10/01/2003 12:00AM

Summer Colony will stay for Beldame


ELMONT, N.Y. - Though tempted by the absence of Wild Spirit to run Summer Colony in Sunday's Grade 1 Overbrook Spinster at Keeneland, trainer Mark Hennig said Wednesday that his 5-year-old mare will stay in New York for Saturday's Grade 1, $750,000 Beldame Stakes at Belmont Park.

Hennig said the speed-favoring nature of the Keeneland track would put Summer Colony at a disadvantage against the likes of the front-running Take Charge Lady, who won last year's Spinster.

"That's basically the deciding factor,'' Hennig said. "Ship and have her run her heart out, knowing if you're not within a length or two of the lead traditionally - or at least in the last few years - you've got no chance. I don't need to subject her to that.''

By staying in New York, Summer Colony will face four or five Grade 1 winners over a track where she has not historically performed well.

"True, but I think it will tell us what we need to know - if she's anywhere near the form that she needs to be at to go to California,'' Hennig said, referring to the Breeders' Cup Distaff at Santa Anita on Oct. 25.

Before Sunday, Summer Colony was the only horse to have defeated Azeri, that coming in the La Canada Stakes in February 2002. Summer Colony won three more graded stakes that year before finishing third in the Beldame and last in the Distaff.

Though she did win this year's Grade 3 Molly Pitcher, Summer Colony has been well beaten in her last two starts, the Delaware Handicap and the Personal Ensign Handicap.

Others pointing to the Beldame are Sightseek, Bird Town, Buy the Sport, Misty Sixes, and Passing Shot. Island Fashion is possible, though she also is entered in the Cotillion at Philadelphia Park.

Hennig has two intriguing babies

Hennig will be busy Saturday, as he will also saddle Notorious Rogue in the $500,000 Champagne for 2-year-old colts and Eye Dazzler in the $500,000 Frizette for 2-year-old fillies.

Notorious Rogue is coming off a third-place finish in the Grade 1 Hopeful, where he was beaten 5 1/2 lengths by Silver Wagon, who beat him to a hole between Chapel Royal and Limehouse in the stretch.

"I thought he ran tremendous that day, and I thought he was just unlucky that the hole didn't open in front of him, that the hole opened in front of the other horse first and he ended up moving out and going through the hole after Silver Wagon,'' Hennig said.

Notorious Rogue is a son of Victory Gallop, a Belmont Stakes winner, and Hennig believes his horse will appreciate stretching out.

"I think the more distance that this horse gets, the happier he's going to be,'' Hennig said.

Also pointing to the Champagne are Birdstone, Chapel Royal, Dashboard Drummer, Motivus, Paddington, and Read the Footnotes. Value Plus will be entered in both the Champagne and Breeders' Futurity at Keeneland, and trainer Todd Pletcher will decide where to run after post positions are drawn.

In the Frizette, Hennig will send out Eye Dazzler, who finished third in the Grade 1 Matron behind Marylebone and Lokoya. In the Matron, Eye Dazzler was three wide outside Lokoya and Sisti's Pride when she took a misstep at the three-eighths pole. Jockey David Flores had to snatch her up at the point in which she seemed poised to take the lead.

"We kind of lost our momentum when he did, that because she was surging just as that happened,'' Hennig said.

Saturday, Corey Nakatani will ride Eye Dazzler when she faces America America, Ashado, Daydreaming, Please Take Me Out, Society Selection, and possibly Marylebone.

Plane troubles for Baffert shippers

Cooperation, the beaten favorite in the Del Mar Futurity, will miss Saturday's Champagne after developing colic, a result of a bad plane ride from California.

Cooperation and Victory U. S. A. were both on a Tex Sutton plane Tuesday from California that was forced to make unscheduled stops in Louisiana and Kentucky because of mechanical problems. Both of Baffert's horses spent the night at the trainer's Churchill Downs barn. Victory U. S. A., who could be the favorite in the Frizette, was scheduled to arrive late Wednesday afternoon.

Victory U. S. A. was able to train at Churchill on Wednesday morning before shipping and seemed to handle the shipping trouble okay. Baffert said he left Cooperation at Churchill and if he rebounded quickly, he could be entered in Saturday's Lane's End Breeders' Futurity at Keeneland.

"I didn't want to take any chances of putting him on another plane,'' Baffert said.

No Kelso for Voodoo Dancer

Voodoo Dancer will not run against males in Saturday's $350,000 Kelso Breeders' Cup Handicap. Christophe Clement, who trains the multiple graded stakes winner, said he would make a decision on Thursday if he would run Voodoo Dancer in Sunday's WinStar Galaxy at Keeneland or train her up to the $1 million Breeders' Cup Filly and Mare Turf at Santa Anita on Oct. 25.

Voodoo Dancer recently spent three days at Rood and Riddle equine clinic in Kentucky for treatment for a sinus infection.

Clement will run Rouvres, the runner-up in the Belmont Breeders' Cup Handicap, and Proud Man, who won a stakes at Mountaineer Race Track in his last start, in the Grade 2 Kelso, a mile turf race. Also expected to run is Decarchy, the likely highweight at 118 pounds. Decarchy will be ridden by Jose Santos.

Also expected in the Kelso are Millennium Dragon, North East Bound, Political Attack, Joe's Son Joey, and Pay the Preacher.

Randaroo now in McLaughlin's barn

Randaroo, a graded stakes winner, is among the five horses that Kiaran McLaughlin recently began training for owner Joe Allen. Early in September, McLaughlin, who has been a private trainer for the Maktoum family since 1993, announced he was starting a public stable.

Allen and McLaughlin first met when McLaughlin worked as an assistant to Hall of Fame trainer

D. Wayne Lukas. McLaughlin was working for Lukas when he trained Dynaformer, a graded stakes winner owned by Allen.

"[Allen] and I go way back and are good friends and even owned a horse together," McLaughlin said.

Randaroo, a 3-year-old previously trained by Tony Dutrow in Maryland, won the Grade 3 Valley Stream Stakes by 5 1/4 lengths at Aqueduct last year. Randaroo was nominated to Sunday's $150,000 Gallant Bloom at Belmont but will run instead in Saturday's $150,000 Safely Kept at Pimlico.

McLaughlin, who will split his stable between New York and Florida this winter, said Randaroo looks like a good fit for the winter stakes program at Aqueduct. The other Allen runners that McLaughlin has are Wonder Women, an allowance filly, and a few unraced horses.

Puzzlement recovering from ailment

Puzzlement, who finished third in the Woodward on Sept. 6, became sick after the race and returned to training only earlier this week.

Allen Jerkens, Puzzlement's trainer, said the 4-year-old had an elevated temperature that lingered longer than usual.

"He didn't come right out of it," Jerkens said. "He was on strong antibiotics and lost a lot of training."

If Puzzlement, who won the Saratoga Breeders' Cup Handicap on Aug. 16, continues on a steady training pattern, a possible target is the $100,000-added Stuyvesant Handicap at Aqueduct on Nov. 11.

Jerkens recently took over the training of two stakes winners owned by Martin Schwartz, Bowman's Band and Saint Marden, who were previously trained by Michael Matz. Bowman's Band, a winner of $592,900, was entered in Friday's $400,000 Meadowlands Cup. Saint Marden, who won last year's Discovery Handicap at Aqueduct, isn't ready to run, according to Jerkens, who sent the 4-year-old to Debbie Sutherland's Long Island farm.

Wednesday, Jerkens worked Personal Ensign winner Passing Shot for Saturday's $750,000 Beldame. Passing Shot's official time was 1:16.65 for six furlongs.

- additional reporting by Karen M. Johnson