04/18/2005 12:00AM

Survivalist may go to Derby

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Survivalist (left), shown winning last month's Gotham Mile, is scheduled for a pivotal workout at Belmont Park on Wednesday morning.

OZONE PARK, N.Y. - Though he won't make a final decision until later in the week, trainer Shug McGaughey is still seriously considering sending Survivalist, the Gotham winner and Wood Memorial runner-up, to the Kentucky Derby.

Though Survivalist was beaten 17 1/2 lengths by Bellamy Road in the Wood on April 9, McGaughey said after that race he wanted to monitor the Blue Grass and Arkansas Derby before deciding what path to take with Survivalist. Though McGaughey was impressed with the dominant wins by Bandini (Blue Grass) and Afleet Alex (Arkansas Derby), he still found a chink or two.

"Both the winners ran great races, but what did they come home in in the Blue Grass? Thirty-nine?'' McGaughey said, referring to the 39.60 seconds for the final three-eighths. "Afleet Alex ran a great, great race. I'm just not sure what he was beating because Greater Good did not show up.''

Perhaps the major impetus for McGaughey still considering the Derby for Survivalist is the fact so many of the top Derby contenders are speed horses and his horse comes from off the pace.

"The race could fall apart at the quarter pole,'' McGaughey said.

McGaughey said he plans to work Survivalist on Wednesday at Belmont Park. The results of that work and what owner Ogden Mills Phipps wants to do - Phipps has been on vacation the last week - will help McGaughey make that call.

Survivalist stormed from off the pace to win the Grade 3 Gotham on March 19 before finishing well behind Bellamy Road in the Wood. Survivalist is a son of Danzig out of the dam Miner's Game. Miner's Game is a full sister to Seeking the Gold, who finished second in the Wood and Gotham before finishing seventh in the 1988 Kentucky Derby.

Pleasant Home eyes Bed o' Roses

While McGaughey ponders what to do with Survivalist, he knows for sure that Pleasant Home will run in Saturday's Grade 3, $150,000 Bed o' Roses Breeders' Cup Handicap.

Pleasant Home is a full sister to Country Hideaway, who in 2001 gave McGaughey his only win in this race. Pleasant Home does not own the same credentials as her sister, but the one-mile race isn't coming up overly tough. Graded winners Bank Audit, the assigned highweight at 119 pounds, and Cativa (117) head the prospective field.

"I'm not sure how far they want to run,'' McGaughey said.

Pleasant Home has not yet run in a stakes race. She won 2 of 4 starts in New York last year before going 1 for 2 at Gulfstream this winter. In her most recent start, Pleasant Home won a second-level allowance race going one mile.

"She ran good down there,'' said McGaughey, who noted that Pleasant Home was pushed hard when third in a nine-furlong race on Jan. 16. "She's going to have to step it up, but this is a good place to give it a try. She breezed excellent this morning.''

Pleasant Home breezed four furlongs in 48.75 seconds Monday morning over Belmont's main track. Cornelio Velasquez, who will be based in New York this spring and summer, has the return call on Pleasant Home.

Others pointing to the Bed o' Roses are Actcellent, Saintliness, and Traci Girl.

McGaughey also had nominated Strategy to the Bed o' Roses.

Sunday, Strategy won a second-level allowance race at Aqueduct by 2 3/4 lengths and will likely make her next start in the $150,000 Pimlico Breeders' Cup Distaff on May 20.

Savage Beauty may try Beaugay

After beating the boys in allowance company on Sunday, Savage Beauty will likely take on females again, but this time in the Grade 3, $100,000 Beaugay Handicap here on April 30.

Savage Beauty won a second-level allowance race against males on Sunday by three-quarters of a length over Catch the Glory. She earned a Beyer Speed Figure of 88.

"There'll probably be a lot better horses [in the Beaugay] but she did beat the colts,'' said her trainer, Allen Jerkens.

Jerkens said he only ran Savage Beauty against the boys because the same conditioned allowance race for fillies didn't fill and the racing office "needed a horse'' for this race to go.

Saint Liam targets Stephen Foster

Trainer Richard Dutrow Jr. will have plenty of stakes action to keep him busy for the next several weeks, but one of his stars won't be running again until mid-June.

Dutrow confirmed on Monday that Saint Liam, the Donn Handicap winner, would make his next start in the Grade 1, $750,000 Stephen Foster Handicap on June 18. Saint Liam has not run since finishing sixth in the Santa Anita Handicap on March 5.

Dutrow has Offlee Wild for the May 20 Pimlico Special and points out that Saint Liam runs well fresh. Last fall, Saint Liam won the Clark Handicap at Churchill off a 76-day layoff. This will be a 105-day layoff.

* Jerkens confirmed that Medallist, the runner-up in the

Grade 1 Carter Handicap, would be trained up to the Metropolitan Handicap on May 30, where he figures to have a rematch with Carter winner Forest Danger.