11/20/2006 1:00AM

Summerly going for a big finish


LOUISVILLE, Ky. - There probably is no better time for Summerly to make the final start of her career - and surely there is no better place.

En route to the breeding shed, Summerly will bid farewell to the racetrack Thursday as the highweight and likely favorite in the Grade 2 Falls City Handicap at Churchill Downs, where she earned a measure of racing immortality by winning the 132nd Kentucky Oaks on May 6, 2005.

Since her Oaks triumph, Summerly has been compromised by a series of setbacks and has raced only five times, winning just once. Summerly had been scheduled to run Nov. 4 in the Breeders' Cup Distaff, but of the 15 fillies and mares entered in the race, she was the only one excluded. Having missed the Distaff, trainer Scott Blasi and her new owner, WinStar Farm, are hoping to send her out in a blaze of glory when she breaks from post 2 in a field of eight entered in the $300,000 Falls City.

A victory there would put Summerly over a million dollars in career earnings, "which would be nice," said Elliott Walden, the former trainer who now works as racing manager for WinStar, which bought Summerly for $3.3 million at the recent Fasig-Tipton sales.

Win, lose, or dead heat in the Falls City, Summerly will be retired and will be bred early next year to Distorted Humor, the standout WinStar stallion whose most accomplished offspring is the 2003 Kentucky Derby winner, Funny Cide.

From the rail, this is the Falls City field, with weights and jockeys: Cursora, 114 pounds, Julien Leparoux; Summerly, 120, Shaun Bridgmohan; Ermine, Calvin Borel, 114; Sea Siren, 118, Cornelio Velasquez; Joint Effort, 115, Mark Guidry; Cryptoquip, 115, Robby Albarado; Silmaril, 116, Ryan Fogelsonger; and Sangrita, 115, Rafael Bejarano.

The Falls City begins the final three-day stretch of the 21-day Churchill fall meet. The Grade 1 Clark Handicap is set for Friday, while the Grade 2 Kentucky Jockey Club Stakes and Grade 2 Golden Rod Stakes close out the meet Saturday.

Premium Tap flying in for Clark

Trainer John Kimmel confirmed Monday from New York that Premium Tap was booked to be flown to Louisville on Tuesday and will be the starting highweight in the $500,000 Clark.

Kimmel was extremely pleased with the way Premium Tap worked Saturday at Belmont Park, when he went an untimed half-mile in what Kimmel said he caught "in 47 seconds and change."

"He breezed awesome," Kimmel said.

Kimmel is excited with the presence of ample speed in the 1 1/8-mile Clark, noting that quite a few of the other contenders tend to run on or near the pace. Premium Tap, who most recently finished third behind Invasor and Bernardini in the Nov. 4 Breeders' Cup Classic, has run his best races from several lengths off the pace.

This is the list of prospects for the Clark, for which entries were to be drawn Tuesday: Premium Tap, 122 pounds; Master Command, 120; It's No Joke, 119; Wanderin Boy, 119; Super Frolic, 118; Wild Desert, 118; Andromeda's Hero, 114; Bright One, 115; Wiggins, 114; A.P. Arrow, 113; M B Sea, 113; and Irene's Mon, 111.

Leparoux appealing ban

Jockey Julien Leparoux has filed an appeal of a three-day suspension, enabling him to ride through the end of the Churchill meet.

Leparoux, the nation's leading rider in wins, was penalized after his mount in the fifth race Friday was disqualified from fourth to 12th for a bumping incident in the upper stretch. Leparoux served his first-ever suspension Nov. 9-11.

Kleins on a hot run

The Klein family continued their phenomenal recent run of luck Sunday when Joyjoyjoy ($7.20) won the second race.

"This game's all about streaks," said Richard Klein, who with his parents, Bert and Elaine, leads the Churchill owner standings with eight wins from just 15 starters heading into the final week of action. "We just happen to be on one of those really good streaks right now."

Joyjoyjoy was ridden by Borel, who ended a win drought of more than a week. Borel's previous win had come Nov. 11. After being shut out Nov. 12, he took off two racing days with a sore knee, then was shut out Friday and Saturday before winning for the Kleins on Sunday.

With 22 wins, Borel is hanging onto the lead atop the jockey standings, but the race has tightened. Bridgmohan has 18 wins, followed by Albarado and Bejarano with 16 each.

First starts back don't work out

Neither of the noted layoff horses was able to return successfully Sunday in the featured fourth race, as Private Vow tired to finish third and Clock Stopper faded badly to finish sixth and last behind the victorious Straight Line ($11.80).

Private Vow was making his first start in five months, while Clock Stopper had not raced since April 2005. They were sent away as $2.20-1 co-favorites.

Leparoux was aboard Straight Line for 82-year-old trainer Harvey Vanier, who co-owns the 4-year-old colt with Cartwright Thoroughbreds.

Trackside horses make pick three

After three straight Sunday races were won by horses based at the Trackside Training Center, one of the winning trainers, Denis Roberson, couldn't contain his delight.

"I might have to retire now," Roberson said jokingly after greeting his friend Phil Davis in the winner's circle after the seventh race. Roberson won the fifth with Ms Sterling Silver ($30.20), trainer Marty Rouck won the sixth with Coping With Me ($15), and trainer D.H. Skaggs won the seventh with the Davis-owned Aunt Dot Dot ($11.40). The $2 pick three paid $2,678.

Maiden hits paydirt

Churchill race-caller Luke Kruytbosch had some fun when Touchdown Peyton won a maiden race Saturday. As Touchdown Peyton neared the wire with a clear lead, Kruytbosch cried, "50, 35, 25, 10 - Touchdown Peyton!"

Touchdown Peyton fared better over the weekend than his namesake, Indianapolis Colts quarterback Peyton Manning, whose team incurred their first loss of the NFL season Sunday at Dallas.