02/13/2009 12:00AM

This Ones for Phil stays focused for Fountain

Email

HALLANDALE BEACH, Fla. - The Grade 2 Fountain of Youth on Feb. 28 is shaping up as the strongest 3-year-old prep of the winter, and from the looks of things This Ones for Phil is shaping up as a formidable opponent for any of the bevy of Kentucky Derby hopefuls considering the one-mile race at Gulfstream Park.

This Ones for Phil created a stir, both on the racetrack and in the media, with his sensational 2 1/4-length victory in the Sunshine Millions Dash on Jan. 24. The performance immediately earned him a 117 Beyer Speed Figure, a number which was subsequently reduced to 116, and a spot in the top 10 in the opening edition of Daily Racing Form's Derby Watch.

This Ones for Phil had his second work since the Sunshine Millions here Friday, going an easy five furlongs in 1:00.43 with a final quarter-mile in 23.91 seconds. This Ones for Phil, as always, worked without the blinkers he wears when he races.

"I'm very happy where he's at," said trainer Rick Dutrow. "Even happier with him now than before his last race. He's right on target. I'm using this race to find out where to go next. If he runs big again, I wouldn't want to take him off this track, so we'd likely go right to the Florida Derby. I'm a horse-for-the-course kind of guy. It looks like the race should set up good for horses who want to come off the pace, and the way he ran last time, I don't think a one-turn mile should be any problem."

Dutrow also confirmed that he's targeting Aqueduct's Wood Memorial as the next stop for Danger to Society, another of his Derby candidates, who joined his barn just 48 hours after his disappointing performance as the favorite in the Grade 3 Holy Bull.

"I'm aiming for the Wood and already have Albarado lined up," said Dutrow, referring to jockey Robby Albarado. "But everything is still up in the air. We've got to make sure he's all right. I don't want to press him into a spot just to run him. Time is on our side. Right now we just have to sit, relax, and let the horse come to you. If he does, I think he'll run big in a race like that."

Dutrow said he still cannot put a finger on why Danger to Society, who entered the Holy Bull undefeated, turned in such a dull effort in his stakes debut.

"I haven't had him long enough and don't know him well enough to say for certain," said Dutrow. "All I do know is that he didn't come out of the race a happy horse, and we have plenty to do to try to make him happy again."

Break Water Edison breezes five furlongs

Break Water Edison, like Danger to Society, is coming off a disappointing 3-year-old debut. He finished sixth in the seven-furlong, Grade 2 Hutcheson on Jan. 30. The winner of the Gradeo3 Nashua in his 2-year-old finale, Break Water Edison worked back for the first time here Thursday, going five furlongs in 1:00 in company with older stablemate Freedom Bay. The pair completed their final furlong in 11.54.

"He looks well, he's trained well. He just didn't run well," said trainer John Kimmel. "And I thought his breeze was great."

Break Water Edison drew the rail for the Hutcheson, the same post he had the only other times he finished off the board in the Grade 1 Champagne and Hopeful stakes.

He will attempt to rebound in the Fountain of Youth, and like Dutrow with This Ones for Phil, Kimmel is looking for a fast pace.

"There's a lot of speed in the field, and the pace scenario should be pretty good," said Kimmel. "The main thing I want to see is for him to keep his focus, finish up, and stay tuned to what we're trying to do."

Harlem Rocker will rest until summer

Trainer Todd Pletcher said Harlem Rocker, winner of the Grade 1 Cigar Mile in his 2008 finale, has been sent home to owner Frank Stronach's Adena Springs Farm in Ocala, Fla., and will miss the first half of his 2009 campaign.

Harlem Rocker was scheduled to open the season in the Grade 1 Donn Handicap but was forced to bypass the race due to illness.

"He got very sick on us, lost a lot of weight, and just didn't come back as quick as he needed," Pletcher said. "So we felt the best thing to do was to give him time, pick back up on our way to New York in March or April, and point for a summer campaign."

Pletcher also said he opted to pass Saturday's Sam F. Davis Stakes at Tampa Bay Downs with Obligingly and will aim instead for the March 7 Gotham at Aqueduct. Obligingly finished third behind Theregoesjojo and Quality Road in his 3-year-old debut here Jan. 10 after earning a 100 Beyer winning his maiden at Calder.

"The Sam Davis was coming up very competitive, and by going to the Gotham it gives up a little extra time," said Pletcher.

Castellano out with arm fracture

Jockey Javier Castellano will be sidelined for at least the next 10 days recuperating from injuries sustained in a nasty spill here two weeks ago.

"Originally, Javier's X-rays were all negative, and all he was dealing with was a little body soreness," said Castellano's agent, Mike Kelly. "He took a couple of days off then started riding again, but when the body soreness continued, Javier went back to the doctor for an MRI which revealed a tiny fracture in the top of his right arm."

Kelly said the injury will not require surgery. Castellano will return to the doctor for further evaluation on Feb. 24.

"Hopefully he'll get a green light to return to riding at that time," said Kelly.

Habaya returns in Coconut Grove

Habaya, winner of the Grade 3 Miesque at Hollywood Park in her last start at 2, heads a full field of 14 3-year-old fillies entered for Sunday's $125,000 Coconut Grove Stakes.

Habaya, a daughter of Storm Cat, has captured 2 of 3 career starts, her lone defeat coming at the hands of Grade 1 winner Laragh in Keeneland's Jessamine Stakes.

Oilgonewile has won her last two races for trainer Joseph Calascibetta. She led throughout to upset the Georgia Thoroughbred Breeders' Debutante to close out her 2008 campaign, and used similar tactics when she returned to post an even more surprising victory at odds of 22-1 in the Sweetest Chant Stakes here last month.

Other contenders in the 1 1/16-mile Coconut Grove include Fast Tigress, Just Livin a Dream, Exe, and Weekend Strike.