06/14/2007 12:00AM

Take D' Tour less busy, but more ambitious


ELMONT, N.Y. - After a long campaign left their filly spent by the time fall arrived, the connections of Take D' Tour are taking a different approach to their mare's 2007 campaign.

In other words, they hope less means more.

When Take D' Tour seeks a repeat in Saturday's Grade 1 Ogden Phipps at Belmont Park it will be just her third start of 2007, and first since finishing second in the Grade 1 Apple Blossom on April 7. When she won this race last year, Take D' Tour was making her fifth start of the year.

After the winning the Grade 2 Shuvee and Phipps last year, Take D' Tour ran fourth in the Go for Wand at Saratoga, second in the Ruffian, and sixth in the Beldame. That last effort convinced trainer David Fawkes and owners and breeders Alice and Paul Muller to skip the Breeders' Cup Distaff.

This year, Fawkes and the Mullers are looking at spacing Take D' Tour's races out. She had 10 weeks between the Sunshine Millions and the Apple Blossom and 10 weeks from the Apple Blossom to the Phipps.

"We looked at what we did last year and thought maybe that the reason we didn't make the Breeders' Cup was because we had run her a bunch of times and we [knocked] her out a little bit," Fawkes said. "This year, we hope to turn things around."

After the decision was made to skip last year's Breeders' Cup, Take D' Tour received some class relief, winning a restricted stakes at Calder in November and the Grade 3 Stage Door Betty by 14 lengths in December. She then shipped to Southern California to participate in the Sunshine Millions Distaff and got hooked in a speed duel and finished second, five lengths behind the winner, Joint Effort.

"She ran almost too good in the Stage Door Betty," Fawkes said. "I think that [knocked] us out a little when we went to California; we kind of ran a flat horse."

Take D' Tour ran next in the Apple Blossom, finishing second behind Ermine. Fawkes was very happy with Take D' Tour's race considering she became unruly prior to the start of the race.

Fawkes said Take D' Tour had problems with the prerace protocol before the Apple Blossom. Since it was one of Oaklawn Park's biggest races, management wanted the horses, after they were saddled, to walk onto the grassy area in front of the tote board, where the trainers would give a leg up to the jockeys. Fawkes did not want to do that, but the stewards made him. Fawkes said Take D' Tour started "running around the groom in circles," Fawkes said.

"If I could do it all over again I wouldn't do it," he said. "I would've stayed in the paddock like I originally suggested to do. She ran a great race."

If Take D' Tour performs well on Saturday, her next start would most likely come in the $300,000 Molly Pitcher at Monmouth Park on Aug.o25. Since Monmouth is where the Breeders' Cup is being held this year, that race would help determine if she should be pointed to the Distaff.

Commentator likely in Tom Fool

Commentator, the Grade 1-winning New York-bred gelding, worked four furlongs in 48.45 seconds Thursday morning at Saratoga. It was his first work since winning the Richmond Runner Stakes by 11 1/4 lengths on May 28.

Trainer Nick Zito said he is pointing Commentator to the Grade 2, $200,000 Tom Fool Breeders' Cup Handicap here on July 4.

"If everything goes good, that's as good a race as any," Zito said.

Zito said Sun King, who finished fourth in the Metropolitan Handicap the same day Commentator won, will train up to the Grade 1 Whitney at Saratoga on July 28. Sun King was beaten a head by Invasor in last year's Whitney.

Zito said C P West came out of his fifth-place finish in the Belmont in good order, but would most likely skip the Dwyer on July 4 and point to the Jim Dandy on July 29. Most Distinguished, second in the Woody Stephens, could possibly run in the Dwyer.

* Got the Last Laugh, who dead-heated with Officer Rocket for win in last year's Arlington-Washington Futurity - a race in which Kentucky Derby winner Street Sense ran third - worked five furlongs in 1:02.11 Thursday morning at Saratoga.

It was his fifth breeze since returning to the work tab on May 18. Got the Last Laugh has not run since finishing fifth in the Pasco Stakes at Tampa Bay Downs on Jan. 27.