08/24/2004 11:00PM

Seven graded stakes winners in King's Bishop


SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. - An outstanding field, including seven graded stakes winners with combined earnings of nearly $2.2 million, was drawn for Saturday's Grade 1 King's Bishop at Saratoga on the Travers undercard.

The $250,000 King's Bishop, which drew eight 3-year-old males, will be run as race 9 on a 12-race card and is the third leg of the $1 million guaranteed pick four and leg No. 5 in the pick six.

Saturday's $200,000 Fourstardave Handicap and $75,000-added Victory Ride Stakes also were drawn on Wednesday. The pick four comprises those three stakes and the $1 million Travers.

The King's Bishop field includes Bwana Charlie, Pomeroy, and Weigelia, the top three finishers in the Grade 2 Amsterdam run here earlier in the meet. Those three will take on multiple stakes winners Fire Slam and Medallist. Hosco, who won the Grade 3 San Miguel at Santa Anita in January, ships in from California for trainer Doug O'Neill. Saratoga County, who won the Grade 3 Gotham at Aqueduct in March, and Ice Wynnd Fire, eligible for a second-level allowance race, complete the field for the seven-furlong race.

Hosco, who was scheduled to arrive in Saratoga on Wednesday, was delayed a day in Kentucky because of mechanical problems with the airplane that flew him from California.

Hosco hasn't run since finishing last in the WinStar Derby at Sunland Park on March 28. In addition to winning the San Miguel, Hosco finished second to Imperialism in the Grade 2 San Vicente.

"He kind of got sick on us after that, so we turned him out for 45 days," O'Neill said. "Knock wood, he's doing great now."

Cornelio Velasquez, who won the Grade 1 Alabama aboard Society Selection last Saturday, is named on Hosco.

Ten turf males were entered in the Grade 2 Fourstardave. The 1 1/16-mile race is a wide-open affair and features several stakes winners, including Nothing to Lose, Silver Tree, Christine's Outlaw, Royal Spy, and Gulch Appeal. L'Oiseau d'Argent, who set the course record at Saratoga for a mile on the inner turf in an Aug. 5 allowance race, seeks his first stakes win.

Nine 3-year-old fillies were entered in the six-furlong Victory Ride, including stakes winners Smokey Glacken, Feline Story, and Baldomera. Hermione's Magic, Irish Melody, Grey Traffic, and Prospective Saint all appear capable of earning their first stakes win in the Victory Ride.