11/15/2004 12:00AM

Statebreds take show on road

Four-Footed Fotos
Bluesbdancing, Carlos Montalvo up, wins Saturday's Showtime Deb at Hawthorne to improve her record to three wins in three starts.

CHICAGO - For all but the most hardcore Chicago horsemen, the first of December marks the time to head south for the winter. There are few prizes left at Hawthorne now that the six statebred-restricted stakes of Illinois Day have come and gone.

The Illinois-bred stakes horses ran Saturday. Now they are scattering in the wind, some to Fair Grounds, others to farms for rest, but a few will show up here again. Silver Bid, who bounced back from one of the worst races of his career to win the Lightning Jet Handicap on Saturday, could return next month in an open allowance race.

"He came back super," said trainer Joel Berndt. "There are no immediate plans. There may be a money allowance race late in the meet; there was last year. The main goal is to stay healthy for the Illinois-bred races in the spring."

Humor at Last, an unbeaten 2-year-old, will race again this meet, and his connections are targeting the Jim Edgar Illinois Futurity here Dec. 18. The Jim Edgar is a two-turn race, and Humor at Last ran six furlongs in both of his sharp victories this fall. Trainer Tony Mitchell said he would love to tune up for the Futurity in a second-level route allowance, but the chances of finding such a 2-year-old race at Hawthorne are remote.

"I'm going to be looking in condition books all over," Mitchell said. "There might be something down there at Churchill for him."

Stormy Afternoon, a troubled second to Humor at Last in Saturday's Sun Power, isn't eligible for the Futurity and probably is done racing this year, trainer Hugh Robertson said just after Saturday's race. Humor at Last also will not be challenged next month by Bold Lion, who turned heads with a blowout debut win in an Illinois maiden race Sunday. Trainer Spanky Broussard is taking Bold Lion with him to Fair Grounds, where he'll try open company.

Bluesbdancing perfect after three

Bluesbdancing easily won the Showtime Deb on Saturday, giving her three wins in three starts. "I'm quite sure she's done for this year," said trainer Terrel Gore. "We'd like to see if she can run farther next year."

Home of Stars to Fair Grounds

Home of Stars, who posted a mild upset in the High Alexander, will join trainer Bobby Springer at Fair Grounds next week. Springer said he has no firm plans for Home of Stars, a 4-year-old, but that he wouldn't balk at trying open company in New Orleans.

"At one point, when this horse was a 3-year-old, I thought he was a good enough horse to run with anybody," Springer said.

Formidable Gold takes class drop

You already know that owner Frank Calabrese and trainer Wayne Catalano put horses in spots where they can win. If a horse fails at one level, they will drop it down to the next one.

So it can pay to take special notice when Catalano and Calabrese go the other direction, taking steps to protect a horse from being claimed. Such is the case with Formidable Gold, who was haltered for $35,000 on Aug. 7 at Arlington and makes his first start since then Wednesday in Hawthorne's featured eighth race, a second-level dirt allowance at 1 1/16 miles.

But Formidable Gold has to get past Nkosi Reigns, who had all kinds of trouble when he finished fourth in the slop here about three weeks ago. A length and a neck in front of him that day was Dancefortyniner, another contender in the Wednesday feature.

Catalano has gotten to 14 wins at this meet, one less than leading trainer Steve Asmussen, from whom Formidable Gold was claimed last out. Asmussen starts Oceano in this spot. Formidable Gold lacks consistency, but he does have consistent recent workouts, and at his best he fits in this race.

But the balance tilts toward Nkosi Reigns, who has made five starts and at least performed decently in all of them. Nkosi Reigns won sharply here Sept. 24 and lost all chance with a terrible start in an Oct. 23 allowance. He has tactical speed, the rail, leading rider Chris Emigh - and a good chance to win.