07/01/2003 11:00PM

Supah Blitz excels on turf, too


MIAMI - Supah Blitz, making his first start since finishing 13th in the Kentucky Derby, showed he might be even better on grass than dirt, dominating older second-level allowance rivals by 3 1/4 lengths in Tuesday's second race.

Supah Blitz made his 3-year-old debut on grass in the Grade 3 Tropical Park Derby here New Year's Day, finishing third behind odds-on favorite Nothing to Lose. But after Supah Blitz finished second in the Grade 1 Fountain of Youth in his return to the main track, trainer Emanuel Tortora kept the colt - a son of the two-time Grade 1 winner Mecke - on dirt for the Florida Derby, Aventura Stakes, and Kentucky Derby.

As for putting Supah Blitz back on the grass, Tortora said, "I've been wanting to do that all along, but things never worked out. I never could tell whether his daddy was a better horse on turf or dirt, and he's just the same way."

Under Tortora's care, Mecke won the Grade 1 Arlington Million on turf and the Grade 1 Super Derby on dirt, and earned more than $2.4 million before retiring in 1997.

In Tuesday's one-mile race, Supah Blitz, with Cornelio Velasquez aboard, was trapped along the rail near the back of the pack for the opening five furlongs. Velasquez angled Supah Blitz six wide into the stretch to launch his bid, and the odds-on favorite exploded past his overmatched competition.

"I guess he hasn't seen competition like that in a while," said Tortora. "Naturally I am very pleased with his performance. That's the way he likes to run: Sit back and make one run at the end. I sent him right to the farm after the Derby for a little rest, but it didn't take much to get him ready to race again - especially with a horse who only runs the last quarter-mile."

Tortora said he has nothing mapped out for Supah Blitz, nor is he sure whether he will point him for the turf or dirt next.

"I just wanted to get past this one before thinking too far ahead, although it looks like we may have to get back on the road with him again," said Tortora. "I'll just have to see what's available."

Lake to send two for Smile Sprint

Trainer Scott Lake confirmed that he will send both Shake You Down and My Cousin Matt from New York to compete in the $500,000 Smile Sprint Handicap on July 12. The Smile shares top billing on the $1.7 million card with the $500,000 Princess Rooney Handicap for fillies and mares.

Shake You Down has won his last four starts, including the Grade 2 True North Breeders' Cup Handicap, while My Cousin Matt is coming off a second-place finish in Suffolk Downs' James Moseley Handicap.

"They'll both work at Belmont early next week and fly in on Thursday," said Lake. "Right now it looks like Mike Luzzi will be aboard Shake You Down. I'm trying to get either Jerry Bailey or Ramon Dominguez for My Cousin Matt."

Hat trick starts Posada's hot streak

The hottest trainer on the grounds this past week was Laura Posada. The former rider saddled five winners over a three-day span, beginning with a hat trick on Sunday. It was the first time she had run three winners on a single card since taking out her trainer's license in 1995.

"We've won two here and there, but never three in one day," said Posada, just moments before sending out Smarty's Money for an easy score in Tuesday's third race. "There's no real secret to this success. We just try to work hard and put the horses in the right spots."

Posada has 23 stalls, the most she has had during her training career.

"We started with eight horses and gradually worked our way up over the years," she said.

Sharing Posada's success this past week was jockey Aurelio Toribio Jr., who was aboard all five winners.