11/05/2007 12:00AM

Robertson has his 'Hero' in feature

EmailLOUISVILLE, Ky. - The locations of the sizable stable that Hugh Robertson has trained for years can be roughly traced in a line, from Canterbury in Minnesota to Arlington and Hawthorne in Chicago to Oaklawn Park in Arkansas.

This fall, however, Robertson diverged from that familiar path, bringing a string of horses to Kentucky for the first time. Robertson, 56, left 50 or so horses in Chicago with his son and longtime assistant, Mac Robertson, 33, while shipping 10 of his higher-class runners last month to Keeneland before recently moving over to the Trackside training center near Churchill Downs. Robertson said a conversation with Ben Huffman, the racing secretary at Keeneland and Churchill, at the Keeneland September yearling sales facilitated the move.

"Usually there aren't a lot of spots for your better horses at Hawthorne," said Robertson, a Nebraska native who has recorded 950 wins since 1976. "I was just going to be at Keeneland, but then Ben said, 'Come on over for the fall meet, it's only a few more weeks,' so I said I would."

Robertson won a race at Keeneland with Kayla Do and a race last week at Churchill with Princess BG, so he will be looking to double his Churchill total when he saddles Celluloid Hero for the Wednesday feature, a $58,500 allowance and optional claimer carded as the ninth of 10 races.

Robertson also has entered Three Hour Nap but said he is most likely to start only Celluloid Hero, a 4-year-old Glitterman gelding with dangerous speed. The Robertson entry accounts for two of eight entrants in the seven-furlong feature.

Celluloid Hero, with Rene Douglas to ride, was beaten just a head in an Oct. 13 overnight stakes at Hawthorne, a race that earned him a Beyer Speed Figure of 97. He has turned in several other big efforts, most notably when he got a Beyer Figure of 101 in winning a June allowance at Arlington.

Among the chief opposition in this classified allowance with a $100,000 claiming option are First Word, a Bobby Frankel-trained gelding seeking his first win in more than eight months, and River City Rebel, a gelding owned in part by Len Friedman of the Ragozin handicapping sheets.