04/29/2004 12:00AM

Sellers opts for speed in Three Chimneys


Lunarpal ran faster, but Goes will have had nine extra days in between starts. Those were the factors jockey Shane Sellers needed to contemplate when choosing his mount for Saturday's $100,000 Three Chimneys Juvenile, in which Lunarpal and Goes, both runaway winners last month at Keeneland, will face the fleet filly Classic Elegance in a five-furlong dash.

Sellers decided he had the need for speed. He sided with , a son of Successful Appeal who sped five furlongs in 51.60 seconds when winning by seven lengths April 18. Goes, a son of Cien Fuegos, won by nine lengths in 52 seconds April 9.

"They're both very talented. I'm very confident leading both of them over," said Steve Asmussen, who trains Lunarpal and Goes. "I gave Shane his choice, and he went with Lunarpal."

Both colts are homebreds owned by Bill Heiligbrodt, but they will race as separate betting interests.

Only seven 2-year-olds entered the Three Chimneys, which last year was won by Limehouse, who later Saturday will run in the Kentucky Derby.

is the main threat to the Asmussen pair. She zipped five furlongs in 51.20 in her debut at Keeneland on April 16 with jockey Jerry Bailey, who is back aboard Saturday. Her trainer, D. Wayne Lukas, has frequently raced fillies with success against colts.

Trainer Todd Pletcher nominated eight horses to the Three Chimneys, but entered only Just as Ready, a More Than Ready colt who will be making his first lifetime start. Just as Ready was bred and is owned by Pletcher's father, J.J.

Gallant Secret was a debut winner at Keeneland on April 4, but in a decidedly slower time than his rivals. His trainer, James Jackson, also entered Thenardier, who was well-beaten at 45-1 in his lone start.

Gallant Gold closed well for third after a poor start in his debut April 15.