05/26/2006 12:00AM

Take D' Tour finds her sweet spot


MIAMI - Take D' Tour was perfect in four starts at a one-turn mile, so trainer David Fawkes figured if she was ever going to beat the likes of Indian Vale or two-time Grade 1 winner Smuggler it would be in last Sunday's Grade 2 Shuvee Handicap at one mile at Belmont Park. Sure enough, Take D' Tour not only won the Shuvee, she demolished the field, leading throughout en route to a 5 1/2-length victory under jockey Cornelio Velasquez.

Take D' Tour won her first- and second-level allowance conditions by eight and 4 1/2 lengths going a mile at Arlington Park last summer, when she was trained by Anthony Granitz. She was transferred to Fawkes's barn this winter by owner Alice Muller, and after a disappointing effort in the 1 1/16-mile Wayward Lass Stakes at Tampa Bay Downs, she returned to her favorite distance and won a pair of optional claiming races, by four lengths and by 10 lengths, at Gulfstream Park.

"I figured she had never been beaten or even challenged going a one-turn mile, so if ever was the time to try that kind of competition this was it," said Fawkes of the Shuvee. "She had been training really well since her last start, and I expected her to run a big race, although I never thought she'd win that easy."

The question now remains what to do next, with one-turn mile races at a premium over the summer.

"For some reason, a one-turn mile really seems to help her relax and get into her groove," Fawkes said. "Although, as good as she's doing now, I'd hate to say she has any distance limitations. Our next option might be to stretch her out to a mile and one-sixteenth once again and try her in the Ogden Phipps. If she shows us she can beat Grade 1 horses, that opens up even more options, although unfortunately she's not Breeders' Cup eligible."

The Ogden Phipps will be run at Belmont on June 17.

Twilight Road back to defend title

Fawkes will be seeking another graded stakes win here Monday, when he sends Twilight Road to defend his title in the Grade 3 Memorial Day Handicap. A 9-year-old, Twilight Road outgamed Whos Crying Now to post a three-quarter-length victory in the 2005 Memorial Day Handicap. He hasn't hit the board in his three starts since that victory.

"He did something to his hind end in his next start and wasn't comfortable, so we just gave him the time off," said Fawkes. "He needed his last start badly but is training very well for this race. He's really phenomenal the way he's continued to hold his form at this age. And he's also a really neat horse to be around."

A field of 10 was entered for the Memorial Day, including Whos Crying Now, Grade 2 winner Congrats, and Gigawatt.

Two options for Yes He's the Man

Take D' Tour wasn't the only locally based runner to capture a stakes out of town last weekend. Yes He's the Man was an easy winner as the heavy favorite in Monmouth Park's Select Stakes.

Trainer David Braddy decided to leave Yes He's the Man, a 3-year-old, in New Jersey but remains undecided on when or where his next start might come.

"Right now we have a couple of options," Braddy said on Friday. "He can either run in the Woody Stephens at Belmont on June 10 or an overnight stakes at Monmouth the following day."

The Woody Stephens is a Grade 2 race carded at seven furlongs. The overnight stakes, named the Gilded Time, is at six furlongs.

"I'll probably wind up entering in both races and assessing our chances before making a final decision," said Braddy. "After that we could load him on a van and bring him home for the Carry Back or just leave him up north for the rest of the summer where there are a lot of races and opportunities for him all year."

* Jabbok figures to be a solid choice to defeat five other first-level allowance rivals in Sunday's $26,500 main event. Jabbok is coming off a fourth to Thanks Dubya on April 29 in his first start off a six-month layoff.