10/03/2007 12:00AM

Rematch of Hopeful in Champagne

EmailELMONT, N.Y. - The rematch is set.

Ready's Image, the beaten favorite in last month's Grade 1 Hopeful at Saratoga, has been confirmed as a starter for Saturday's Grade 1 Champagne at Belmont Park, where he will meet Hopeful winner Majestic Warrior.

Todd Pletcher, the trainer of Ready's Image, chose the Champagne over the Lane's End Breeders' Futurity at Keeneland for Ready's Image mainly because Keeneland's Polytrack has typically favored horses coming from off the pace.

"Just going long I think he's going to show some speed, and the track at Keeneland concerns me because it can be biased toward closers," said Pletcher, who sent The Roundhouse to Keeneland for the Breeders' Futurity. "He's here, he's run well here, that was the bottom line."

Ready's Image, a son of More Than Ready, won the Tremont Stakes at Belmont by 7 3/4 lengths here in July.

Pletcher had briefly entertained the idea of training Ready's Image up to the Breeders' Cup Juvenile on Oct. 27 at Monmouth Park.

"I felt like we needed another race to stretch him out to a mile and a sixteenth," Pletcher said, referring to the distance of the Juvenile.

A field of eight is shaping up for the one-mile Champagne. In addition to Majestic Warrior and Ready's Image, likely starters include Anakim, Lantana Mob, Pyro, Silver Edition, War Pass, and Z Humor.

Outside draw pushes Sunday Holiday to Frizette

Trainer Bill Mott called an audible with his juvenile filly Sunday Holiday after she drew post 13 for Friday's Alcibiades Stakes at Keeneland. Mott put her on a plane Wednesday bound for New York, where she will run in Saturday's Grade 1, $400,000 Frizette.

"She drew the 13 post so she's coming out," Mott said. "Would you want to run from the 13 post? Just the number itself is frightening."

Sunday Holiday, a daughter of Sunday Break, finished second in her debut at Saratoga, then came back to win a two-turn maiden race at the Meadowlands by five lengths.

Sunday Holiday won't have to worry about drawing post 13 in the Frizette, because a relatively small field is shaping up for the one-mile race. Indian Blessing, an impressive debut winner for trainer Bob Baffert, is likely to go off as the favorite. Others expected to run include A Little Gem, Armonk, Dill or No Dill, and Sabooh.

Solid cast for Jamaica

Nobiz Like Shobiz will seek his third straight victory on the turf when he meets graded stakes winners Red Giant and Shamdinan in Saturday's Grade 2, $300,000 Jamaica Handicap for 3-year-olds.

Since being transferred to the turf by trainer Barclay Tagg, Nobiz Like Shobiz has won the Grade 2 Hall of Fame Stakes at Saratoga and the Grade 3 Kent Breeders' Cup at Delaware Park. He was assigned co-high weight of 121 pounds, along with Shamdinan, winner of the Grade 1 Secretariat, and Red Giant, winner of the Grade 2 Virginia Derby.

While not known as a Breeders' Cup prep, the Jamaica will serve as a steppingstone to the $3 million Breeders' Cup Turf for Shamdinan, who earned his way into that race by winning the Grade 1 Secretariat at Arlington Park in August. The Secretariat is part of the Breeders' Cup "Win and You're In" Challenge.

Also pointing to the Jamaica, run at 1 1/8 miles, are Adagio, Pays to Dream, and Ambassador.

Daaher sticks with 3-year-olds in Jerome

Daaher, who took his game to a new level when he won a first-level allowance race at Saratoga by 13 3/4 lengths on Travers Day, will jump into graded stakes company in Sunday's Grade 2, $150,000 Jerome Handicap at one mile.

Trainer Kiaran McLaughlin had the options of running in Friday night's $500,000 Meadowlands Cup against older horses or Saturday night's $500,000 Indiana Derby at Hoosier Park. McLaughlin preferred to keep Daaher, a full brother to Spun Sugar, running with the 3-year-olds at his home track.

"The straight 3-year-olds part of it is the reason we're going to the Jerome, and it's a prestigious race, more prestigious than the Indiana Derby," McLaughlin said.

Daaher had won just one of his first four starts before McLaughlin equipped him with blinkers for his last race. He led every step of the way, widening his advantage at every call in covering 1 1/8 miles in 1:49.56. He earned a Beyer Speed Figure of 107.

"We felt like he was better than he was showing," said McLaughlin of Daaher, who finished fourth in the Queen's Plate and third in the Prince of Wales. "We wish we would have put the blinkers on for the Queen's Plate; he could have won it."

Others pointing to the Jerome are Most Distinguished, Owners Manual, Vitruvius, Digger, and Forefathers.

Gomez taken to hospital after spill

Jockey Garrett Gomez was taken to North Shore University Hospital on Wednesday complaining of pain in his lower right back after being thrown from his mount leaving the starting gate in the third race. An MRI and X-rays were negative and he was released, according to Gomez's agent, Ron Anderson, who said the rider was still sore in kidney area.

Gomez was aboard Westmoreland, who stumbled two jumps out of the starting gate, unseating Gomez, who landed on his back on the very firm turf course. Gomez got up, but after being examined at first aid was taken by ambulance to North Shore.

Gomez had to take off his remaining two mounts, including Thru N' Thru, who won the featured eighth race with Javier Castellano up.

Emma Carly tops feature race

Despite having not run in a year, Emma Carly looms the one to beat in Friday's nominal feature, a first-level allowance race on the turf at seven furlongs. It is the only allowance race on a rather dreary nine-race card.

Emma Carly, a daughter of Unbridled's Song, has not been out since last Oct. 14, when she finished second to 21-1 shot Aerocat in a first-level allowance race. Prior to that, Emma Carly won a maiden race by a head over Nunnery, who has since come back to win a stakes race.

Emma Carly's trainer, Bill Mott, has a .290 win average with horses returning from a layoff of six months or more. Stilled and Diamondrella are other contenders in the field.

- additional reporting by Jay Privman