07/08/2002 11:00PM

Smile invaders leg up before trip


MIAMI - Crafty C. T. and Echo Eddie tuned up for Saturday's $400,000 Smile Sprint Handicap at Calder with easy workouts at their home base of Santa Anita on Tuesday. Both horses were scheduled to be flown Wednesday to Miami, where they will join Caller One and Orientate and three others in the six-furlong Smile Sprint. The Smile shares top billing on the $1.4 million Summit of Speed card with the $400,000 Princess Rooney Handicap, a race that features the rematch between Xtra Heat and Gold Mover.

Crafty C. T. breezed a half-mile in 47.40 seconds under regular exercise rider Roxane Loscy Tuesday morning, much to the satisfaction of his trainer, Howard Zucker.

"He blew out perfectly," Zucker said by phone shortly after the work. "He was just cruising. I was worried he'd go a little too fast. I didn't want to see him go in 45 four days before the race, but he usually keeps his head about him and my exercise girl knows him well. In fact, we kind of trained him around her schedule since she just returned from a cruise to Alaska."

Crafty C. T. will be turning back in distance from a mile to six furlongs in the Smile Sprint. He finished third after contesting a torrid pace in the Grade 1 Metropolitan Handicap in his last start.

"I wanted to sharpen his speed, put a little more zip into him, coming off the mile race, so I really let him hop last week," said Zucker, referring to Crafty C. T.'s half-mile work in 45.20 on June 29. "But today he went just the way I wanted."

Jerry Bailey will be aboard Crafty C. T. for the first time on Saturday.

Echo Eddie, who like Crafty C. T. will carry 117 pounds in the Smile Sprint, worked five furlongs in 1:01.20 with exercise rider Rafael Hernandez aboard.

"We were very pleased," said Scott Chaney, assistant to trainer Darrell Vienna who will not return from a trip to Argentina until Friday.

Echo Eddie will be seeking to reverse a tough loss by a head to Caller One in the Dubai Golden Shaheen Stakes on March 23.

"He really ran a huge race in Dubai," said Chaney, who will accompany Echo Eddie to Miami and saddle him in the Smile Sprint. "It was just such a heartbreaker to lose $1.2 million right on the line like that."

Echo Eddie turned in perhaps the worst performance of his career four weeks later when fourth and last in the Valiant Pete Handicap April 19. But he rebounded with a game second-place finish in the Saratoga Handicap at Bay Meadows on June 1.

"He really threw a clunker in when he came back from Dubai, which we just attributed to the effects of the trip," said Chaney. "And we get six pounds from Caller One on Saturday, after racing at even weights in Dubai."

David Flores will be in from California to ride Echo Eddie in the Smile.

A field of seven is shaping up for the Sprint. Along with the four highweights, the field is expected to include the locally based Junior Deputy, Tour of the Cat, and Built Up.