01/21/2008 12:00AM

Showing Up’s drill displeases Tagg


HALLANDALE BEACH, Fla. – Trainer Barclay Tagg has been targeting Sunday’s Grade 3 Appleton Handicap at Gulfstream Park for Showing Up’s return to the races for months. And while he still plans to enter the horse in the $125,000 race, Tagg is slightly hedging his bet.

Showing Up, away from the races since April, worked five furlongs in 1:02 over the Palm Meadows turf course on Monday. While it was a decent work, Tagg said he was hoping it would have been a little faster.

“I think he’s doing real good – I just wasn’t pleased with his work,” Tagg said Monday. “I thought he’d work a little faster than that. It’s hard to tell. I got him a little faster than the clockers, but not fast enough. I wanted to get one good work in him. He had his nice progression of works. Everything has gone very, very well. He’ll probably run anyway.”

Monday’s work was Showing Up’s seventh timed move since he came to south Florida at the end of November. Showing Up has been sidelined since last spring, when he strained a suspensory ligament in his left foreleg training up to the Manhattan Handicap in June.

Coming off a 3-year-old season in which he won the Grade 1 Secretariat and Grade 1 Hollywood Derby, Showing Up raced just once last year, finishing second, beaten a neck, by eventual Breeders’ Cup Mile winner Kip Deville in the Maker’s Mark Mile at Keeneland.

The Appleton is a one-mile race and would be a good stepping-stone for Showing Up to return to the Maker’s Mark in April. If Tagg were to skip the Appleton, he might be hard-pressed to find a suitable spot.

“I don’t want to do anything that will knock him out in his first race back,” Tagg said. “He’s been off nine months. We’ll see how the week goes. He didn’t get tired or anything. I just would have liked to have seen one of the works a little faster.”

Showing Up was made the 122-pound highweight for the Appleton. Among others expected to run are Buffalo Man, Fearless Eagle, Mysterious Peintre, Zann, and possibly Host and Terrific Storm.

Einstein works, Donn likely

Einstein, a Grade 1 winner on turf who looked very good winning his comeback race earlier this month, may switch back to the dirt and make his next start in the Grade 1 Donn Handicap on Feb. 2, trainer Helen Pitts said Monday after Einstein worked five furlongs in 1:01.40 over Gulfstream’s dirt track.

“I want to see what the race looks like,” said Pitts, who acknowledged she was leaning toward the Donn.

The Donn is expected to be led by Daaher, the Cigar Mile winner; A.P. Arrow, the Clark Handicap winner; and Brass Hat, winner of the 2006 Donn.

Pitts said she and the owners of Midnight Cry Stable were seriously contemplating running Einstein on dirt last year after the Dixie Handicap at Pimlico in May. But Einstein got hurt in that race when he had to hurdle a fallen rival and was off the remainder of the year.

“We always wanted to try him back on the dirt,” said Pitts, who added that she was “kind of hoping for an easier spot than the Donn, but we’ll play it by ear. He’s won two starts on dirt, and if it’s wet, look out.”

Both of Einstein’s dirt wins have come in off-the-turf races, including a seven-length score in a second-level allowance race going 1 1/8 miles here on Feb. 4, 2006.

On Jan. 11, Einstein won a one-mile turf race, covering the distance in 1:33.97 and earning a Beyer Speed Figure of 97.

“I think he came out of it very well,” Pitts said. “It takes a lot to take something out of him. He bounced right back and seems good.”

Dreaming of Anna breezes fast

Dreaming of Anna, the 2-year-old filly champion of 2006, worked four furlongs in 46.60 seconds here Saturday morning, the fastest of 32 works at the distance. It was her second breeze of the year. Dreaming of Anna has not raced since finishing second to Bit of Whimsy in the Grade?1 Queen Elizabeth II at Keeneland on Oct. 13.

“She worked good, came out of it good,” trainer Wayne Catalano said.

Catalano said Dreaming of Anna had a little freshening on a Kentucky farm following the Queen Elizabeth and rejoined his stable on Nov. 24. Catalano said he didn’t have any races picked out for Dreaming of Anna, but did say she would stay on the turf for this season.

Prior to her runner-up performance in the Queen Elizabeth, Dreaming of Anna won three consecutive turf stakes, including the Virginia Oaks and Pucker Up.

Keep the Peace targets Forward Gal

Keep the Peace, a 3-year-old filly who has won her first two starts impressively, will be pointed to the Grade 2, $150,000 Forward Gal Stakes here on Feb. 9, trainer Eddie Kenneally said.

Keep the Peace, a New York-bred daughter of Touch Gold, won her debut by four lengths at Churchill Downs, then won a first-level allowance race here on Jan. 9 by seven.

“She’s a really, really nice filly, and we’ll be running against some other nice fillies, but she’s ready,” Kenneally said. “She hasn’t done anything wrong – she’s 2 for 2, won impressively both times. She’s a very special filly.”

Brain and spine injury education

Representatives from the local jockey colony, the Jockeys’ Guild, and Gulfstream Park paid a visit to the Miami Project to Cure Paralysis on Friday to learn about the center’s use of hypothermia to treat patients with acute brain or spinal cord injuries.

It is the process doctors used on the field to treat Buffalo Bills lineman Kevin Everett when he suffered a cervical spine fracture during a game against the Denver Broncos.

Everett, who was paralyzed on the field at the time of the incident, has gradually recovered motor skills in his hands and fingertips and was even able to walk unaided into the Bill locker room to greet his teammates just four months after the accident.

John Velazquez, president of the Jockeys’ Guild, was among those in attendance at Friday’s demonstration.

“The visit was very educational and helped raise our awareness about a treatment that could potentially benefit not only jockeys but anybody else who might suffer some type of spinal trauma while at the racetrack,” said Velazquez. “The procedure basically entails lowering the patient’s body temperature by injecting a hypothermic solution immediately after the accident to localize swelling.”

Gulfstream president and general manager Bill Murphy also attended the demonstration and said he is very interested in having the treatment available for use, if necessary, during racing hours at the track.

“Doctors from the Miami Project will be coming out to the races later this week to evaluate our present emergency systems for handling potential spinal cord injuries,” said Murphy. “From what we’ve learned, it seems the cost of implementing the procedure is minimal. It’s just a matter of having the hypothermic solution on hand and educating the EMTs regarding its use.”

Velazquez said that while the treatment is still in the experimental stages, he would gladly advocate its use in case of a traumatic incident at the track.

“Obviously, nobody can say the treatment is completely preventative in cases regarding spinal cord injuries, and it’s yet to be approved by the FDA,” Velazquez said, referring to the Food and Drug Administration. “Although if I were in a position to need the treatment, given the choice, I’d say yes. If we can save just one rider in the manner doctors helped Kevin Everett, any costs necessary to implement the treatment would be more than worth it.”

Shamdinan works toward Dubai trip

Grade 1 winner Shamdinan, runner-up to English Channel in the Breeders’ Cup Turf, worked a half-mile in 50.40 seconds over the Palm Meadows turf course on Monday.

Trainer Angel Penna Jr. said he’s pointing Shamdinan to the Dubai Sheema Classic at Nad Al Sheba on March 29. If Shamdinan goes, Penna said he’ll also send Chatain for the Godolphin Mile. Chatain won the Grade 3 Hal’s Hope Handicap here earlier this month.

“If we don’t go to Dubai, Chatain will likely come back in the Richter Scale at Gulfstream,” said Penna. That race is set for March 8.

– additional reportingby Mike Welsch