04/20/2005 11:00PM

Semaphore Man sprint demon


Semaphore Man is the one to beat Saturday, when he faces six other 3-year-olds going six furlongs in the $50,000 Golden Circle Stakes at Prairie Meadows.

Trained by Kelly Von Hemel, Semaphore Man has scored open-length victories in both of his sprint starts, including a debut win over special weight company at six furlongs Feb. 12, when he overcame a slow break to score by 9 1/4 lengths at Oaklawn Park.

Three weeks later, faced older first-condition allowance rivals at one mile. He raced greenly and blew the first turn, finishing third, beaten 6 1/4 lengths.

In his most recent start, Semaphore Man returned to six furlongs and responded by defeating allowance company at Oaklawn by 4 3/4 lengths while in hand March 25.

Tim Doocy, who has ridden Semaphore Man in all three of his starts, has a return call on Saturday. Semaphore Man starts as the 119-pound highweight under the allowance conditions on the Golden Circle.

Hawthorne invader Really Big Boy may be the main threat Saturday. Trained by Jimmy Zook, Really Big Boy has won 2 of his 3 career starts and both his starts this year, rallying from off the pace each time. Most recently, Really Big Boy took on allowance company April 2 and got up in the final strides to score a head victory.

Danish Sukie picks up the mount aboard Really Big Boy for owner Bill Stiritz. The combination of Stiritz, Zook, and Sukie has had success shipping here in the past, winning multiple stakes, including the 2003 Iowa Oaks with Wildwood Royal.

Raving Rocket is one of two stakes winners entered in the Golden Circle. He won the 1 1/16-mile Flag Officer March 12 at Hawthorne for trainer Larry Rivelli.

After his score at Hawthorne, Raving Rocket was shipped to Turfway, where he faded badly after a half-mile and finished last of 10 in the 1 1/16-mile Rushaway March 26.

Raving Rocket recorded a bullet five-furlong work in 1:00 at Hawthorne on April 14. He has a career record of 3-1-0 from 7 starts and leads the field in earnings with $67,350. E.T. Baird has a return call aboard Raving Rocket.