04/04/2005 11:00PM

Stakes players get in works for Saturday


OZONE PARK, N.Y. - Several horses scheduled to see stakes action this Saturday put in workouts Tuesday morning.

Galloping Grocer, who will bypass the Illinois Derby and remain in New York for the Wood Memorial, breezed a half-mile in 48.55 seconds on the training track at Belmont Park, the seventh-fastest of 38 workouts at the distance.

Rikman, a Wood nominee coming off an entry-level allowance win at 1 1/8 miles on Aqueduct's main track, also worked on the training track at Belmont. He went five furlongs in 1:00.14, the fourth-fastest of 19 at the distance.

On Belmont's main track, Benjamin Baby and Diamond Wildcat, two 3-year-olds under consideration for Saturday's seven-furlong Bay Shore Stakes, each turned in half-mile works. Benjamin Baby, third in the Fred Capossela Stakes last out, went in 48.12. Diamond Wildcat, winner of last month's Horatius Stakes at Laurel, breezed in 48.93.

Meanwhile, trainer Robert Bailes reported that his Wood hopeful, Scrappy T, who has not started since midwinter, came out of Monday's six-furlong workout of 1:13.64 in good order. Rafael Bejarano, who will ride Scrappy T for the first time in the Wood, was aboard for the work.

"He came out of it perfect," Bailes said of Scrappy T, who will go in the Wood off an eight-week layoff. "I caught the last quarter-mile in 23 and change. After seeing him work, I don't think I would change anything. He'll tell us whether he's that good."

Actcellent in form for feature

Thursday's featured eighth race is a third-level allowance with an optional claiming price of $75,000. The one-turn mile attracted a short field of five fillies and mares, from the rail out: After the Tone, Distinctive Kitten, Take Me There, Actcellent, and Bluffie Slew.

has not won in over a year, but appears to be rounding back to form after returning from a 10-month layoff just more than five weeks ago. She has finished in the money three straight times, notably third behind Bank Audit, recent winner of the Grade 2 Distaff Handicap.

After the Tone and Take Me There took turns beating each other on the inner track. After the Tone will be making her second start back from a two-month freshening, and she could be the pacesetter in a matchup that lacks speed. Take Me There, the field's most accomplished miler, was overmatched last time out in the Next Move Handicap.