04/12/2006 11:00PM

Repeating would be nice tribute

Email

HALLANDALE BEACH, Fla. - Procreate will be heavily favored to successfully defend his title in Saturday's $50,000 Yankee Affair Stakes at Gulfstream Park. But even a victory will be little consolation to his connections or the friends and family of his longtime trainer, John Zimmerman, who died of an apparent heart attack earlier this week at age 46.

will run under the name of trainer Mike Rogers, a longtime friend of Zimmerman's, in the five-furlong Yankee Affair. He will have only five rivals, including the entry of Lox and Kippers and True Love's Secret. All Hail Stormy, The Nth Degree, and Western Kind round out the field.

Procreate led throughout to score a 5 1/4-length victory in the 2005 Yankee Affair. His final time of 53.60 seconds established not only a five-furlong course record, but a world record for the distance. The win was the third in a row for Procreate.

"The horse was special to John," said Rogers. "He has him ready to run and deserves any credit that's due. I'm not taking over any horses, but I'll be there to do anything I can to help out John's family."

An 8-year-old gelding, Procreate has not started since finishing second to Yankee Wildcat in Pimlico's Mister Diz Stakes on Aug. 20. He had been in training here for most of the winter with Zimmerman, but shows only one recorded work on his tab, a half-mile in 47.20 on March 10.

Eddie King Jr., who rode Procreate to both his wins here last season, will be aboard again on Saturday.

ships down from Tampa off a neck victory over Florida's reigning five-furlong turf queen, Whenthedoveflies, in the Turf Dash Stakes on March 18. The win was the second in three starts for Western Kind since trainer Dwaine Glenn switched him to the grass earlier this winter.

has finished second behind Pisgah in a couple of five-furlong turf dashes here earlier in the session. A son of Stormy Atlantic, All Hail Stormy is graded stakes-placed on dirt and was a stakes winner on grass at 3.

True Loves Secrets finished a well-beaten second in the 2005 Yankee Affair and has captured 2 of 4 grass starts this year, including a $25,000 claiming event here March 23.