05/21/2001 11:00PM

Sir Bear on the road again


MIAMI - Calder Race Course's personal goodwill ambassador, the amazing 8-year-old gelding Sir Bear, is ready to embark on yet another out of town excursion when he travels to Boston for the $500,000 Massachusetts Handicap at Suffolk Downs on June 2.

Sir Bear has earned more than $2.2 million for owners Barbara and Al Smollin over his career, the majority of that money coming on the road.

"He's doing real well right now," trainer Ralph Ziadie said Tuesday. "And I think it's a big advantage for him to train here in the heat and humidity then ship to a cooler place to race. He'll have one more work at Calder before flying to Boston next Tuesday or Wednesday."

Ziadie is in the process of trying to secure the services of Jorge Chavez to ride Sir Bear in the Mass Cap.

A small but select field is currently shaping up for the Mass Cap. Along with Sir Bear, the race is expected to feature Include, recent winner of the Pimlico Special, and Broken Vow, who captured the Ben Ali Handicap on closing day at Keeneland after finishing third behind Sir Bear in the Gulfstream Park Handicap.

In fact, the Gulfstream Park Handicap has turned out to be a key race. Along with Broken Vow, Sir Bear's victims that day also included Gander, a recent allowance winner in New York; Cat's At Home, winner of Aqueduct's Excelsior Breeders' Cup Handicap in his next start; With Anticipation, who captured his next outing in Kentucky, and Duckhorn, hero of last Saturday's Hawthorne Gold Cup.

Homeister earns this title

Rosemary Homeister was standing outside the racing office at Calder on Tuesday morning when trainer Julian Canet walked by and yelled "Hey, leading rider."

"I can't tell you how good it feels to hear that," said Homeister, who put the finishing touches on her first "pure" riding title later that afternoon at Hialeah.

"Officially, I won the Tropical meet in 1992 but that was by default, the year they took it away from [Jesus] Bracho," said Homeister. Bracho was disqualified after it was discovered he was not a legitmate apprentice.

"This one is the first real deal and it's very exciting. I've been working hard and striving to be the best and do the best that I can and it's finally paid off. I finally made it to the top."

Homeister was quick to credit many people for her success, not the least of whom is her agent for the last five years, Bernie Gonzalez.

"I want to thank all the owners and trainers who have had so much confidence in me," said Homeister. "But most of all I want to thank Bernie. He's been like a father and a riding coach to me and along with his wife, Monica, has always been there when I needed someone to keep me focused, confident, and strong."

Homeister, who won all three stakes decided at Hialeah over Kentucky Derby weekend - the Columbiana with Clearly a Queen, the Caribbean on Northend, and the Jasmine aboard Rich Peace - is hoping the momentum she takes from Hialeah will carry her towards another big meet at Calder. She battled Javier Castellano to the final weekend before finishing a close second during the 2000-2001 Tropical at Calder meet.