02/19/2007 1:00AM

Street Sense starts to buckle down


HALLANDALE BEACH, Fla. - After giving Street Sense some time off to mature and several easy works to build a little foundation, trainer Carl Nafzger finally put the pedal down on Sunday morning when working his Eclipse Award winner five furlongs in 1:00.80 at Palm Meadows. The move was the second-fastest at the distance, behind only the 1:00.40 clocking posted by the multiple graded stakes winner Indian Vale.

"This is what we've been building to thus far all winter," said Nafzger. "He really kicked in down the stretch and hit the line good. We've hit every step perfectly with him up to now, but he's still a couple of more works away before he's ready to run. But a work like this gives us more options to consider as we get closer."

Street Sense has not started since his 10-length victory in the Breeders' Cup Juvenile. Nafzger has said all along he's planning to give the son of Street Cry just two preps heading into the Kentucky Derby, the second of which will be the Blue Grass at Keeneland on April 14. Among the races he is considering for Street Sense's 3-year-old debut is the 7 1/2-furlong Hutcheson Stakes here March 3.

Ramazutti, Honey Ryder get call

With his Eclipse Award finalist English Channel entered in an allowance race here on Thursday, trainer Todd Pletcher will call upon two other of his long-distance specialists, Ramazutti and Honey Ryder, to carry the load in Saturday's Grade 1 Gulfstream Park Breeders' Cup Turf.

Ramazutti is coming off a 1 1/4-length victory in the Grade 2 Mac Diarmida Handicap earlier in the session. Honey Ryder has not started since finishing third in the Breeders' Cup Filly and Mare Turf.

"We're considering sending her to Dubai to race against the males, but before we do that I want to see how she competes against the males over here in a Grade 1 race," Pletcher said, when asked for his reasoning behind running Honey Ryder against the boys on Saturday. "She's already a Grade 1 winner, she's run well over this course in the past, and she will get a break in the weights against males. This way we'll see where we stand with her."

Pletcher also said he's looking for an improved performance in the Grade 2 Fountain of Youth from Scat Daddy following his third-place finish behind Nobiz Like Shobiz in the Holy Bull Stakes on Feb. 3.

"He wasn't in great position; he was kind of stuck inside in the Holy Bull," said Pletcher. "And he wasn't fully cranked for his first start. We've faced Nobiz Like Shobiz twice thus far and we're one and one. So it should be interesting to see what happens the third time."

Invasor gets soft work

Horse of the Year Invasor had his first work since overcoming an eventful trip to win the Grade 1 Donn Handicap here on Feb. 3, going an easy half-mile in 51.80 on Sunday. Invasor is scheduled to make his next start in the Dubai World Cup on March 31.

"We just wanted to get an easy breeze into him," " said Neal McLaughlin, the assistant to his brother, trainer Kiaran McLaughlin. "He wasn't scheduled to breeze for another week, but he'd been training so strongly he was telling us he wanted to work."

Cruz looking good with 3-year-olds

Jockey Manoel Cruz was the riding star here Sunday, winning four races on the card, including both legs of the $154 early daily double with longshots Lucy de Bill ($14.40) and R. C. Indy ($41.20). Cruz's other winners came aboard Looky Yonder and Grand Impact.

Cruz is also the regular rider for three of the top 3-year-olds in the area: Forefathers, Drums of Thunder, and Storm in May.

Forefathers, runner-up in the Swale Stakes, will make his next start in the Hutcheson for trainer Nick Zito. Drums of Thunder, runner-up to Nobiz Like Shobiz in the Holy Bull, will likely get a rematch with that rival and Scat Daddy in the Fountain of Youth. Storm in May, upset winner of the Sunshine Millions Dash, might make his next start in the Grade 3 Tampa Bay Derby on March 17. Both Storm in May and Drums of Thunder are trained by Bill Kaplan.

Corinthian gears up

Corinthian, who dominated Belmont Stakes winner Jazil under allowance conditions in his 2007 debut here on Feb. 8, worked a half-mile in 48.40 at Palm Meadows on Sunday. He is pointing for the Grade 2 Gulfstream Park Handicap on March 3.

"He did it pretty easy for him," trainer Jimmy Jerkens said of Sunday's work. "It's going to be a lot tougher the next time, but he likes the track and the distance shouldn't be a problem."

The Gulfstream Park Handicap is carded at 1 3/16 miles.

Corinthian's baby brother Vitruvius debuted to rave reviews Saturday, turning in a strong effort from the deeper going along the rail to launch his career with a game victory over the more experienced favorite, Fearless Vision, in a seven-furlong maiden allowance dash.

Vitruvius is a son of E Dubai by Multiply, and like Corinthian is owned by Centennial Farm.