05/02/2003 12:00AM

Senor Swinger wins different race than planned

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LOUISVILLE, Ky. - Senor Swinger was bought privately in March by prominent owners Bob and Beverly Lewis as a Kentucky Derby hopeful.

He skipped that race after running fifth in the Wood Memorial, but may still turn out to be an important 3-year-old.

Friday, Senor Swinger made his turf debut, scoring a convincing victory in the $121,400 Crown Royal American Turf at Churchill Downs, one of four stakes on the Kentucky Oaks undercard.

"Did you ever think you and I would team up to win a turf stakes?" Baffert asked Bob Lewis shortly after the race. "That was never in our plans."

Well known for their wins in the Kentucky Derby - Silver Charm (1997) and Charismatic (1999) - the Lewises feared their chances to win the Grade 3 American Turf Stakes were gone as they watched Senor Swinger grow restless in the paddock before the race.

"The way he acted up in the paddock and the stall, I didn't think he had any life left," Bob Lewis said.

Once on the racetrack, and with jockey Pat Day aboard, Senor Swinger was better behaved.

Senor Swinger ($8.20) was at the back of the 10-horse field for much of the race, tracking pacesetters LX Commander and Remind, who dueled through fractions of 23.31 and 46.95 seconds.

On the final turn, Senor Swinger moved closer to the front. Day brought Senor Swinger wide and quickly challenged Remind, who offered little resistance. Senor Swinger won by 2 1/2 lengths, finishing 1 1/16 miles on turf in 1:41.38.

"He just exploded and ran fast," Baffert said. "I didn't know what to expect."

Remind, the 2-1 favorite, held second, a length in front of Foufa's Warrior, who was followed by Rapid Proof, Marsh, Hot Hand, Imitation, Californian, LX Commander, and Torre and Zim. Color Me Gone, Moonshine Hall, Ontario, Rahy Vision, and White Cat were scratched.

Aegon Turf Sprint: A 47-1 shocker

It took a stunning performance by the longest shot on the board to prevent trainer Randy Morse from winning his third straight Grade 3 Aegon Turf Sprint.

Fiscally Speaking, dismissed by the bettors at 47-1, wore down the veteran millionaire Morluc in the final strides to win the $115,300 Aegon Turf Sprint by a head. It was one length back to Testify in third. Morluc and Testify won the last two runnings of the Aegon, both for Morse. Another Morse trainee, Mighty Beau, finished fourth on Friday.

"Tough beat,'' Morse said. "Morluc ran a great race coming off the layoff. You couldn't ask a horse to try harder. All three ran great for that matter."

Breaking from post 10, Fiscally Speaking bobbled at the break and then stalked a hot pace from fifth position under Jon Court. He was put to a drive at the five-sixteenths pole, forced six wide turning for home, and persevered through the stretch to just get past Morluc, who had taken the lead in deep stretch. Fiscally Speaking's final time of 56.01 seconds for five furlongs eclipsed the stakes record of 56.09 set by Danjur in 1996.

Trainer Carl Nafzger, who was 4 for 82 on the year entering Friday's card, said he was hoping for a top four finish by Fiscally Speaking. Nafzger believed the gelding would improve off his sixth-place finish in the Shakertown at Keeneland.

"He ran green and only got beat a length and a quarter," said Nafzger, who trains Fiscally Speaking for Janis Whitham. "I told him [Court], if he breaks and he runs his race, he'll run better than he did before. I said 'Jon, take what they give you.' They gave us everything."

Nafzger said he would point Fiscally Speaking, a 4-year-old gelded son of Belong to Me, to either the $100,000 Beck Auto Group Turf Sprint at Lone Star Park on May 26 or the $100,000 Jaipur Handicap at Belmont the same day.

- David Grening

Edgewood: Forest Shadows up in time

Al Stall Jr. is a young trainer who appreciates the history of the game, so when he was contacted to train horses for John Phillips, a descendant of the Galbreath family's Darby Dan Farm, he knew the significance.

"They breed good horses," Stall said after one of those well-bred horses, Forest Shadows, rallied furiously to capture the $113,500 Edgewood Stakes for 3-year-old turf fillies.

Forest Shadows was making her stakes debut. She had won twice previously on turf, her lone loss occurring in her only main-track race, a race that was rained off the turf at Fair Grounds. Stall said he will stick to the turf for now, and believes Forest Shadows will do even better with more distance than the one mile of the Edgewood.

"It's 100-percent grass, and the further the better for her," Stall said.

Forest Shadows just did get up in the final strides to take the Edgewood. She was last of six through the first quarter-mile, had just one horse beaten at the top of the stretch, but closed relentlessly to nail Unbridled Femme in the final yards and win by a neck.

"I had the lean going," Stall said.

Ebony Breeze, the 9-5 favorite, was another neck back in third, with pacesetter Keiai Sakura a half-length farther back in fourth.

Forest Shadows ($9.80), who was ridden by Larry Melancon, was timed in 1:35.35 for one mile on firm turf. She earned $70,370 for the Phillips Racing Partnership, which is headed by John Phillips.

"She's a real trier," Stall said. "She didn't run until this year because she was small. She's got a wonderful pedigree. I'm excited about her long-range."

Forest Shadows, a daughter of Woodman, is out of the Sunshine Forever mare Dance of Sunshine.

- Jay Privman

Thursday's stakes

* Final Round ($4.40) earned a berth in the June 7 Acorn Stakes at Belmont with a length victory in the $111,800 La Troienne Stakes for 3-year-old fillies.

* Full Spectrum ($16) and jockey Calvin Borel swept past dueling leaders Senorita Ziggy and Leslie's Love on the outside and won the five-furlong, $113,500 Mamzelle Stakes on the turf by 2 3/4 lengths over Crystal Sea.

* Trebizond ($12.40) ran down pacesetter Naughty Prince to score his first stakes win in the Grade 1, $106,200 Hard Scuffle Steeplechase.