04/17/2008 12:00AM

Prop Me Up leaves farm to run in Cicada

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HALLANDALE BEACH, Fla. - Prop Me Up was on a farm in Ocala, Fla., following her sixth-place finish in the Sunshine Millions Distaff early this winter when trainer Joe Orseno informed the mare's owner, Silly Goose Racing Stable, that the racing office had put up a $75,000 stakes for statebreds that would fit her perfectly on the next-to-last day of the 2008 Gulfstream Park meet.

So Prop Me Up was vanned back to Gulfstream and will run as one of the favorites in Saturday's 1 1/8-mile Cicada, which drew a field of eight Florida-breds, including the Sunshine Millions Distaff runner-up Peach Flambe.

Prop Me Up finished 15 lengths behind reigning Eclispe Award winner Ginger Punch in the Sunshine Millions Distaff. A 6-year-old daughter of Reparations, Prop Me Up won three stakes in 2007, including Monmouth Park's Lady Secret in a field that included Tap Gold and Victory Pool.

Prop Me Up has been training well for the Cicada, with a bullet 59.60-second five-furlong work here last week.

"I have some other horses for the Silly Goose Stable and she came to me after spending about a month in Ocala," explained Orseno. "She had her little aches and pains, but couldn't be training any better right now. She's fit to go about a mile, but I still think she's good enough to beat this field the way she's been doing."

Orseno will also send out Lady Byar, a 6-year-old horse for the course who seems at her best going a mile.

Peach Flambe is the one to catch off her runner-up finish in the Sunshine Millions. Peach Flambe returned next out and finished a tiring fifth behind race-winner Spring Waltz after setting the pace into the stretch in the Grade 2 Rampart on March 9.

The remainder of the Cicada lineup is La Blanqueada, Silversider, Sweet Exchange, Cat Can Do, and Silkily.

Juveniles in the starting gate

Saturday's card will also offer the first local 2-year-old race of the season. A full field of 12 will run in the 2 1/2-furlong dash, which starts out of the chute at the head of the stretch.

Trainer Wesley Ward, known for his prowess with young horses in such races, will send out a pair of uncoupled entrants, including the likely favorite Silver Bayer. A son of Smoke Glacken, Silver Bayer brought $100,000 at the Keeneland September sale and looks like the stronger of the Ward pair, which also includes Boot Cut. Other key contenders might include Pension Fund, Red Nation and J Storm, all of whom have shown fast three-furlong works from the gate.

Walder: Close but no cigar

Peter Walder will fall short of catching Todd Pletcher for the 2008 trainers title, but he could be left thinking "what might have been" after catching seconditis over the past couple of weeks.

Walder has had 7 of his last 9 starters finish second, including Battle Tank and Omaggio in back-to-back races on Thursday. Both runners were defeated by odds-on favorites, Battle Tank by One Dreamy Cat and Omaggio by Divine Master.

Walder did win the opener Thursday with 1-5 favorite Pyramyst, giving him 22 winners for the meet, four fewer than Pletcher, who will win his fifth straight Gulfstream training title. His two other closest pursuers, Wayne Catalano (24) and Nick Zito (22), have left here for the season.