08/16/2001 11:00PM

Red Bullet running next in Woodward


SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. - Red Bullet, the 2000 Preakness winner who won his return off a year layoff, will make his next start in the

Grade 1 Woodward Stakes at Belmont Park on Sept. 8, trainer Joe Orseno confirmed Friday.

Orseno said the decision was reached Friday morning after discussions with owner Frank Stronach and farm manager Danny Vella. Red Bullet was also being considered for next Sunday's Iselin Handicap at Monmouth Par The Woodward figures to come up a tougher spot than the Iselin. Reigning Horse of the Year Tiznow and Belmont horse-for-course Albert the Great are pointing toward the Woodward. Lido Palace, the Whitney winner, is also under consideration for that race. Trainer Bobby Frankel said he would wait until after he watched his other handicap horses, Skimming and Aptitude, run this weekend before finalizing plans for Lido Palace.

Although the competition will be tougher in the Woodward, Orseno said he would prefer not to have to ship Red Bullet while also getting a race over the track on which the Breeders' Cup Classic will be run.

"Our feeling is, this is Red Bullet, he's a champion," Orseno said. "He's doing really well now. We don't feel we have to duck anybody."

On July 28, Red Bullet won a seven-furlong classified allowance race by 1 1/2 lengths at Saratoga. In the interim, he has trained well, according to Orseno. Red Bullet would probably ship back to Belmont before the Saratoga meet ends in order to get his final Woodward breeze at Belmont, Orseno said.

Jerry Bailey, the regular rider of Red Bullet, may have a choice to make for the Woodward. Bailey rode Lido Palace to victory in the Whitney. Bailey said Friday that he would wait until Frankel made a decision on the Woodward before announcing his commitment.

Following the Woodward, Orseno said Red Bullet would have one more race prior to the Breeders' Cup, either in the Kentucky Cup Classic on Sept. 22, the Meadowlands Cup on Sept. 28 or the Jockey Club Gold Cup at Belmont on Oct. 6.

Macho Uno sharp in Pa. Derby drill

Macho Uno, last year's 2-year-old champion who won his 3-year-old debut last month, breezed five furlongs in 59.31 seconds Friday over the Oklahoma training track, the fastest of eight works at the distance by a full second.

Macho Uno, equipped with blinkers and with Jerry Bailey up, worked in company with stablemate Personal Delight who broke off six lengths in front and was timed in 1:00.93.

"I wanted him to have a target to run at and I wanted to see if the blinkers and company would make him more racy," Orseno said. "He was more than willing to sit off that horse and he waited, waited, waited and ran up to that horse, went by him and ran straight to the wire. It was an excellent work over that racetrack."

Macho Uno will make his next start in the $500,000 Pennsylvania Derby on Sept. 3.

Orseno did confirm that Thunder Blitz, the fourth-place finisher in the Kentucky Derby and third-place finisher in the West Virginia Derby last Saturday night, was out of the year after developing a quarter crack in his left front hoof.

Pleasure goes for three-peat

Beautiful Pleasure, who will shoot for her third consecutive Personal Ensign victory when that race is run next Friday, breezed five furlongs in 1:02.13 over the Oklahoma training track on Friday. The move came 10 days after she blitzed five furlongs in 59.40 seconds.

Beautiful Pleasure, the 1999 older filly and mare champion, is 0 for 2 this year, finishing last in the Hempstead at Belmont and fifth in the Go for Wand here. In the Go for Wand, Beautiful Pleasure opened up a 12-length lead before falling apart in the stretch. Still, trainer John Ward was pleased with that effort and her subsequent training.

"She's gotten back up to that level of fitness that we've been looking for," Ward said. "She's kind of rounded herself into shape. Every time we get her to a level of fitness we keep on moving the starting gate on her. She's mentally good right now, I don't think she'll be as fractious as she was last time."

Before the Go for Wand, Beautiful Pleasure was extremely washed out.

"It wasn't so much worrying it was [she was] mad, wanting to get out there and show everybody what she was going to do," Ward said. "She seems pretty good and healthy. You never know until race day. She's had some big gallops over this racetrack which has put a lot of leg under her."

Forest Secrets, the Acorn winner, breezed four furlongs in 52.71 seconds. It was her first breeze since she finished sixth in the Test. She came out of that race with a lung infection.

Mystic Lady headed back to turf

Mystic Lady, who has made a career winning stakes races that have been rained off the turf, is scheduled to return to the turf in Monday's $150,000, Lake Placid Handicap.

A daughter of Thunder Gulch, Mystic Lady's first two wins came on turf before a second-place finish in the Grade 3 Miss Grillo Stakes at Belmont last October. In Florida, she won a stakes at Calder and one at Gulfstream that were scheduled for the turf but rained off to the main track. Hennig then kept her on the dirt, where she won the Grade 2 Fantasy at Oaklawn. She also won the Jersey Derby against colts when that race was moved to the main track.

In her last two starts, Mystic Lady faced fillies on dirt, finishing fifth in the Mother Goose and second in the Delaware Oaks. At Delaware, she was saddled with post 11 and was hung out wide on both turns.

"Through the spring the purses and opportunities were a lot more for a filly like her on the dirt," Hennig said. "She's had a great year, a good career thus far. With a couple breaks here and there she might have made some more money."

Jerry Bailey is scheduled to ride Mystic Lady in the Lake Placid. A full field is expected including Light Dancer, who won a division of the Lake George, Ok To Dance, Silver Tornado, Owsley, Platinum Tiara, Amaretta, Fiddle, Ruff, Snow Dance, Sara's Success, Stop for Schnapps and Dulcito.

Santos eyes Sept. 1 return

Jockey Jose Santos, who broke his wrist in a May 12 spill, hopes he can return to the saddle by Sept. 1, he said Friday.

Santos said the bone in his right wrist has almost completely healed, but he must continue physical therapy.