04/23/2007 11:00PM

Stakes winners may share card again


CHICAGO - The winners of the two graded stakes races last Saturday at Hawthorne could wind up competing on the same racing program again on June 16 at Churchill Downs. Master Command, who won the National Jockey Club Handicap, is being pointed to a start that day in the $750,000 Stephen Foster Handicap, while Kettleoneup, who won the Sixty Sails Handicap, could start the same afternoon in the $300,000 Fleur de Lis Handicap.

Master Command had only three rivals in the NJC Cap, which turned into a virtual match race between him and Sweetnorthernsaint. Master Command basically was geared down late after taking the measure of Sweetnorthernsaint at the top of Hawthorne's stretch run, and trainer Todd Pletcher said Master Command had exited the victory in good physical condition. Master Command now is stabled in Kentucky, but Pletcher said he would wait until after the Kentucky Derby to decide whether Master Command would train up to the Foster in Kentucky, or return to New York and ship back to Churchill for the race.

Kettleoneup, meanwhile, was back at trainer Mike Tomlinson's home base at the Trackside training center in Louisiville at about 1 a.m. Sunday, after vanning home from Hawthorne. Tomlinson said she ate all but a handful of feed upon her arrival, and has cleaned her feed tub at meals since then, an indication to Tomlinson that Kettleonup had come out of her first stakes win in good condition. Tomlinson said Kettleoneup has been nominated to the Louisville Breeders' Cup on May 4 at Churchill, but that he was inclined to wait for the Fleur de Lis.

"That's back in two weeks, and that's kind of quick," Tomlinson said. "I'm not here to say we absolutely will not run, but we're going to try and space this filly's races. I want to have a strong campaign with her this fall."

Emigh ties it up

Chris Emigh finally surged. Emigh, who was leading rider at all three Chicago race meets in 2006, trailed upstart Israel Ocampo in the Hawthorne standings virtually all meet long, but caught him by winning seven races on Sunday and Monday. Emigh's three-win Monday after taking four Sunday tied him with Ocampo at 44 wins with just four racing days left in the Hawthorne meet.

Roger Brueggemann's meet-long lead in the trainer standings has dwindled to four victories, with Brueggemann up 24 to 20 on trainer Mike Reavis, whose barn has gotten hot the last couple weeks.

Robertsons have feature favorite

Trainer Hugh Robertson basically laid low for much of the winter-spring Hawthorne meet, starting only a handful of horses, but Robertson's barn has shown signs of life, and with Arlington just around the corner, he figures to be back at full speed before long.

Robertson's son Mac, who summers at Canterbury Park, spent the winter at Oaklawn with a string of horses, many of whom will be racing for Hugh Robertson in Chicago during the warmer months. And one of this type, Grandmas' Girl, looks like a prohibitive favorite in the featured sixth race on Thursday at Hawthorne.

Grandmas' Girl was one of seven entered in a second-level allowance race at 1 1/16 miles on the main track, and she should be difficult to beat at a short price if her Oaklawn form holds up at Hawthorne. Grandmas' Girl made her first four starts on turf, and won her maiden last summer over the Arlington grass course, but has moved forward since switching to dirt last fall. Second in a Hawthorne entry-level allowance race last Oct. 1, she cleared that condition with an easy win Feb. 18 at Oaklawn, then finished second in two second-level allowance races there. There are at least a couple of front-end sorts entered in Thursday's race, and Grandmas' Girl's stalking style might land her a good trip.

Tiz a Jewel might have the best chance at a mild upset. Trained by Mike Reavis, Tiz a Jewel has made only three starts, winning two of them, and made a successful transition to route racing with a comfortable victory over suspect opposition on April 2 at Hawthorne.

* Fort Prado, who is bound for a start in the May 5 Illinois Owners Stakes at Arlington, worked a half-mile in 48 seconds - third-fastest of 28 works at the distance - on Sunday morning.

* There is no turf race for Illinois-bred Fort Prado here on Saturday's Illinois-bred stakes day, but there are six other dirt races restricted to horses bred in Illinois. Those races will be drawn Thursday, and trainer Christine Janks figures to be a significant player in them. On Saturday, Janks sent top Illinois-bred Pretty Jenny through a sharp five-furlong work. Pretty Jenny was timed in 59.40 seconds, the fastest of 44 works at the distance.