06/24/2005 12:00AM

Nolan's Cat, A.P. Arrow have several options


LOUISVILLE, Ky. - If Nolan's Cat is the most heralded 3-year-old maiden in North America, then A.P. Arrow has to rank highly among all 3-year-olds with first-allowance eligibility.

Both Churchill Downs-based colts ran respectably behind Afleet Alex in the June 11 Belmont Stakes, with Nolan's Cat rallying for third and A.P. Arrow hanging tough to be fifth. Their respective trainers say their options are plentiful.

"We're looking at a few different things," said Dale Romans, who trains Nolan's Cat for Ken and Sarah Ramsey. "We're nominated to the Ohio Derby and the Lexington on the grass at Belmont, or might just wait for a maiden race. I'm playing it by ear."

D. Wayne Lukas, who trains A.P. Arrow for Michael Paulson, said the colt most likely will race next at the Saratoga meet, which starts July 27. A.P. Arrow had his first workout since the Belmont on Wednesday, going a half-mile in 49.20 seconds at Churchill.

"This last work was just for maintenance," said Lukas. "I was pleased with his race in New York, very much so. I think if maybe we'd had another good out in him before then, he might've had a chance to be second. We're looking forward to his next race."

Ellis Park to offer dime superfectas

Ellis Park will be the second Kentucky track to offer 10-cent superfectas when the Henderson, Ky., track opens July 13. Keeneland was the first state track with the wager when it ran its spring meet in April.

Churchill Downs Inc., which owns Ellis, has not had dime supers at its flagship track during the current spring meet, but that is largely because practicality was an overriding issue during Kentucky Derby weekend. Betting on dime supers can be time-consuming and clog mutuel lines.

"We are seriously looking at dime supers for our fall meet, although nothing has been decided," said Churchill vice president John Asher.

Mint Julep duo set for Locust Grove

Delta Princess and Shaconage, the one-two finishers earlier this month here in the Mint Julep Stakes, are the top prospects for the next big filly-mare turf race here, the $150,000 Locust Grove next Saturday. At 1 1/8 miles, the Locust Grove is a sixteenth-mile farther than the Mint Julep.

The Locust Grove will be the first of two stakes to be run here next weekend. The $250,000 Firecracker Handicap, featuring the return of 2004 turf champion Kitten's Joy, ends a six-day race week on Monday, July 4. Other probables for the one-mile Firecracker are America Alive, Cool Conductor, and Senor Swinger.

Churchill will be dark Wednesday, July 6, to make up for racing July 4.

Foley sending pair in feature

Trainer Greg Foley appears to have two solid chances of winning the featured race here Sunday, a second-level allowance at five furlongs on the turf. Foley has entered Sweet Miss El and O'Lee's Story, two of eight fillies and mares entered in the ninth of 10 Sunday races.

Sweet Miss El, with Pat Day to ride, will be making her first start since finishing fifth as one of the favorites in the Bassinet Stakes last September at River Downs. O'Lee's Story, with Eddie Martin Jr. named, is entered off a sharp turf-sprint victory over $35,000 claiming company.

The Sunday feature is directly preceded by a $49,600 entry-level allowance sprint in which trainer Steve Asmussen has a live pair in White Hot Cat and Casting Pearls.

* Sunday ends the two-day Brew 'n Barbecue Fest, an infield event that features live music and draws thousands of local fans. First post is 1:15 p.m. Eastern.