09/26/2004 11:00PM

No Gold Cup for Seattle Fitz

Crimson Palace, winning the Beverly D., will miss Saturday's Flower Bowl and will train up to the Breeders' Cup.

ELMONT, N.Y. - An impressive win in the Brooklyn Handicap in June put Seattle Fitz on the cusp of becoming a major player in the handicap division. That's about as close as he'll come, for this year, anyway.

After an unsatisfactory workout Monday at Belmont Park, Seattle Fitz was withdrawn from consideration for Saturday's $1 million Jockey Club Gold Cup by trainer Kiaran McLaughlin. Without a chance to get a good prep race, Seattle Fitz is all but out of the Breeders' Cup Classic picture, as well. His owners, West Point Stable, would have to pay a $360,000 supplement to run in that race.

Seattle Fitz has not been right since finishing last in the Whitney Handicap on Aug. 7. He had a foot abscess that forced him to miss the Woodward earlier this month. While McLaughlin said he couldn't find any soundness issues with Seattle Fitz on Monday, he said he did not like the way Seattle Fitz looked during a five-furlong move timed in 1:01.83.

"He did not work well," McLaughlin said. "The time was okay. He did not look great doing it. It's not the best idea to run off of this work. We are going to pass."

McLaughlin said Seattle Fitz would undergo a more thorough examination Tuesday to see if there are any physical problems. McLaughlin said he did not think the Meadowlands Cup on Oct. 8 was an option.

As of Monday, the likely field for Saturday's $1 million Jockey Club included Domestic Dispute, Evening Attire, Funny Cide, Peace Rules, Sarava, and The Cliff's Edge. Love of Money, the Pennsylvania Derby winner, is under consideration for the Gold Cup as well as the Indiana Derby on Friday night at Hoosier Downs. Newfoundland is a slight possibility, though trainer Todd Pletcher sounded as though he would need to see some defections from the race in order to run.

Stevens to pilot The Cliff's Edge

Trainer Nick Zito confirmed Monday that Gary Stevens would replace Shane Sellers aboard The Cliff's Edge in Saturday's Jockey Club Gold Cup. Sellers had ridden The Cliff's Edge in all 12 of his previous starts, including a win in the Grade 1 Blue Grass.

Zito said owner Robert LaPenta wanted to make the change after The Cliff's Edge finished second in his last three starts: the Dwyer, Jim Dandy, and Travers.

"If you're going to make a change, what better guy than Gary?" Zito said. "He's got the experience, he's got the reputation. I'm grateful to Gary for riding him. If the horse runs his same race, we can always go back to Shane. It's a good time for a change. You know how much I care about Shane, how much I respect his ability."

The Cliff's Edge came out of his second-place performance in the Travers with "stingy feet," according to Zito, but those issues have since been resolved. On Sunday, The Cliff's Edge breezed five furlongs in 1:03.38 over the Saratoga training track.

Jerkens weighs options for 'Artie'

Artie Schiller is so good right now that trainer Jimmy Jerkens isn't sure how to proceed with the 3-year-old colt's fall campaign. Artie Schiller set a Belmont inner-turf-course record of 1:45.50 for 1 1/8 miles when he won Sunday's Grade 2 Jamaica Handicap.

Initially, Jerkens said he wanted to make the Grade 1 Hollywood Derby on Nov. 28 his major objective. Now the Breeders' Cup Mile is a possibility.

"We haven't ruled it out," said Jerkens.

Jerkens said that if the Hollywood Derby remains the goal, he may wheel Artie Schiller back in the $350,000 Kelso Breeders' Cup here on Oct. 9. Jerkens said he would monitor Artie Schiller and the Kelso field before making that call. Jerkens said he wouldn't run in the Breeders' Cup if he ran in the Kelso.

"You can wheel him back one time," Jerkens said. "If there's any thought of going in the Breeders' Cup, we'll definitely pass on the Kelso."

Crimson Palace eyes Breeders' Cup

Crimson Palace, the Beverly D. winner, will not run in Saturday's $750,000 Flower Bowl Invitational, but instead will train up to the Breeders' Cup Filly and Mare Turf, her connections said Monday.

According to Rachel Dore, who is overseeing Godolphin Racing's three-horse Belmont contingent, Crimson Palace had a "minor setback" following the Beverly D. and missed some training time. Crimson Palace worked five furlongs Sunday at Belmont, but it was only her second breeze since the Beverly D.

"You have to be 150 to 200 percent fit, and we felt like she wasn't there," Dore said. "We just want to give her a little more time and have her ready for the next race."

Among those pointing to the Flower Bowl are defending Flower Bowl winner Dimitrova, Aubonne, Commercante, Film Maker, Moscow Burning, Riskaverse, and Wonder Again. Possible runners include Lucifer's Stone and Super Brand.

On Sunday, Wonder Again worked five furlongs in 1:01.02 over the Belmont turf course. Riskaverse covered the same distance in 1:01.70.

Pico Central back in New York

The best Grade 1 of the weekend could be the $500,000 Vosburgh, in which defending Breeders' Cup Sprint winner Cajun Beat, reigning sprint division leader Speightstown, and the multiple Grade 1 winner Pico Central are all expected to run.

Pico Central, who won the Carter at Aqueduct and the Metropolitan Handicap at Belmont earlier this spring, finished third as the 2-5 favorite in the Pat O'Brien Handicap at Del Mar. Pico Central was expected to arrive in New York from California on Wednesday. On Saturday, he breezed five furlongs in 1:00.20 at Hollywood Park.

"He's run so well in New York that I'm excited about bringing him back," trainer Paulo Lobo said.

Speightstown, who is 4 for 4 this year, worked five furlongs in 59.67 seconds Sunday at Belmont, and Cajun Beat covered the same distance in 1:00.48. Watchem Smokey is the only other confirmed starter for the Vosburgh.

Kitten's Joy breezes over turf

Kitten's Joy covered way more ground than simply the five furlongs he worked Sunday morning at Belmont Park.

Kitten's Joy began the morning in Louisville, stopped in Lexington, and arrived at Belmont shortly after 9 a.m. Monday. After a few trips around trainer Dale Romans's shed row, Kitten's Joy breezed five furlongs in 1:01.80 over the Belmont turf course in preparation for Saturday's Grade 1, $750,000 Joe Hirsch Classic Invitational.

"We had enough time to give him a little rest and send him on out," Romans said. "He worked real good. We were thinking about putting him in company, but it looked like he was going to be a little too aggressive."

The 1 1/2-mile Joe Hirsch will be Kitten's Joy's first race against older horses and should be a good barometer for how he fits in the Breeders' Cup Turf.

"The questions Saturday will be older horses and extra distance, but I think he can handle both," Romans said. "We need to find out before we go to Texas anyway."

* Storm Flag Flying, preparing for a start in the $750,000 Beldame on Oct. 9, worked five furlongs Monday in 1:00.12.

* Dynever worked five furlongs in 1:00.20 on Sunday. Trainer Christophe Clement said another strong work next weekend could earn Dynever a spot in the Meadowlands Cup on Oct. 8.