02/19/2005 1:00AM

Saint Liam, Roses in May prepare for different goals


HALLANDALE BEACH, Fla. - Saint Liam and Roses in May, the first- and second-place finishers in the Grade 1 Donn Handicap here Feb. 5, are both on similar training schedules, although with different objectives in mind. Both breezed five furlongs Saturday, their first workouts since Saint Liam registered a 3 3/4-length victory over Roses in May in the Donn.

With former jockey Angel Cordero Jr. aboard, Roses in May worked five furlongs in 58.90 seconds and galloped out six furlongs in 1:11.52 at Gulfstream about 20 minutes after the first renovation break. Saint Liam worked the same distance in 1:00.20 at Palm Meadows.

"I thought he went really well and galloped out good," said Dale Romans, who trains Roses in May. "Angel has been breezing him, and he said he loved him today, that this was the best work he's had."

Romans has been pointing Roses in May for the $6 million Dubai World Cup since their arrival in south Florida earlier this winter, and with the race just over a month away, it's time to tighten the screws just a bit.

"I slowed him up a little and didn't let him do too much leading up to his first race," Romans said, referring to the Donn. "Now it's time to put him back in the game and sharpen him up with some faster works like this morning."

Roses in May prepared for the Donn at Palm Meadows, but Romans decided to leave him at Gulfstream after the race.

"I think I'll keep him here until he leaves for Dubai," said Romans. "I've had some sick horses at Palm Meadows, and I don't want to take a chance of him catching anything. And the track here is good."

Naturally, Romans was pleased at the news that Saint Liam would likely be skipping the Dubai World Cup and running in the Santa Anita Handicap three weeks earlier.

"Saint Liam is a super horse, and obviously if he doesn't go, it would be better for us," said Romans. "But on the other hand, we're not going to duck anybody either."

Romans said Roses in May is tentatively scheduled to depart for Dubai on March 12.

Saint Liam's connections had also considered making the trip to Dubai after their horse's huge effort in the Donn but are now leaning toward the Santa Anita Handicap on March 5.

Two other members of the Donn Handicap field, Eddington and Seek Gold, also worked five furlongs at Gulfstream on Saturday. Eddington, who finished third in the Donn, was timed in 1:00.80. Seek Gold, a distant fourth in the Donn, worked in 1:01.60.

Zito's Derby prospects work

Trainer Nick Zito worked his two top 3-year-old prospects, Sun King and High Fly, at Palm Meadows on Saturday. Both went five furlongs, Sun King in 1:00.20 and High Fly a tick slower in 1:00.40.

Zito said Sun King is ready to launch his 3-year-old campaign, but remains undecided on when or where High Fly would make his next start.

Exchange Bay steps up in class

Exchange Bay, who showed his fondness for the new turf course when rallying to a 4 1/4-length victory under a $50,000 claiming tag last out on Jan. 16, might be the one to beat despite stepping back into allowance company for Monday's $37,000 feature. The main event is for fillies and mares and will be decided at a mile on the grass.

Exchange Bay earned a career-high 90 Beyer Speed Figure while winning his first race since August 2003. He should benefit from an honest pace, with You Glitter Girl, Kurlicue, Our Exploit, and Gold Vault all expected to show early speed. Of that group, Gold Value will likely go off the favorite after dropping a tough nose decision against better allowance competition when returning from a seven-month vacation Jan. 21.

Daydreaming likely for Sabin

Daydreaming is one of 16 fillies and mares nominated to Saturday's Grade 3, $100,000 Sabin Handicap, and trainer Shug McGaughey has indicated the multiple graded-stakes winner will launch her 4-year-old campaign there.

Among others eyeing the race are trainer Marty Wolfson's pair of Pampered Princess and Adobe Gold, who finished first and second,- a head apart - in the Banshee Breeze Stakes here on Jan. 23.

Saint Stephen sets record

For the second day in a row, the rock-hard turf course yielded a record after Saint Stephen covered 1 1/8 miles in 1:44.69 in Saturday's eighth race. Her final time eclipsed the mark established Friday by Wend.