02/20/2008 12:00AM

Shamdinan heads field of 10 for Turf

Email

HALLANDALE BEACH, Fla. - There were few surprises when entries were drawn on Wednesday for Saturday's Grade 1 Gulfstream Park Breeders' Cup Turf. As expected, a field of 10 long-winded turf specialists entered the 1 3/8-mile grass stakes, topped by Shamdinan, runner-up behind Eclipse winner English Channel in the BC Turf.

Shamdinan will break from post 7 in a race that starts in close proximity to the far turn. Dave, who may go off as the second choice in the evenly matched field, drew the rail for his first start since finishing fourth in Calder's Grade 2 W. L. McKnight Handicap on Dec. 19.

Dave is one of two horses trainer Barclay Tagg will run in the Gulfstream Park Turf, along with Cougar Bay. Kiaran McLaughlin also entered a pair, the Grade 1-placed duo of Zann and Stream of Gold.

The remainder of the field consists of Thorn Song, Einstein, Dancing Forever, Palace Episode, and Notable Guest.

Notable Guest is perhaps the most intriguing member of the field. The 7-year-old Notable Guest was graded-stakes-placed in four of his five starts after shipping to the United States from Britain for his 2007 campaign, which ended in late May. Notable Guest was subsequently purchased for $115,000 by Equinox Inc. from owner-breeder Juddmonte Farms at the Keeneland November sale as a future stud prospect in Brazil.

Lady Marlboro may try Rampart

Trainer James Jerkens said he cannot offer any solid reason for scratching Lady Marlboro out of last Sunday's Grade 2 Hurricane Bertie Handicap, other than that it seemed like the right thing to do at the time.

"She was just doing a couple of things around the barn that led me to believe she might not be 100 percent," Jerkens said. "I was a little nervous about her cutting back in distance and just didn't have a good feeling about the race."

Jerkens said he might consider running Lady Marlboro, who dead-heated for first in the Grade 3 Sabin Handicap here earlier in the meet, in the Grade 2 Rampart Handicap on March 9.

Jerkens was also frustrated on Wednesday when a race for Sir Greeley did not fill. Sir Greeley, who finished second here last winter in the Hal's Hope and Deputy Minister handicaps, has not started since finishing a distant fifth in the Grade 1 Cigar Mile.

"He worked fast [Tuesday] and I'm just trying to get a race for him but haven't had much luck getting one to fill," Jerkens said. "He didn't work well before the Cigar Mile and I had considered scratching him before that race, because when he's right this horse will take your breath away in the morning."

When asked if Sir Greeley had taken his breath away when working Tuesday, Jerkens smiled and said, "He was flying."

Several options for Calico Bay

Trainer Bill Kaplan, who took two horses, including fourth-place finisher Imawildandcrazyguy, to the 2007 Kentucky Derby, is hoping to return to Louisville again this spring. Only this year Kaplan could be heading back to Churchill Downs for the Kentucky Oaks with the multiple stakes-winning filly Calico Bay.

Calico Bay, who won Calder's My Dear Girl Stakes at 2, was even more impressive last week when she romped to an eight-length victory in the OBS Championship in Ocala. Now, Kaplan is exploring his options for Calico Bay, a daughter of Three Wonders who is owned by Herb and Ione Elkins.

Kaplan said he intends to nominate her for the Davona Dale here on March 9, "but that might be bringing her back a little quick. I'm also considering the Florida Oaks at Tampa, which is the following week."

The Grade 1 Ashland at Keeneland is another option.

"I might even just train her up to the Ashland and wait to go to Keeneland, because the way she ran in Ocala leads me to believe she is best over artificial surfaces," Kaplan said.

Kaplan was also celebrating here Wednesday after Drums of Thunder led throughout to beat a field of $50,000 claimers in the sixth race. The outing was the first on dirt for Drums of Thunder since his sixth- place finish in the 2007 Fountain of Youth.

* Court Vision blew out an easy half-mile in 51.40 seconds at Payson Park on Wednesday in preparation for his 3-year-old debut in Sunday's Grade 2 Fountain of Youth.

* Tale of Ekati continues to gear up for his 3-year-old bow after working six furlongs in 1:12.20 at Palm Meadows.