07/01/2007 11:00PM

No Summit of Speed for Pussycat Doll


MIAMI - Saturday's Grade 1 Princess Rooney Handicap at Calder lost some of its luster after trainer Bob Baffert decided not to send his three-time Grade 1 winner Pussycat Doll for the race, as originally expected.

Pussycat Doll would have been the starting highweight under 123 pounds in the six-furlong Princess Rooney, part of the $2 million Summit of Speed program.

"We were going to come, but I think six furlongs might be a little short for her," said Baffert. "It doesn't really suit her and I think it will be asking a lot of her. I'd like to see how she does over the Cushion track at Hollywood, and the A Gleam is at seven furlongs, which is her better distance."

The $150,000 A Gleam will be run at Hollywood Park on Friday.

Baffert has sent two horses to Calder for the Summit of Speed, winning the 2005 Smile Sprint with Woke Up Dreamin and the 2006 Carry Back with Too Much Bling.

Six of the eight top-weighted horses for the Princess Rooney are or were recently stabled in California. Besides Pussycat Doll, the group consists of Selvatica (119), Indian Flare (118), Maryfield (118), River's Prayer (118), and Shaggy Mane (118). Miss Macy Sue (118) is stabled with trainer Kelly Von Hemel at Prairie Meadows, while Wildcat Bettie B (118) and trainer Larry Jones are based at Delaware Park.

Mach Ride, the top local hopeful for the $500,000 Smile, worked three furlongs in 35.60 seconds and galloped out a half-mile in 48.00 here Monday. Mach Ride was assigned 116 pounds for the Smile, seven fewer than 123-pound highweight Smokey Stover and six fewer than both Fabulous Strike and Diabolical.

Mach Ride, runner-up to Too Much Bling in the 2006 Carry Back, is coming off a 7 1/2-length victory in the Champali Stakes while making his first start wearing blinkers.

Smokey Stover was the first of as many as 30 ship-ins expected for the Summit of Speed program to arrive on the grounds on Saturday evening. Smokey Stover visited the racetrack for the first time for an easy jog shortly after dawn on Monday.

Trainer Eddie Plesa Jr., who is already enjoying a successful summer both locally and at Monmouth Park, said he plans to enter five horses on the card, including Stolen Prayer for the Princess Rooney. Stolen Prayer has won a pair of overnight stakes in her last two starts.

"We're here and have the home court advantage and that's why we're running in the Rooney," Plesa explained. "She couldn't be doing any better and loves the racetrack. It's just a question of whether she's good enough to compete against the top caliber of horses you know are going to ship in for that kind of money."

Entries will be taken for the eight Summit of Speed races on Wednesday.

Sims may have found a new starP


LOUISVILLE, Ky. - Trainer Phil Sims is hoping that after one door was slammed shut on him, another will soon open. Sims lost the star of his Keeneland-based stable, Joe Got Even, in the spring, and he has been looking for another horse to fill those big shoes ever since.

Sims may have found his next "big horse" in Marquee Delivery, a 3-year-old filly who will be one of the favorites when the $50,000 feature is run Wednesday at Churchill Downs. In her last start, just the fourth of her career, Marquee Delivery earned a 96 Beyer Speed Figure when narrowly beaten for the same entry-level allowance conditions that govern the eighth of nine Wednesday races.

"We really liked this filly last fall, and she ran a couple of big races this spring after we brought her back after she had a little shin problem," said Sims. "I'd love to see her step up Wednesday and act like she wants to be a top filly."

Marquee Delivery, a 3-year-old homebred owned by David Jacobs, is one of 12 fillies and mares in the feature, which will be run at 1 1/16 miles. Corey Lanerie has the mount.

Sims and owner Joe Vaudo were devastated this spring when Joe Got Even developed a series of health problems that ultimately led to his euthanization. As the leading 3-year-old at the Turfway Park winter-spring meet, Joe Got Even won the WEBN Stakes and finished third behind Hard Spun in the Lane's End Stakes before finishing fifth in the April 21 Lexington Stakes at Keeneland.

He exited the Lexington with a hock infection and was sent to the Rood and Riddle equine clinic, where he was treated with antibiotics. He then developed colitis, then laminitis, and was euthanized about 10 days after entering the clinic.

"It was real tough on me and the owner," recalled Sims. "Here was a colt that had never been sick or injured. It was kind of like having a friend die in a car accident. We had some nice things mapped out for a horse like that. Now, we're just moving on."

Other contenders in the Wednesday feature include Inside Passage, who was third in the same June 14 race in which Marquee Delivery was second; Serna's Gold, second for this same condition on June 16; and Angels' Share, beaten just a nose at this same level on May 16.