02/12/2002 12:00AM

Speed Hunter joins Fountain of Youth field


HALLANDALE BEACH, Fla. - The field for Saturday's $200,000 Fountain of Youth, the first Grade 1 race of the year for 3-year-olds, had another starter confirmed when trainer Elliott Walden announced that Speed Hunter would run, bringing the field to eight.

Speed Hunter comes off a victory in a first-level allowance race going seven furlongs on Jan. 19. He was ridden in that race by Pat Day, but since Day already had committed to Stephentown for the Fountain of Youth, Walden needed a replacement. On Tuesday, Walden said Rene Douglas would ride Speed Hunter, who has yet to race beyond seven furlongs. The Fountain of Youth is a 1 1/16-mile race.

"I'm hopeful he'll run as well going two turns as he does sprinting," Walden said. "If not, he can go back to sprinting."

In addition to Speed Hunter and Stephentown, the Fountain of Youth field is expected to be Blue Burner (Jerry Bailey riding), Booklet (Jorge Chavez), Grey Beard (Edgar Prado), Harlan's Holiday (Tony D'Amico), Maybry's Boy (John Velazquez), and Political Attack (Mark Guidry).

Harlan's Holiday and Maybry's Boy each worked a half-mile Tuesday morning at Gulfstream. Harlan's Holiday was timed in 47.40 seconds for a work listed as handily, while Maybry's Boy breezed the distance in 48.60 seconds.

Ken McPeek, who trains Harlan's Holiday, also worked Repent a half-mile, in 48.20 seconds, then confirmed that Repent would head to Louisiana for Sunday's Risen Star Stakes at Fair Grounds. Repent left Tuesday afternoon for New Orleans, accompanied by the 3-year-old filly Take Charge Lady, who is running in Saturday's Silverbulletday Stakes at Fair Grounds.

By splitting his top 3-year-old colts in two races on different days at different tracks, McPeek enabled D'Amico to ride both horses. McPeek always had intended to run Repent in the Risen Star, but he had trouble lining up suitable travel arrangements.

"Supposedly there were enough horses to go on the plane, but then they had some cancellations, and that caused the price to rise dramatically," McPeek said. "It's still not going to be cheap, but with Take Charge Lady going, it's costing us as much to send two horses as it would have to just send one."

D'Amico worked both Harlan's Holiday and Repent.

Harlan's Holiday raced last month in the Holy Bull Stakes, in which he finished second, but Repent will be making his first start of the year. "I think he'll run well, but he's still a ways away from his best," McPeek said of Repent.

Maybry's Boy, who won the Spectacular Bid Stakes here Jan. 3, but was fourth as the favorite in the Hutcheson Stakes on Feb. 2, will be trying two turns for the first time. He is making his eighth lifetime start. He worked Tuesday, with exercise rider Adolph "Juice" Krajewski, while in company with the top older mare Cat Cay, who runs in Friday's Grade 3 Shirley Jones Handicap. Maybry's Boy and Cat Cay both were timed in 48.60 seconds.

Asked if he thought Maybry's Boy would do well around two turns, his trainer, Shug McGaughey, replied, "It will be interesting to see."

Stakes fields take shape

In addition to Cat Cay, the $100,000 Shirley Jones, at seven furlongs, is expected to attract Celtic Melody, Irish Fantasy, Raging Fever, Tugger, and Vague Memory.

Raging Fever, trained by Mark Hennig, has been assigned top weight of 120 pounds, two more than Cat Cay. Raging Fever beat Cat Cay by two lengths here last month in the six-furlong First Lady Handicap. They each carried 118 pounds that day.

The Fountain of Youth is one of two Grade 1 stakes on Saturday's card. The other is the Gulfstream Breeders' Cup Handicap, a 1 3/8-mile turf race that is limited to 12 starters - with highweights preferred - but for which more than a dozen could enter.

Despite winning the Tropical Turf Handicap at Calder in December last time out while carrying 118 pounds, Band Is Passing has been assigned 117 pounds, the high weight, for Saturday's race. Others expected to enter include Bahroba, Cetewayo, Dawn of the Condor, Drama Critic, Eltawaasul, Just Listen, Lodge Hill, Monkey Puzzle, Mr. Livingston, Mr. Pleasentfar, Profit Option, Star Over the Bay, Unite's Big Red, and perhaps Generous Rosi and Honor Glide.

Sunday's The Very One Handicap, a 1 3/8-mile grass race for older fillies and mares, is expected to include Chestnut Bird, Delirio, Jennasietta, Lady Dora, Moon Queen, and Queue.

* McGaughey said that D'Coach, who crossed the wire second in Saturday's Whirlaway Stakes at Aqueduct before being disqualified for interference, was heading to Gulfstream Park on Tuesday. "We'll get him down here and decide what to do," McGaughey said. "The Florida Derby is an option."

* Other prominent horses working Tuesday at Gulfstream included Balto Star (four furlongs, 50.80 seconds), Changeintheweather (four furlongs, 50.60), On Parade (four furlongs, 48), Invisible Ink (five furlongs, 1:02.40), Nokoma (five furlongs, 59.60), Smok'n Frolic (five furlongs, 1:01), and Windsor Castle (six furlongs, 1:14.40).