08/20/2002 11:00PM

Road Afleet grabs spot in rich Mile


AUBURN, Wash. - Road Afleet, who was defeated by only a nose by Colterkind in the 6 1/2-furlong Governor's Handicap on Aug. 4, will take the 11th of 12 available spots in Sunday's 67th renewal of the Grade 3, $250,000 Longacres Mile at Emerald Downs. Road Afleet's inclusion leaves three horses - Prodigious, Sabertooth, and Sullivanitis - to draw for the final starting berth in the race.

Trainer Dan Markle said he would rather have saved the Washington-bred Road Afleet for the Washington Championship and run Winitall in the Mile, but the weights dictated his choice.

"Road Afleet was weighted at 114 pounds, so he gets in," Markle said. "But Winitall is one of a bunch of them with 113 and he we would have to get lucky to have him win a shake. I'd rather save my good luck for the race."

Winitall will go in the Mile Consolation on Sunday's undercard, along with Jade Green, who was also assigned 113 for the Mile. Trainer Jim Penney withdrew Jade Green in order to increase the chances that Sabertooth would draw in.

"We feel Sabertooth has a better chance of winning the Mile than Jade Green," said assistant trainer Kay Cooper.

The prospective Mile field, with weights and riders, is: Redattore, 123 pounds, Jason Lumpkins up; Moonlight Meeting, 119, Ricky Frazier; Lord Nelson, 118, Frank Fuentes; Mysterious Cat, 117, Kevin Radke; Futural, 116, Russell Baze; Komax, 116, Joe Steiner; Radar Contact, 116, Adalberto Lopez; Jumron Won, 115, no rider assignment; San Nicolas, 115, Francisco Duran; Colterkind, 114, Sandi Gann; Road Afleet, 114, Ben Russell.

Prodigious, Sabertooth, and Sullivanitis, all weighted at 113 pounds, will shake for the final spot in the gate. Luis Jauregui would ride Prodigious, Nate Chaves would ride Sabertooth, and Joey Castro would ride Sullivanitis.

Redattore and Mysterious Cat were scheduled to arrive Thursday by plane from Los Angeles, while Komax was to fly in Friday. All other Mile hopefuls are currently on the grounds.

Mysterious Cat will be accompanied by Budroyale, who won the 1999 Longacres Mile for owner Jeffrey Sengara and trainer Ted West. Budroyale, who is retired, will be paraded before the stands on Mile Day.

Sengara and West believe they have another legitimate Mile contender in Mysterious Cat, a 4-year-old son of Distinctive Cat who just missed catching Bosque Redondo in the Grade 2 San Bernardino Handicap at Santa Anita in April.