10/17/2001 11:00PM

Romans well on his way to title


LEXINGTON, Ky. - Dale Romans has won or tied for training titles at Churchill Downs and Turfway Park, and his late father, Jerry, won titles at Ellis Park.

But neither father nor son ever won a crown at Keeneland, although Dale Romans certainly appears headed toward completing the family grand slam. Romans won two more races Thursday, including the featured $77,924 Fort Springs Stakes, giving him eight victories and a commanding lead 10 days into the 17-day meet.

Handsome Hunk, a 2-year-old Hennessy colt ridden by Craig Perret, won the six-furlong Fort Springs by a length after dueling Truman's Raider into defeat, then holding off a rally from runner-up El Malicia. Truman's Raider faded to third, with Incredible Carson completing the order. Expect was an early scratch.

Handsome Hunk, a homebred owned by the Jacks or Better Farm of Fred Brei, has won twice at the fall meet and three of seven starts overall. He paid $7.40 as third choice after finishing in 1:11.44 over a fast track.

"He's a June foal, so at the Churchill spring meet we gave him a little time," said Romans, who one race earlier Thursday saddled K.C.'s Gift ($34) to upset a $65,000 allowance on turf. "He's grown up and filled out."

The 3-1 exacta paid $18. There was no show or trifecta wagering.

Attendance on a spectacular autumn afternoon was 8,857.

Miss Seffens favored

Miss Seffens, whose 21 career starts have resulted in 11 wins and earnings of nearly $480,000, will be the solid favorite Sunday in the Grade 3, $100,000 Thoroughbred Club of America Stakes.

Miss Seffens has won three of her last four starts, and four of her last six, helping her become one of the most feared filly-mare sprinters in the Midwest. A 4-year-old Dehere filly, Miss Seffens is owned by Kaaren and Hayes Biggs, longtime clients of trainer Steve Wren.

Other probables for the six-furlong TCA are Another, Cat Cay, Crystal Sea, My Brent's Diamond, and Rose Frances.

* Fan-friendly viewing areas at Keeneland and Churchill Downs are filling up quickly for next Saturday, when the entire Breeders' Cup program will be simulcast.

Keeneland officials said seats in all dining rooms had been reserved, although there were some recent cancellations. The situation is similar at Churchill, where the Breeders' Cup will be shown throughout the main plant instead of their usual simulcasting facility, the Sports Spectrum annex.

A four-race live card at Keene-land, highlighted by the $150,000 Fayette Stakes, precedes the simulcasts. First post is 11:15 a.m. Eastern.