01/18/2007 1:00AM

Sunshine Millions pre-entries set


HALLANDALE BEACH, Fla. - Grade 1 winners Take D' Tour and Lava Man were both entered in the Sunshine Millions Classic at Gulfstream Park, but neither is expected to run in the $1 million event. Instead, both are likely to compete the same afternoon at Santa Anita, Take D' Tour in the Distaff and Lava Man in the Turf.

Pre-entries for the eight Sunshine Millions races closed Wednesday. Entries will be drawn Sunday. The Sunshine Millions, for Florida-breds and California-breds, will be run at Gulfstream and Santa Anita Park on Jan. 27.

Also among the pre-entries for the Sunshine Millions are Grade 1 winners Bordonaro, Proud Tower Too, Swap Fliparoo, and Silver Wagon.

Fawkes must decide whether to run Take D' Tour in the Classic at Gulfstream or ship her to Santa Anita for the $500,000 Distaff, where she figures to be a heavy favorite. O'Neill can run Lava Man in the Classic, or keep him home for the $500,000 Sunshine Millions Turf.

"Right now I'm leaning towards the Distaff because on paper that would appear to be the easier spot," said Fawkes. "Of course, things could change if, for instance, the Classic might fall apart at the last minute or we were to draw an unfavorable post for the Distaff."

Lava Man will be the favorite in the Turf. "Pre-entries were free, so we put him in both, but Lava Man will stay here for the turf," O'Neill said by phone from California

Without Take D' Tour or Lava Man, the Classic still figures to be competitive, with a field led by Sweetnorthernsaint, who prepped for the race with a third-place finish in Gulfstream's Grade 3 Hal's Hope Handicap earlier this month. Other likely starters include Silver Wagon, Rehoboth, Texcess, and McCann's Mojave.

Lava Man's top competition in the Turf likely will come from Florida-bred shippers Revved Up, Go Between, and Icy Atlantic.

Take D' Tour will face a small group in the Distaff, including No Sleep, Saffronista, and Somethinaboutlaura.

The two best Sunshine Millions races may both be sprints. At Gulfstream, the Filly and Mare Sprint is expected to bring together Swap Fliparoo, defending champion Hot Storm, Bettarun Fast, Coli Bear, and Grecian Lover.

At Santa Anita, the Sprint will match Bordonaro and Proud Tower Too, who hasn't run since beating Breeders' Cup Sprint winner Thor's Echo in the Dubai Golden Shaheen last March. Expected to ship west for the race are the Florida-based Nightmare Affair, who finished third in the BC Sprint, and Mach Ride.

- additional reporting by

Steve Andersen