09/29/2002 11:00PM

No Squirtle Squirt deal just yet


ELMONT, N.Y. - Until the contract is signed and the check clears on the pending sale of Squirtle Squirt to Japanese interests, Bobby Frankel is training the defending sprint champion with the intent to race.

Monday, Squirtle Squirt breezed five furlongs in 1:00.65 - the second-fastest of 35 workouts over Belmont Park's main track - in preparation for a possible start in Sunday's Grade 2, $250,000 Forest Hills Handicap here. Entries for the Forest Hills will be taken on Friday. That is the same day representatives of the Japan Bloodhorse Breeders' Association, the apparent purchasers of Squirtle Squirt, and current owner David Lanzman, are scheduled to meet to close - or cancel - the deal.

If the deal does go through, Squirtle Squirt is expected to be retired immediately.

"Maybe the deal will be done by Friday, I don't know," Frankel said. "I can enter and see."

Frankel seemed quite eager to run Squirtle Squirt following Monday's breeze, his third five-furlong move since finishing fourth in the Grade 1 Forego on Sept. 1.

"He's really doing good," Frankel said.

Before word of the sale, Frankel was planning to ship Squirtle Squirt to Kentucky for this Saturday's Phoenix Breeders' Cup at Keeneland. Frankel felt that was a better spot than the Forest Hills because, under conditions of the Phoenix, Squirtle Squirt would carry less weight. Frankel said Monday the uncertainty regarding the sale prompted him to keep Squirtle Squirt in New York.

Frankel believes Squirtle Squirt does not deserve a high weight assignment in the Forest Hills because he has not won a race this year. Weight assignments were to be released Tuesday.

If he runs, Squirtle Squirt would be a strong favorite against a field that would include California shipper Avanzado, Esteemed Friend, Say Florida Sandy, True Direction, and Voodoo. Silky Sweep is a possible starter.

Another 2-year-old purchase

One purchase that did go through regarding Frankel was that of Peace Rules, a four-length winner of a juvenile maiden turf race on Sept. 25.

Frankel purchased Peace Rules, a Florida-bred son of Jules, for Ed Gann, for whom last year he purchased You and earlier this year Labamta Babe. A few weeks ago, Frankel purchased a 2-year-old named Midas Eyes out of a Calder maiden race.

Peace Rules was formerly owned by Maggi Moss and the Cohen-Dickinson Stable and trained by Gary Contessa. Peace Rules finished third, 2 1/2 lengths behind Mister Deux, in a swiftly run five-furlong maiden race at Saratoga on July 31. He came back on Aug. 24 and finished fifth, beaten 4 1/2 lengths in a 6 1/2-furlong race in the slop. Two horses from that race have come back to win.

Last week, in his turf debut, Peace Rules led every jump and defeated the 1-2 favorite, Kon Tiki, covering a mile in 1:34.89.

"I like a horse that wins on turf first time out, and his dirt races weren't bad," Frankel said. "He's nice and sound."

Frankel did not have any immediate plans for Peace Rules, but is hoping he is quality enough to run in the Grade 3, $200,000 Generous Stakes at Hollywood Park on Nov. 30.

Summer Colony ready for Beldame

Summer Colony, the leading older filly or mare in the East and perhaps the country, worked five furlongs in 58.61 seconds on Sunday morning in preparation for Saturday's Grade 1, $750,000 Beldame Stakes. It was the second-fastest of 32 moves at the distance.

"She worked a little sharper than we wanted her to, but she's always run well off a sharp work," trainer Mark Hennig said. "There was a little more concern about her going too slow, because she's real laid-back. If you turn her on, she'll work well. If you leave her alone, she'll stay turned off. She came out of the work great."

Summer Colony is coming off a 4 1/2-length victory in the Grade 1 Personal Ensign Handicap on Aug. 23 at Saratoga. Hennig opted to keep Summer Colony out of the Ruffian in order to keep her fresher for the fall.

"We've kept her races spaced just right all year," Hennig said. "Hopefully, we've done the right thing."

Raging Fever, who finished last as the favorite in the Ruffian, worked four furlongs Monday in 49.95 seconds. She will start in Sunday's $150,000, Grade 2 Gallant Bloom Handicap at 6 1/2 furlongs.

"The ideal way to get a mile and a sixteenth has never been to go a half in 45," Hennig said, referring to the hot pace Raging Fever was part of in the Ruffian. "In a sprint, she should be able to relax a little easier."

Victory Ride: Win or go home

The only filly who worked faster than Summer Colony on Sunday morning was Victory Ride, who covered five furlongs in 58.45 seconds, the best of 32 moves. Victory Ride, last year's Test Stakes winner who has successfully come back from a broken leg, was to ship to Keeneland on Tuesday and run in Sunday's Spinster Stakes.

Trainer Rusty Arnold said Victory Ride needs a win or a circumstantial second to go on to the Breeders' Cup Distaff.

"If she wins, she'll go on, if she doesn't she'll go home," Arnold said. "She's 10 miles from the farm. She will have to run a winning race."

Among the horses scheduled to leave New York for Kentucky on Tuesday for the Spinster are You, who will be ridden by Kent Desormeaux, and Atelier, the Go for Wand winner who bombed in the Personal Ensign. Take Charge Lady, who breezed four furlongs in 49.02 seconds Sunday at Belmont, left New York and arrived in Kentucky Monday for the Spinster.

BC turf on Blazing Fury wish list

After running a fast-closing second to Denon in Sunday's Grade 1, $750,000 Turf Classic Invitational, Blazing Fury is being pointed to the Breeders' Cup Turf, according to trainer Jimmy Toner. That's if he can get in.

Blazing Fury's only win from five starts came in an allowance race at Saratoga. His schedule has been off most of the year, having to start in the Grade 1 Manhattan without benefit of a prep race.

"I knew the horse had been a victim of circumstances this year," said Toner, who said Blazing Fury's schedule was disrupted when a May allowance race was washed off the turf. "I was disappointed, but not discouraged. Yesterday, he showed us he's back into it. I think he'll move forward off that race.

"If we get in, I'm going to point for the Breeders' Cup," Toner said. "He came out of the race great and he's still a relatively fresh horse."

Denon, the winner of the Turf Classic, came out of his win in good order, according to Frankel, and will run in the BC Turf.

With Anticipation, who finished sixth as the Turf Classic favorite "didn't seem too stressed out and he scoped fine," trainer Jonathan Sheppard said.

Sheppard is still considering the Breeders' Cup for With Anticipation, but may reconsider if the turf course comes up too soft.

- Storm Flag Flying, the likely favorite for Saturday's Grade 1 Frizette Stakes, worked four furlongs in 49.95 seconds Monday.

- Zavata, the beaten Hopeful favorite, worked five furlongs in 1:03 Monday at Saratoga in preparation for Saturday's Grade 1 Champagne Stakes.