05/23/2002 11:00PM

Redattore out of loaded Met Mile

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ELMONT, N.Y. - Plane troubles have created havoc with the travel plans of several of the California shippers scheduled to run in Monday's $750,000 Metropolitan Handicap at Belmont Park.

After twice having their cross-country flights canceled, Swept Overboard and Grey Memo were confirmed to leave on a cargo flight Friday night from Los Angeles International Airport and arrive in New York around 9:30 Saturday morning. The uncertainty of the travel arrangements prompted trainer Richard Mandella to keep Redattore in California where he will now run in Monday's $500,000 Shoemaker Mile at Hollywood Park on the turf.

"I really wanted to run in the Met, but we sat for three hours in a van last night and I don't see the point on putting him on another milk run," Mandella said Friday. "If I didn't have the Shoemaker, I'd have gotten there by hook or by crook."

The defection of Redattore reduced the Met Mile field to 10, but it remains a very talented field. Grade 1 winners Left Bank, Affirmed Success, Swept Overboard, and Burning Roma will be joined by Grade 2 winners Grey Memo, Crafty C. T., and D'wildcat. Wake at Noon, a multiple Grade 3 winner, and Grade 1-placed horses Aldebaran and Voodoo complete the expected field.

Jorge Chavez, who was scheduled to ride Redattore, will now ride Swept Overboard, trainer Craig Dollase said.

Swept Overboard, who upset Kona Gold to win the Grade 1 Ancient Title Breeders' Cup Handicap last October, has never won beyond six furlongs and has never run at a mile.

"He acts like he'd be able to get the distance," Dollase said. "It's not a real stellar field. There are some nice horses in there, but there are no Mizzen Masts or Point Givens. It's a one-turn mile, and he ran real well in the Breeders' Cup there last year."

Swept Overboard finished fourth in the Breeders' Cup Sprint, beaten a length by Squirtle Squirt. "It's a shame they didn't write the Sprint at 6 1/2 furlongs," Dollase said. "I think I would have gotten the whole thing. I think Jorge will fit the horse."

Grey Memo is coming off the best performance of his career, rallying from 16th-place in the final three furlongs to win the Group 2 Godolphin Mile at Nad Al Sheba Racecourse on March 23.

Trainer Warren Stute said the long trip to Dubai did not seem to adversely affect his horse.

"He ran a big race that day," Stute said. "He's run some other big races prior to that. My horse came back 100 percent. I breezed him two weeks after the race and he's done very, very well. I think certain horses don't ship well no matter if you go to Dubai or go to Miami. Our horse ships very well. The vet in Dubai said 'Stute, your horse is bomb-proof; nothing upsets him.'"

Malabar Gold tops Jaipur field

One California-based horse who had no trouble getting to New York was Malabar Gold, who arrived Wednesday, and will be the starting co-highweight in Monday's Jaipur Handicap, a Grade 3, $100,000 turf race run at seven furlongs.

Malabar Gold is 5 for 7 since trainer Ron Ellis put him on turf, and he's coming off a head victory in the Grade 3 San Simeon Handicap at Santa Anita on April 21. In that race, Malabar Gold displayed the ability to rate off another horse, and showed some heart running down Astonished. Astonished came back to win a money allowance race at Hollywood Park on May 17.

"To me, he should be the favorite in the race," Ellis said Friday from California. "The question is how he'll ship. I've never shipped and run him, and until you do you're never sure. I think he'll be awfully tough if he handles the ship okay. So far so good, they tell me."

At 121 pounds, Malabar Gold will be the co-highweight along with Shibboleth, a Group 3 winner in Europe. Others expected to run include Grangeville (118), Capsized (115), Watchman's Warning (114), French Envoy (113), Treasured Gift (113), and the filly Ing Ing (112). Possibles include Mus-If (118) and Gone Fishin (116).

Compelling World will try Mass Cap

Compelling World, winner of three straight New York-bred races, drilled six furlongs in 1:13.11 Friday morning over Belmont's training track, a move that convinced his connections to run in next Saturday's $500,000 Massachusetts Handicap at Suffolk Downs.

"The instructions were for a nice, easy work, don't ask him to do too much," trainer John Destefano said. "He did that all on his own."

In the Mass Cap, Compelling World will face the likes of Include, Macho Uno, Mongoose, Evening Attire, and possibly John Little and Griffinite.

"It looks like a tough spot, but the horse is training like a real good horse," Destefano said, adding that racing manager Adam Wachtel noted "if he's fourth in there, he'd make a lot more money than winning a two-other than and we can go back in a two-other-than."

Destefano claimed Compelling World for $75,000 last Sept. 22. After getting several months off, Compelling World returned with three straight victories in New York-bred company, including an upset win in a division of the King's Point Handicap at Aqueduct.

"We thought the horse had a lot of talent; he displayed lots of ability," Destefano said. "We had some problems with him that we've put behind him."

Blazing Fury will return in Manhattan

Despite not being able to get a prep race for his gelding, trainer Jimmy Toner said Blazing Fury will make his return to the races in the Grade 1, $400,000 Manhattan Handicap on June 8.

On Thursday, Blazing Fury breezed a strong six furlongs in 1:13.25 over the Belmont turf.

"He's doing beautifully, coming along good," Toner said. "It's a tough place to start, but we've got to get started some place. As well as he's doing, as good as he's been training, I got a lot of confidence."

Toner had hoped to get Blazing Fury started in an allowance race on May 18, but the race was rained off the turf and Toner scratched his horse.

Last year, Blazing Fury, a son of Dynaformer, won the Grade 3 Saranac Handicap. He finished fourth in the Breeders' Cup Turf and finished a troubled third in the Hollywood Turf Cup.