07/18/2003 11:00PM

Supah Blitz to stay home


MIAMI - Supah Blitz, who rebounded from a 13th-place finish in the Kentucky Derby with an impressive allowance win over older horses on the grass earlier this month, will remain on turf and run in Saturday's $50,000 Roman Brother Stakes here. The Roman Brother is a restricted race for 3-year-olds who were kept eligible for the Florida Stallion Stakes series.

Supah Blitz had been invited to and weighted for the $1 million Haskell Invitational at Monmouth on Aug. 3, but trainer Manny Tortora will resist the temptation to send him back out against the best of his division - at least for the time being.

"He ran so well on the grass last time I think this is the right spot for him now," said Tortora.

In Supah Blitz's only other start on turf, he finished third behind the favored Nothing to Lose in the Grade 3 Tropical Derby here on New Year's Day.

Slow start for little sis

Supah Blitz's full sister Supah Jackie finished seventh after encountering early trouble in her career debut in Saturday's eighth race. Both Supah Blitz and his baby sister are by Mecke out of Boots 'n Jackie and were bred by their owners, the Bee Bee Stable and Jacqueline Tortora.

In Saturday's 10th race, Hopefortheroses, a half-brother to the two-time Grade 1 winner Hal's Hope, finished fifth in his debut. He is owned, trained, and was bred by 92-year-old Harold Rose. Hopefortheroses is a son of Fortunate Prospect out of the graded stakes winner Mia's Hope.

White in familiar spot

Nearing the midpoint of the 128-day Calder meeting, Bill White is back atop the trainer standings in his bid for a record seventh straight title.

Through the opening 62 days, White has 25 victories, three more than Eddie Plesa Jr. and four better than Henry Collazo. Tortora (19) and Richard Ciardullo Jr. (16) round out the top five.

While White's success is expected, Ciardullo's has been a major surprise. Ciardullo, who was not in the top 10 here a year ago, is saddling winners at a 28 percent clip, best of all trainers with 20 or more starters at the meet.

On the jockeys' side of the ledger, Manoel Cruz has taken advantage of the defection of defending champ Cornelio Velasquez to open a large lead over apprentice Eddie Castro and veteran Gary Boulanger in search of his first Calder riding title. Cruz had ridden 78 winners entering Saturday's program. Castro held a 54-53 edge over Boulanger in the battle for second place.

Boulanger, who posted a hat trick on Friday and was named jockey of the month for July, was in Chicago on Saturday to ride Aeneas for trainer Marty Wolfson in the Grade 2 Washington Park Handicap.