12/27/2008 12:00AM

Notonthesamepage starts over

Email

MIAMI - According to the Beyer Speed Figures, Notonthesamepage was the third-fastest 2-year-old in North America this year. That distinction was earned for the 104 Beyer Speed Figure he was assigned for setting a 4 1/2-furlong track record of 50.12 winning his maiden at Churchill Downs on April 30.

Notonthesamepage's road has been a rocky one ever since that record-setting performance. He came down with a temperature and missed a scheduled start at Saratoga in the Grade 2 Sanford, disappointed just a few days later when upset at 1-9 in Monmouth Park's Tyro, and finished off the board in a pair of Grade 1 contests, including the 1 1/16-mile Breeders' Futurity at Keeneland in his juvenile finale.

Trainer Wesley Ward is confident Notonthesamepage will kick off his 3-year-old season on a more positive note next Saturday, opening day at Gulfstream Park, when he turns the son of Catienus back to six furlongs for the $100,000 Spectacular Bid Stakes.

"After the Tyro and Hopeful I switched his training around trying to get him to route," said Ward. "Then after the Breeders' Futurity he came down with an epiglottis problem, so we brought him down to Florida, got that cleared up, and began training him to sprint again with this race in mind."

Notonthesamepage has had several fast workouts over the past month, including a bullet half-mile in 47 at Gulfstream on Dec. 22.

"He worked unbelievable the other day," said Ward. "I got him in 46 and change, and he did it with speed to spare. I'd never say he can't get beat in this race - you can always get beat in any race - but he's going to be really tough the way he's doing right now."

Notonthesamepage is one of 22 horses Ward has stabled at Gulfstream. He also has several more bedded down across town at Calder.

"I'd really like to stay year round in Florida. My family is here and I live right out there," Ward said while standing in the Gulfstream Park grandstand and pointing in the general direction of the half-mile pole. "Unfortunately I just can't do it right now the way purses are down here in the summer."

Notonthesamepage's competition in the Spectacular Bid is likely to include the fastest 2-year-old in the country this year according to the Beyer boys. He is the Calder-based You Luckie Mann, who posted the fastest Beyer Speed Figure of any 2-year-old in North America, a 107 for his victory in an overnight stakes at Calder on Oct. 18.

Blinkers did the trick

Fulfilling, who has registered a pair of victories and a second since being equipped with blinkers earlier this fall, will be among the choices in Monday's $22,400 optional-claiming feature at Calder. Fulfilling, a daughter of Aldebaran trained by Phil Gleaves, will face a promising field of 2-year-old fillies on the turf that includes Hot Chili Pepper, Innovative, Sweetsaintomine, and Cumana.

* Dr. A.C. Colando, whose involvement in horse racing dated back more than 70 years, died Saturday following a short illness at the age of 86. Colando began his affiliation with horse racing as a high school student at Yonkers Raceway and continued through the years as an owner, trainer and practicing veterinarian on the Maryland, New Jersey and Florida circuits.