06/01/2005 11:00PM

Scrappy T on Belmont bubble

Trainer Robbie Bailes said he is undecided about whether to run Preakness runner-up Scrappy T in the Belmont Stakes on June 11. If he enters, Bailes said, Ramon Dominguez will ride again.

Robbie Bailes, the trainer of Scrappy T, is agonizing over whether to run Scrappy T in the Belmont Stakes on June 11. On one hand, Bailes believes Scrappy T belongs in a race of that caliber, based on his runner-up performance in the Preakness Stakes on May 21. But Bailes is worried that participating in a 1 1/2-mile race might be too demanding for Scrappy T.

Those are among the factors Bailes will continue to weigh through the weekend. On Thursday, Scrappy T showed that he has retained his sharp recent form with a swift five-furlong drill in 58.40 seconds at Bowie with jockey Art Madrid.

The time was the fastest of four at the distance - a little too fast for Bailes's taste.

"It was a little bit quicker than I wanted," Bailes said on a teleconference Thursday. "But he did it well within himself, if you can go within yourself in 58."

Bailes thought he would have a firm decision on the Belmont by now, but he wants to wait as long as possible before committing.

"I keep pushing everybody back. I keep going back and forth," Bailes said. "The main thing I'm concerned about is whether my horse is at the top of his game. If I don't believe we can win the race and the distance suits him, we'll look for something else. If he's physically ready to go, and we're sure the mile and a half won't hurt him down the road, we'll give it a shot."

Bailes said the other options for Scrappy T include the $500,000 Colonial Turf Cup at Colonial Downs on June 25, and the Grade 2, $150,000 Dwyer Stakes at Belmont Park on July 4. Bailes said that if Scrappy T runs in the Belmont, he will be sent by van from Bowie to Belmont Park on Sunday or Monday.

Scrappy T veered out sharply at the top of the stretch of the Preakness after being struck with a powerful left-handed whip by jockey Ramon Dominguez. Afleet Alex clipped his heels, and nearly fell. Bailes said Dominguez will retain the mount, in part because Scrappy T has had four different riders in his last four races, and he wants someone familiar with Scrappy T.

"We've been switching riders back and forth," Bailes said. "I'd hate to take a chance with another rider. I have a lot of confidence in Ramon. It's unfortunate that what happened happened. Ramon was giving 110 percent in the Preakness. He didn't do anything on purpose. There's been no thoughts at all about switching riders."

It was Dominguez, according to Bailes, who encouraged Bailes to go on to the Belmont with Scrappy T.

"If he had emptied out, if he had nothing left at the wire of the Preakness, I wouldn't even think about this race," Bailes said. "One thing Ramon said to me right after the race was extra distance will not hurt this horse."

In other Belmont developments:

* Pinpoint, the winner of the Sir Barton Stakes, worked six furlongs at Saratoga on Thursday morning for trainer Nick Zito, but the drill was not recorded on the work tab. According to Zito, Pinpoint was timed in 1:15, and went out seven furlongs in 1:28. Exercise rider Maxine Correa was up.

"We did the same kind of things we did with Birdstone," Zito said, referring to last year's Belmont winner, "working him around the turns. Maxine said she was very happy with the work, and I really liked the way he did it, too."

John Velazquez will ride Pinpoint. Rafael Bejarano rides Zito's other Belmont runner, Andromeda's Hero.

* Giacomo, the Kentucky Derby winner, will work again on Sunday at Hollywood Park, and fly to New York on Wednesday, trainer John Shirreffs said.

* A.P. Arrow worked six furlongs Thursday morning in 1:14.60 over a sloppy track at Churchill Downs. The time was the best of three at the distance. D. Wayne Lukas, who trains A.P. Arrow, indicated he is almost certain to run in the Belmont. Lukas said he first needed to speak with owner Michael Paulson, who has been vacationing in Italy. Lukas has yet to line up a rider for A.P. Arrow, who won a maiden race at Churchill Downs last time out in his third lifetime start. Lukas said A.P. Arrow will not work again before the Belmont.

"The horse is just doing so good," said Lukas, whose Kentucky Derby and Preakness runner, Going Wild, was pummeled in the first two legs of the Triple Crown. "We probably should give this a try. It looks like we're getting closer."

- additional reporting by Marty McGee

Belmont contenders

Horses pointing for the 137th Belmont at Belmont Park on June 11.

Afleet AlexT. RitcheyJ. Rose1st, Preakness
Andromeda's HeroN. ZitoR. Bejarano8th, Ky. Derby
A.P. ArrowD. W. LukasUndecided1st, CD maiden
ChekhovP. BianconeG. Stevens4th, Peter Pan
GiacomoJ. ShirreffsM. Smith3rd, Preakness
PinpointN. ZitoJ. Velazquez1st, Sir Barton
ReverberateS. RussoJ. Santos2nd, Peter Pan
Scrappy TR. BailesR. Dominguez2nd, Preakness
Sort It OutB. BaffertUndecided17th, Ky. Derby
Southern AfricaM. PuhichJ. Court1st, LS Derby
WatchmonP. ReynoldsUndecided2nd, Bel alw.