07/08/2004 11:00PM

Swingforthefences steps up campaign


ELMONT, N.Y. - Following his first stakes score in last Friday's $250,000 Iowa Derby at Prairie Meadows, Swingforthefences will be pointed to some of the summer's biggest races for 3-year-olds.

Trainer Richard Violette is looking at three races for Swingforthefences's next start: the Grade 3, $600,000 West Virginia Derby at Mountaineer on Aug. 7; the Grade 2, $500,000 Jim Dandy at Saratoga on Aug. 8; or the Grade 1, $1 million Haskell at Monmouth run the same day as the Jim Dandy.

Violette, who finished second in the Jim Dandy with Upon My Soul in 1991 and Free for Love in 2001, is leaning toward the Jim Dandy for Swingforthefences's next start.

"If he proves good enough, he'll get a race over the track in the Jim Dandy for the Travers," Violette said. "I think a race over the track would be great. I'll handicap all three races and run where I think we can win. He'll be ready to go in any spot."

In the 1 1/16-mile Iowa Derby, Swingforthefences, who was ridden by Shaun Bridgmohan, was a half-length winner.

"He was parked widest, at least six deep, going into the first turn," Violette said. "It's a pretty quick racetrack, and you need to get some kind of position. Speed was lethal that night."

Violette said Read the Footnotes, who underwent surgery to remove a knee chip in May, is being hand-walked at Saratoga. Read the Footnotes has not run since finishing seventh in the Kentucky Derby on May 1. Last year, he won the Nashua and Remsen at Aqueduct. This year, Read the Footnotes won the Fountain of Youth at Gulfstream Park.

"We're thinking about getting him back to the races in the late fall," Violette said. "I'm thinking of the Strub series."

Violette is referring to a three-race series run at Santa Anita, beginning with the Malibu in December, the San Fernando Breeders' Cup in January, and the Strub in February.

Golden Look steps up for stakes debut

After a promising start to his career, Golden Look makes his stakes debut for trainer Shug McGaughey in Sunday's Grade 2, $150,000 Dwyer.

Golden Look, a son of Arch bred and owned by Stuart Janney III, won his career debut by 2 1/4 lengths in a seven-furlong race at Belmont on May 15. One month later, Golden Look ran back in a 1 1/16-mile first-level allowance race, which he won by 2 1/4 lengths. The runner-up and third-place finisher, Coded Warning and Go Now, ran first and second in their next start.

Golden Look's Beyer Speed Figures jumped from 75 in his debut to 97 in his second start.

"I figure if he improves off that, he will be somewhere in the ballpark," said McGaughey, who won the Dwyer with Coronado's Quest in 1998. "This is a very ambitious step for him. When I started making plans to run here, I didn't know The Cliff's Edge would be running. But [Golden Look] has been doing good and breezing good, and we're taking a shot."

Birdstone to get a half-mile breeze

Trainer Nick Zito said Birdstone was scheduled to have his first breeze since winning the June 5 Belmont Stakes Saturday at Saratoga. Zito, who was at Belmont on Friday, said Birdstone would work an easy half-mile.

Zito's main summer objective for Birdstone is the $1 million Travers at Saratoga on Aug. 28. It's possible that Birdstone, who is owned by Marylou Whitney, will not start before the Travers. The Jim Dandy is the traditional Saratoga prep for the Travers, but Zito said that because Birdstone puts so much into his races, he might not want to run him before the Travers.

Dutrow will appeal fine

Trainer Richard Dutrow Jr., fined $2,500 by the stewards for "failure to tend to business in a proper manner, which necessitated a late scratch," said he would appeal the fine.

"They didn't handle their business in a proper manner," Dutrow said Friday.

Gallant Sir, whom Dutrow trains, was entered in the eighth race at Belmont last Sunday and entered as part of an entry at Monmouth the same day. Dutrow said he called steward Ted Hill at 8 a.m. Sunday to tell him he was scratching Gallant Sir at Belmont because his owner didn't want to run. Because only seven horses were entered in the race, Hill said he told Dutrow he couldn't scratch Gallant Sir unless it was upon a veterinarian's recommendation. When Gallant Sir wasn't on the grounds at Belmont four hours before the race for his Lasix injection, as required, the stewards scratched him. Dutrow scratched Gallant Sir out of the Monmouth race because he said the distance of the race was too short, and ran Speed Hunter instead.