06/16/2009 12:00AM

Summer Bird's summer plans

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Barbara D. Livingston
Summer Bird is slated to make his first start since the Belmont Stakes in the Aug. 2 Haskell at Monmouth.

Summer Bird will likely have his first work since winning the Belmont Stakes on Saturday at Louisiana Downs. The horse is based at the Bossier City, La., track, and his trainer, Tim Ice, tentatively plans to breeze him five furlongs. Summer Bird is to make his next start in the Grade 1, $1 million Haskell at Monmouth Park on Aug. 2.

"He's doing good," Ice said Tuesday. "I may work him this Saturday. He's feeling pretty good, so more than likely he's going to have to work this weekend."

Jockey Carlos Gonzalez, who breezed Summer Bird at Louisiana Downs on May 15, just prior to his being shipped to New York, will be aboard for the work. Kent Desormeaux, who rode Summer Bird in the Belmont, has the mount in the Haskell.

Ice said plans are to breeze Summer Bird twice at home before shipping him to Monmouth on either July 1 or July 2. He took the same approach with Summer Bird for the Belmont Stakes, sending him to New York several weeks in advance of the June 6 race in which he closed for a 2 3/4-length win over Dunkirk and Mine That Bird.

"He'll be able to train over the track up there," Ice said of the early ship to Monmouth, "and hopefully, it will be a little cooler climate than what we're having right now."

Summer Bird's other major summer objective is the Grade 1, $1 million Travers at Saratoga on Aug. 29. The horse races for K.K. and Vilasini Jayaraman, who along with Ice and Gonzalez were in action Saturday at Louisiana Downs. The team won a conditioned claiming race with homebred Restless Star ($14.80).

Hotlantic gets a freshening

Hotlantic is being freshened after picking up her second stakes win in her last three starts Saturday at Louisiana Downs in the $50,000 Top Corsage. She shipped in from Lone Star Park for the race, and was back at her Texas base on Sunday.

"She came out of it good," said Dallas Keen, who trains Hotlantic for Ace Thoroughbreds. "We're going to give her a little break. That's three tough stakes races in 50 days, and she won two of them in that period. She needs a little break now."

On April 25, Hotlantic put up one of the year's best Beyer Figures on turf when she won the $50,000 Irving Distaff at Lone Star with a 103. A race later, she was a close fourth in the Grade 3, $200,000 Ouija Board Distaff at Lone Star that went in course record time. Hotlantic then ran in the Top Corsage, and set a swift pace en route to earning a Beyer of 94.

A next-race target has yet to be determined for Hotlantic, but Keen did not rule out a start in the $75,000 River Cities on the Super Derby undercard at Louisiana Downs on Sept. 19.

Keen's other Louisiana Downs stakes starter last weekend, King Dan, is also being freshened, he said. The horse ran third to Classy Deelites in the $50,000 Barksdale. King Dan is an improving horse who earlier this spring was second in the Grade 3, $300,000 Texas Mile and fourth in the Grade 3, $400,000 Lone Star Park Handicap.

Cush back in overnight ranks

Cush is one of a handful of sprinters returning to the overnight ranks Thursday in the second race, a $30,000 optional claimer at six furlongs. He comes into the race off a runner-up finish in the $50,000 Big Earl at the same distance at Louisiana Downs on May 23.

Cush was the favorite for that race after winning three straight allowances at Fair Grounds and finishing a close sixth in the Grade 3, $150,000 Count Fleet Sprint Handicap at Oaklawn.

He closed for second in the Big Earl, and to win on Thursday will have to reel in Ceasars March. Patrick Valenzuela has the mount on Cush for trainer Andrew Leggio Jr.

Also in the field is Myoldmansam and Time Is Crucial, who were a respective third and fourth in the Big Earl.