07/05/2004 11:00PM

Plan for Alke still not set after fast drill


MIAMI - Alke worked five furlongs in 1:01.74 seconds at Belmont Park on Tuesday morning, but whether he will run in Saturday's $500,000 Smile Sprint Handicap remained up in the air. The Smile and the $500,000 Princess Rooney Handicap are the richest of the six stakes that make up the $1.75 million Summit of Speed program.

Alke suffered a quarter crack late last week, and his trainer Todd Pletcher said getting in a work on Tuesday was key if his horse had any chance of making the Smile.

"We've got the crack laced up and he seemed to breeze fine," Pletcher said from Belmont on Tuesday morning. "I was very satisfied with the work. We'll make a decision whether to patch it in the morning. It just depends on how much it dries up. If we can get a good patch on it he should be 110 percent for the race although I probably won't make a final decision on whether to send him until Thursday morning."

Alke was made the 3-1 morning-line favorite by Calder linemaker Chuck Streva for the six-furlong, Grade 3 Smile.

Pletcher's contingent of Summit of Speed starters, along with the rest of the New York-based runners heading to south Florida for the six sprint stakes, is scheduled to fly out on Thursday.

Pletcher entered five runners for the Summit of Speed program but could be down to three if Alke doesn't make the trip. He has already declared Forest Danger, who would have been the 3-1 morning-line favorite for the $300,000 Carry Back Stakes.

Racing Secretary Bob Umphrey revealed on Tuesday that Hombre Rapido, a member of the large West Coast contingent scheduled to head here for Saturday's program, will not make the trip. Trainer John Sadler entered Hombre Rapido for the Smile, but informed Umphrey that his horse came down with some heat in his foot after working a half mile in 47.80 seconds at Hollywood Park on Monday.

Alke is one of six Summit of Speed candidates to work on Tuesday. Reforest, who will likely vie for favoritism with the Pletcher-trained Frenchglen in the $300,000 Azalea Stakes, turned in the most spectacular move, going five furlongs in 58.64 seconds at Belmont. In contrast, his stablemate Ice Wynnd Fire, who, with Forest Danger out, figures to go off as a solid favorite in the Carry Back, went a leisurely half mile in 50.52 at Belmont.

Both Reforest and Ice Wynnd Fire are trained by Bobby Frankel.

Champali, among the favorites for the Smile, worked a half-mile in 48.40 at Churchill Downs, while Dazzle Me went an easy half in 52.20 at Churchill in preparation for the Azalea.

There will be an All Stakes Pick Five wager with a guaranteed pool of $500,000 on Saturday's races seven through 11 - the Smile, Princess Rooney, Carry Back, Azalea, and Calder Turf Sprint. A $1 wager is available.

Television coverage of the Summit of Speed will include TVG with a live crew reporting throughout the afternoon and taped highlights Saturday on the Road to the World Thoroughbred Championships program on ESPN2 at 8 p.m. Eastern.