03/07/2005 12:00AM

Scratched but ready to run

Kansas City Boy, withdrawn from the Fountain of Youth because of an unfavorable post, will ship to New Orleans for Saturday's Louisiana Derby.

HALLANDALE BEACH, Fla. - If trainers Ken McPeek and Rick Violette could have traded post positions, Kansas City Boy and Dearest Mon would have run as scheduled in Saturday's Fountain of Youth Stakes. Instead, McPeek and Violette opted to scratch out of the Grade 2 race and work their Kentucky Derby hopefuls five furlongs in preparation for engagements this coming Saturday.

Kansas City Boy worked a bullet five-eighths in 58.20 seconds at Gulfstream Park on Sunday morning and will make his next start Saturday at Fair Grounds in the Louisiana Derby. Dearest Mon breezed the same distance in an easy 1:00.40 at Palm Meadows on Monday and is pointing for a one-mile allowance race in the condition book here this Saturday.

Kansas City Boy drew post 2 and Dearest Mon post 10 for the 1 1/8-mile Fountain of Youth. McPeek was hoping for an outside starting position for Kansas City Boy, while Violette was looking to draw farther inside due to the short run to the clubhouse turn in nine-furlong races here.

"He worked like a good thing," McPeek said shortly after Kansas City Boy completed his work on Sunday under regular rider Brice Blanc. "I just think my horse is more comfortable running outside horses, and basically we spent $3,000 hoping to draw an outside post in the Fountain of Youth. But we did have the Louisiana Derby as a second option. Hopefully he will draw outside for that one, but if he gets the inside he will still run."

Violette is looking for Dearest Mon to bounce back off a disappointing effort in the Holy Bull Stakes, with the hopes of still making the Florida Derby on April 2. One other possibility is the Tampa Bay Derby, a Grade 3 race on March 19.

"I didn't want to work him too fast this morning, but he finished well, which is what I was looking for," said Violette. "Hopefully, the allowance race will go on Saturday; otherwise we will have to take him to Tampa, and that closes the door on the Florida Derby, which is only two weeks later. He's doing so good right now, I would hate to have to wait two weeks to run."

Violette will be joining McPeek on Saturday in New Orleans, where Violette will run the versatile Wallstreet Scandal in the Louisiana Derby. Wallstreet Scandal worked a half-mile from the three-furlong pole to the seven-furlong marker in 47.35 seconds on Monday.

"I wanted to sharpen him up but not put him too over the top before the race," said Violette.

Wallstreet Scandal is coming off an impressive first-level allowance victory on the turf.

Saint Liam's failure puzzling

Trainer Richard Dutrow Jr. was back at his Palm Meadows barn on Monday, still trying to figure out why Saint Liam did not run his race in the Santa Anita Handicap. Saint Liam, easy winner of the Grade 1 Donn Handicap in his 2005 debut, finished a tiring sixth behind Rock Hard Ten as the even-money favorite.

"I don't know why he ran the way he did, and I won't make any plans for him until I have an answer," said Dutrow. "He went into the race good and came out of the race good, but something's got to be not right for him to have run that way."

Dutrow said Saint Liam will not return to south Florida but instead will be sent directly to New York.

"I'm getting to the point now where I'm going to start getting all my good horses out of here," said Dutrow.

Dutrow does have one more big bullet to fire in Florida, 3-year-old filly Sis City, who makes her next start on March 19 in the Tampa Bay Oaks.

Like Dutrow, jockey Edgar Prado had little explanation for Saint Liam's disappointing showing.

"He warmed up well, but down the backstretch I knew I was in trouble," said Prado. "Especially when he tried to lug in. That's not him. Usually he tends to lug out, if anything."

Prado also received a three-day suspension from the Santa Anita stewards after being disqualified from first aboard Canteen in a maiden special weight race earlier on Saturday's card. Prado will begin serving his days on Wednesday.

Zito pleased by all three runners

Trainer Nick Zito was still basking in the glow of his stable's performance on Saturday, highlighted by High Fly's victory in the Fountain of Youth. Zito also sent out In the Gold and Pies Prospect to second-place finishes in the Grade 2 Bonnie Miss and Gulfstream Park Handicap, respectively.

"It was a great day all around," said Zito. "I salute the filly who beat In the Gold, but the way the cards fell in that race I think she should have won it, and under the circumstances I thought she ran an unbelievable race. The Ashland will be next for her. I know it's going to be tough, but she's a good filly, and I think she might be getting better, too."

The Grade 1 Ashland will be run during opening weekend at Keeneland on April 9.

"I also believe Pies Prospect ran a winning race," Zito said. "He just got beat by a better horse in Eddington, who turned in a fantastic performance."

Richter Scale prospects work

Silver Wagon and Mister Fotis both worked at Calder on Monday in preparation for Saturday's Grade 2 Richter Scale Handicap. Silver Wagon, an impressive allowance winner here earlier in the meet, went five furlongs in 1:03.20, while Mister Fotis, runner-up to Medallist in the Deputy Minister Handicap, went a half in 49.80 seconds.

Lion Tamer will be the starting highweight and favorite under 119 pounds for trainer Todd Pletcher in the seven-furlong Richter Scale.

Pletcher also had two of his turf specialists out for some work Monday in preparation for stakes assignments here this Sunday. Icy Atlantic breezed a half-mile in 49.40 over the Palm Meadows turf course for the $100,000 Canadian Turf Handicap, while River Belle worked five-eighths over the same surface in 1:01.40 for the $100,000 Honey Fox Handicap.