04/15/2008 12:00AM

Shes All Eltish to Calder Oaks


HALLANDALE BEACH, Fla. - Shes All Eltish, upset winner of the Grade 2 Bonnie Miss Stakes here earlier in the session, is on her way to the Oaks. Not the Grade 1 Kentucky Oaks, but the Grade 3, $200,000 Calder Oaks, to be decided at 1 1/8 miles over the turf on April 26.

The versatile Shes All Eltish overcame her own rankness around the opening turn to dominate the Bonnie Miss here on March 29, prompting her connections to consider the Kentucky Oaks for her next start. But trainer Marty Wolfson has opted instead to take the more conservative route, using the Calder Oaks as a springboard to the Black-Eyed Susan Stakes at Pimlico on May 16.

"I've just gotten to the point where I'm getting her settled down, so I really don't want to throw her into a situation like she'd encounter at Churchill Downs on Oaks Day," Wolfson explained. "She handles turf as well as dirt, so the race at Calder is a perfect fit and will set her up nicely for the Black-Eyed Susan."

Wolfson also said Golden Spikes is doing nicely since returning from his second-place finish in the Illinois Derby, a race that earned him a career-best 95 Beyer Speed Figure.

"It looks like getting into the Kentucky Derby will be impossible," Wolfson said. "Right now, our options include the Peter Pan, the Lone Star Derby, or even the Preakness. The Peter Pan looks like a perfect fit since it's a mile and one-eighth around one turn, and positioned a week after the Kentucky Derby and a week before the Preakness, it figures to come up a pretty nice spot."

Hey Byrn keeping options open

Trainer Eddie Plesa Jr. also is resigned to the fact that Hey Byrn will, in all likelihood, not make the Derby field despite his victory in Saturday's Grade 3 Holy Bull Stakes. Hey Byrn, who is owned by 86-year-old Bea Oxenberg, is currently 28th on the graded earnings list with $140,000.

"The good thing is that Bea says she understands the situation and won't be disappointed if we don't get in, although obviously she would love nothing more to have a horse in the Derby," Plesa said. "He seems to have come out of the Holy Bull as well as he did the Florida Derby, so we'll just wait and see how things develop over the next couple of weeks. Naturally, we don't want to ship him all the way to Kentucky for nothing, but there is a flight the Monday of Derby week, and if he moves up to 21st or 22nd by that time, we'll probably go. If not, we have several other options to consider, including the Preakness."

Jermaine Bridgmohan back in south Florida

Jockey Jermaine Bridgmohan has returned to south Florida and will ride regularly at Calder this summer. Bridgmohan set a Tropical at Calder record for victories as an apprentice during the 2006-07 meet and came into the 2007 Gulfstream session as one of the hottest riders in the country, only to have all that momentum put on hold when he was injured in a nasty spill here on opening day and again within days after returning to the saddle later that winter.

Bridgmohan, who lost his bug during the fall, had been riding at Aqueduct prior to his arrival here last weekend. He wasted little time making his presence felt, guiding Kissa Melissa to victory for trainer Michael Pino in Sunday's fifth race.

Phantom Income seeks to rebound

Trainer Rick Violette is hoping to resurrect the career of his stakes-winning filly Phantom Income in Thursday's $43,000 allowance feature.

Phantom Income won her career debut by 10 lengths as well as the Meadowlands's NATC Futurity in similarly easy fashion. But she has also finished far back in her four other starts, including both the Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies and the Sunshine Millions Oaks here on Jan. 26.

"We are basically looking to restart her career beginning with this race," Violette explained. "She's been all or nothing in her previous starts. The 'all' performance is what I'm looking for on Thursday."

Phantom Income will face a relatively strong field that includes Orinoquia, who finished third here in the Grade 2 Old Hat Stakes on Jan. 12 and second, beaten a nose by Banga Ridge, four weeks later in the OBS Sprint Championship.

Lia's Luck, runner-up in her last two local appearances, and Honest to Betsy, an allowance winner earlier in the meet, also figure prominently in the main event.

Coa gets winner on return visit

Eibar Coa already had the 2008 riding championship sewn up when he left south Florida to return to New York earlier this month, but he was back in town to visit family Monday and paid for the trip by adding to his win total with a victory aboard Miss Mecke Mouse in the afternoon's third race.

Coa also crossed the finish line first with Gold House in the fifth event but was disqualified after inadvertently striking third-place finisher Max's Beau with his stick in the run through the home stretch.

Coa will conclude the meet with 76 winners, four more than runner-up John Velazquez. The meet ends Sunday.