01/27/2006 1:00AM

Oaklawn stakes likely option for Pool Land


OZONE PARK, N.Y. - After three convincing wins in New York against suspect company to begin her career, Pool Land could be headed to Oaklawn Park to make her graded stakes debut in the Grade 3, $175,000 Azeri Breeders' Cup on March 11. If she runs in that spot, it is possible she would meet Round Pond, winner of last summer's Grade 1 Acorn.

Pool Land, a 4-year-old daughter of Silver Deputy trained by Todd Pletcher, made it 3 for 3 with a seven-length victory in last Sunday's Summer Colony Stakes here. Her three wins have come by a combined margin of 17 3/4 lengths.

While Pool Land is still in New York, she is expected to ship to Pletcher's Palm Meadows stable in the near future.

"The plans are for her to come down here to Florida and we'll keep an eye on the Oaklawn series,'' Pletcher said from Florida. "If she were to run well [in the Azeri] we'd go back for the Apple Blossom.''

The Grade 1 Apple Blossom is scheduled for April 8.

Pool Land has shown to be an adequate second-stringer for Pletcher and owner Eugene Melnyk, who also are the connections behind Indian Vale, a multiple-stakes-winning mare. Pletcher said Indian Vale would make her seasonal debut in the spring.

Pool Land won her debut going 6 1/2 furlongs over Aqueduct's main track on Nov. 26. She came back to win an allowance race on Dec. 18 over the inner track before taking the Summer Colony, a listed stakes.

"It seems like even though she's 3 for 3 she's pretty much untested,'' Pletcher said. "She won those races fairly easily. The number of horses that come out and win their first three starts is very, very low. It obviously takes a very talented horse to do that. She's won short to two turns with no problem. She couldn't be any more professional than what she's done.''

Attila's Storm could return in August

The connections of Attila's Storm are hopeful their talented sprinter could make it back to the races by the end of August, stable manager John Destefano said.

Attila's Storm had two screws surgically inserted to repair a condylar fracture in his left hind cannon bone on Monday at the Alamo Pintado Equine Clinic in Los Olivos, Calif. Attila's Storm suffered the injury while running third in last Saturday's Palos Verdes at Santa Anita.

According to Destefano, Attila's Storm is still at that clinic, but will shortly be moved to a nearby farm that owner Barry Schwartz uses for horses that need time off. He will stay at that farm for 60 days before returning to the East Coast. Destefano is hopeful that Attila's Storm, fourth in last year's Breeders' Cup Sprint, could return to training in early summer.

"Every vet I talked to said that that is an injury that has a remarkable recovery rate,'' said Destefano, who serves as racing manager for Ed Wachtel and Schwartz. "One vet said to me if the horse was meant to win you $1 million this shouldn't prevent him from making you $1 million.''

Destefano said that "if everything goes well we should see him make the races by the end of August.''

Country Be Gold retired

Country Be Gold, winner of the Grade 3 Aqueduct Handicap in 2005, has been retired from racing, trainer Steve Kappes said Friday. He will stand at stud at J & L Farm in Winnewood, Okla.

Country Be Gold, a son of Summer Squall, won 11 of 59 starts in his career and banked $818,691. He began his career in the barn of Stanley Hough, but was sold for $150,000 to Barry Seinfeld and Elizabeth Dodson. He retired as the property of Richard Ribiero.

In addition to winning the Aqueduct, Country Be Gold won the Kelso and Owner's Day handicaps in 2003 at Delaware Park. He finished second in the Grade 2 Brooklyn Handicap in 2002 and was third behind Aptitude in the Grade 1 Jockey Club Gold Cup in 2001.

"We did good with him,'' Kappes said. "He was a hard horse for a lot of jockeys to ride. You had to really rate this guy.''

* Strummer, four-length winner of the Jimmy Winkfield Stakes on Jan. 16, will make his next start in the $65,000 Fred "Cappy'' Capossela Stakes on Feb. 18, trainer Tom Bush confirmed.

* Achilles of Troy, the 14-length winner of the Count Fleet Stakes on Jan. 7, worked five furlongs in 1:03.52 on Wednesday. He remains on target for the Whirlaway Stakes here on Feb. 11.