07/22/2005 12:00AM

Still reveling over Island Sand

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Island Sand wins the Del Cap, trainer Larry Jones's first $1 million win.

Trainer Larry Jones said his star filly Island Sand came out of her victory in the $1 million Delaware Handicap in good order and that she will train at Ellis Park until about a week before her next race, the Grade 1 Personal Ensign Handicap on Aug. 26 at Saratoga.

Jones said he has fielded a steady stream of congratulatory calls since Island Sand drew clear to win the Grade 2 Del Cap by 3 3/4 lengths.

"That was my first million-dollar win," said Jones. "I'd won a Grade 1 before," he said, referring to the Acorn last year with Island Sand, "but this one was worth the most. I've had a lot of calls the last few days from friends and such. It's been just great."

Jones, 48, has one of the largest stables at Ellis in Henderson, Ky., and he also has an active string at Prairie Meadows in Iowa. While Island Sand was vanned back to Ellis, Jones headed to Prairie for a few days while his wife, Cindy, helped oversee the Ellis string.

Island Sand had been winless in five starts this year before winning at Delaware. Jones said he was unable to secure air transportation to and from the Del Cap, but Island Sand definitely will be flown to Saratoga.

Roses in May back to work

Roses in May breezed an easy half-mile Tuesday in 49.80 seconds at Churchill Downs, his first workout since he won the $6 million Dubai World Cup on March 26.

Trainer Dale Romans said Roses in May has made steady progress since getting time off following his Dubai win. "He did read good" in his work, said Romans.

Romans said he had initially wanted Roses in May back in time to defend his championship in the Grade 1 Whitney Handicap on Aug. 6, but Romans has now set his sights on the Grade 2, $250,000 Saratoga Breeders' Cup Handicap, a 1 1/4-mile race Aug. 21.

Meanwhile, Romans, who plans to have about 35 horses at the upcoming Saratoga meet, said he "probably won't decide until the last minute" whether Kitten's Joy will be sent to Saratoga or remain at Churchill. Kitten's Joy, the reigning turf champion who in his 4-year-old debut won the July 4 Firecracker Handicap at Churchill, is being pointed to the Aug. 13 Arlington Million.

Some of the Romans horses have already been vanned to Saratoga. Romans said the last group of horses are being flown Monday from Louisville.

Kobiskie one of four at top

After seven of 41 days at the Ellis meet, the top of the jockey standings was unusually crowded. Four riders were tied for the lead with seven wins each: Jesus Castanon, John McKee, Calvin Borel, and apprentice Dane Kobiskie.

Perhaps the most surprising of that group is Kobiskie, a 26-year-old former Marine. Kobiskie already has built considerable momentum, thanks in no small part to the connections of agent Steve Elzey.

Southern Surprise favored in feature

Racing secretary Doug Bredar once again is employing the occasional overnight stakes to supplement the Ellis stakes schedule. One of those races, the $35,000 Withallprobability Stakes, highlights the Sunday card as the 10th of 11 races.

Southern Surprise, a front-running winner of an overnight stakes on the Louisiana Downs main track in her last start, looks like the one to beat among a field of six fillies and mares.