12/06/2005 12:00AM

Stakes hopefuls get to work on turf


MIAMI - With four of the next six stakes races at Calder scheduled for the turf, it was no surprise the local grass course was a busy place when it opened for training Monday morning.

A dozen horses worked around the dogs Monday, including five entered for this Saturday's co-featured Cherokee Frolic and Kris S. stakes, a pair of 2-year-old events carded on the grass. The meet's two most important stakes, the Grade 2 W.L. McKnight and Grade 2 La Prevoyante, will be run over the turf the following weekend.

Sir Silver Fox, Can't Beat It, and Allsmarts all worked for the Kris S., a 1 1/16-mile race, and Survicat and Bond Queen worked for the Cherokee Frolic on Monday. Both events drew full fields of 12, with the Kris S. coming up particularly strong.

Sir Silver Fox and Can't Beat It will be trying turf for the first time in the Kris S., and both seemed to handle the surface well Monday.

Sir Silver Fox breezed a half-mile in 49 seconds under regular rider Sebastian Madrid. It was the second time in as many weeks trainer Mike McDonald has trained Sir Silver Fox on the grass. Sir Silver Fox worked five furlongs in 59.40 the previous Monday.

"The way he's worked on the turf, I think the distance will be more of a question than whether he'll handle the surface, since he's by [sprinter] Kelly Kip," said McDonald. "When I worked him on the grass last week he went in 59 and galloped out six furlongs in 1:12 and change, which was faster than some pretty nice horses worked that same morning. The good thing is that he's not built like most of the Kelly Kips. He's not a blocky, Quarter Horse type, but seems to get most of his physical attributes from the Unbridled's Song side of the family."

Sir Silver Fox has shown steady improvement since McDonald took the blinkers off following a poor showing July 31. He is coming off a come-from-behind win on the main track over a good field of maiden allowance rivals Nov. 12. Unfortunately, Sir Silver Fox will have to overcome the extreme outside post.

"Obviously we'd rather have a better post," said McDonald. "Since taking the blinkers off he's really learned to rate quite nicely, and he's also got enough speed to get position, so hopefully he'll be able to get over in a good spot early and make one run. We definitely don't want him up near the lead."

Can't Beat It, a son of Atticus trained by Marty Wolfson, worked a half-mile in company with stablemate Corporate Player in 50.40 around the dogs. Can't Beat It won his maiden by 5 1/4 lengths and more recently finished a troubled third, beaten a neck, under first-level allowance conditions on the main track.

"He should have won his last race, and I'm confident he'll be even better once he gets on the grass," said Wolfson.

Allsmarts, who worked five furlongs in 49.80 on Monday, has already run three times on grass. He won his maiden over the surface on Labor Day and finished sixth after getting bounced around leaving the gate in the Arthur Appleton Juvenile Turf, his stakes debut.

New York invader Yankee Master and the locally based Mr. Silver, both of whom are unbeaten in two starts on grass, top the Kris S. lineup, which also includes Elizabul, trained by Bill Mott; Up an Octave, trained by Todd Pletcher; High Stakes Gamble, who is undefeated; and Gin Rummy King.

R Loyal Man among eight Tuesday workers

Timing workouts was a little more difficult here Tuesday, with dense fog covering the course from dawn until nearly 9 a.m. Only eight horses were officially timed during that period, including R Loyal Man, who went three furlongs in 34.80 and galloped out a half-mile in 47.20.

A 2-year-old trained by Tim Ritvo, R Loyal Man scored a 6 1/4-length win in a first-level allowance in his last start. He is among the nominees for Saturday's six-furlong Inaugural Stakes at Tampa Bay Downs.

"I wasn't sure if I was going to send him to Tampa, but the way he worked this morning, I'm leaning more in that direction," said Ritvo.

Other locally based nominees for the Inaugural include Forest Danz, who is a stakes winner, and Tropical Play, who is undefeated.

White leads standings with 12 wins

Bill White, whose unprecedented run of eight straight Calder training championships ended this summer, is back in his familiar spot atop the standings after the opening 32 days of the Tropical meet. White has saddled 12 winners entering Thursday's card, one more than Eddie Plesa Jr. and Larry Pilotti. Tim Ritvo, who edged Plesa by one victory to capture the 2005 Calder title, and Pletcher round out the top five, with nine wins each.

Pletcher sent out both Norfield and Rectory Hill to popular victories on the turf here Monday and has a 45 percent win rate since arriving in south Florida last month. Chris DeCarlo, who rode Norfield and Rectory Hill, is also off to a quick start, with seven wins from just 27 mounts.