride Riskaverse, and Mark Guidry has the mount on Sand Springs.

Asmussen/Sellers the top combo

Steve Asmussen and Shane Sellers have been the most successful trainer-jockey team at the Churchill spring meet, having won 15 races going into the final two-week stretch that began Wednesday. The other top combinations have been Dale Romans and Guidry (13 wins), Paul McGee and Rafael Bejarano (11), Greg Foley and Bejarano (11), D. Wayne Lukas and Day (10), and Ken McPeek and Brice Blanc (8).

Of those, McGee is the only trainer whose entire win total has come with the same jockey.

Birthday greetings for Bejarano

It didn't take long Wednesday for Rafael Bejarano to get some special recognition. As the Peruvian jockey approached the wire in front aboard eventual winner Blushingkittentale in the first race, track announcer Luke Kruytbosch gave Bejarano a "Happy Birthday" in his call.

Wednesday was the 22nd birthday for Bejarano, who appears well on his way to his first Churchill riding title.

It's a swamp thing

Surely there will be very few fans listening to Buckwheat Zydeco in the infield Saturday who will realize the sideways connection the Creole band has with Churchill history.

In the Kentucky racing historical book, "Jockeys, Belles, and Bluegrass Kings," the origin of Churchill is described by author Lynn Renau as "damp, crawfish-ridden Churchill land," or swampland, which helps to explain why the track surface always has drained so effectively.

Buckwheat Zydeco, a pioneer of a musical genre that traces to Louisiana's swamp country, is one of the main attractions at the annual two-day Brew and Barbecue Festival this weekend. The popular country band, Diamond Rio, is the Sunday headliner.

* Nominations have been released for the three stakes that will help close the 53-day spring meet next weekend. Millennium Dragon ranks among the top prospects for the Grade 2 Firecracker on July 3; Sweet Miss El and Paragon Queen look strong for the Grade 3 Debutante on July 4; and unbeaten Lunarpal should be a big favorite in the Grade 3 Bashford Manor on closing day, July 5.

* A production crew from the Tom Cruise movie "Elizabethtown" on Wednesday visited Wagner's, the cozy eatery just outside the Churchill stable gate. Scenes for the movie, which has nothing to do with racing, will be filmed in Wagner's on July 21.