04/17/2005 11:00PM

Rockport Harbor hits Kentucky

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Jeff Coady/Coady Photography
Rockport Harbor, Bobby Velez up, clocks in at 1:02.05 in a five-furlong breeze at Oaklawn Park on Saturday morning.

LEXINGTON, Ky. - Rockport Harbor arrived Sunday evening at Keeneland following an uneventful van ride from his winter quarters at Oaklawn Park and is all set to run Saturday in the final major for the 131st Kentucky Derby, the $325,000 Coolmore Lexington Stakes at Keeneland.

Rockport Harbor, owned by Rick Porter's Fox Hill Farm and trained by John Servis, breezed Saturday at Oaklawn, getting five furlongs in 1:02.05. The once-beaten colt was nagged by minor ailments and injuries throughout his winter-spring campaign at Oaklawn, including a hind hoof that took months to heal after being stepped on during his victory in the Remsen in late November.

With Servis yet to arrive, exercise rider and assistant trainer Bobby Velez, who accompanied Rockport Harbor on the trip, said early Monday that the hoof is no longer an issue and that Rockport Harbor should "run great" in the Lexington.

"I get on him every morning, and I know nothing is bothering him," said Velez.

Rockport Harbor, with Stewart Elliott to ride, is expected to be a heavy favorite in the Grade 2 Lexington, which in recent years has evolved into a last-chance stop on the Derby trail. Other probable starters for the 1 1/16-mile Lexington are Going Wild, Sort It Out, Storm Surge, and Actxecutive.

Going Wild, trained by D. Wayne Lukas, had a prerace blowout early Monday at Churchill Downs, going five furlongs in 1:01.20. Actxecutive, trained by Steve Asmussen, breezed a half-mile in 49 seconds.

Also Monday, trainer Bob Baffert confirmed that Pat Valenzuela will be in from Southern California to ride Sort It Out in the Lexington.

Ghostzapper back to work

Ghostzapper, the 2004 Horse of the Year, had his first workout since recuperating from a serious sinus infection, breezing a half-mile in 49.20 seconds Saturday over a fast Churchill track. Regular rider Javier Castellano was aboard.

Ghostzapper had been pointing to the Oaklawn Handicap earlier this month when he was waylaid by the sinus infection. His trainer, Bobby Frankel, said the 5-year-old horse should be back to peak fitness in due time. "He was pretty fit before this thing happened, so it won't take too long," he said.

Ghostzapper, unraced since winning the Oct. 30 Breeders' Cup Classic, is scheduled to run next in the May 30 Metropolitan Handicap at Belmont.

Also Saturday, Frankel sent out Badge of Silver for a six-furlong drill in 1:13.20. Badge of Silver figures to be a huge favorite when he runs Saturday in the National Jockey Club at Hawthorne.

Zito pair breeze together

Besides Frankel's handicap stars, several Derby hopefuls also were out for Saturday work at Churchill.

High Fly and Noble Causeway, the Nick Zito-trained one-two finishers in the April 2 Florida Derby, both breezed an easy half-mile, with High Fly going in 51.60 seconds, one second slower than his stablemate.

Also, Greeley's Galaxy, the Illinois Derby winner, went the same distance in 47.60 seconds.

Three Chimneys Juvenile previewed

Possibly the top two prospects for the $100,000 Three Chimneys Juvenile on Kentucky Derby Day at Churchill were unveiled over the three-day weekend at Keeneland.

Effectual, a Carson City colt owned by a partnership headed by Gainesway Thoroughbreds, won the first race Friday by 3 1/2 lengths. Steve Asmussen is the trainer of Effectual, who pressed the pace before drawing off to finish 4 1/2 furlongs in 52.80 seconds.

Half Ours, an Unbridled's Song colt owned by Aaron and Marie Jones and Barry Schwartz, was even more impressive in the first race Sunday, finishing the same distance in 51.61 seconds. Half Ours, trained by Todd Pletcher, won by 10 3/4 lengths.

The five-furlong Three Chimneys is one of the highlights of the May 7 Derby undercard. Churchill's racing secretary, Doug Bredar, noted recently that the 84 nominations the track received for the Three Chimneys were nearly double what the race attracted last year, when, he said, "our numbers were way off" primarily because of the mare reproductive loss syndrome that substantially reduced the foal crop of 2002.

Ontrack handle a record, too

The 33,621 who converged on Keeneland to establish the track's all-time attendance record also bet more than any crowd to attend a day of racing here.

Including imported simulcasts, the ontrack wagering total was $3,599,648, with a little more than $2.9 million bet on the live product. The previous ontrack record for combined handle was $3,516,621, set three years ago on Blue Grass Day.

The all-sources handle Saturday was $16,667,487, second-highest in history. The record is $17,076,993, set four years ago on Blue Grass Day.

* After the Doubledogdare on Wednesday, the remaining stakes here this week are the $100,000 Forerunner on Thursday, the $150,000 Royal Chase for the Sport of Kings on Friday, the Lexington and $100,000 Stravinsky on Saturday, and the $100,000 Appalachian on Sunday.