09/11/2007 11:00PM

Tale of Ekati ready for Futurity

EmailELMONT, N.Y. - In some instances, a case of bucked shins can spell the end of a horse's juvenile season. Not so in the case of Tale of Ekati.

Tale of Ekati, a good-looking debut winner and the runner-up to Ready's Image in the Grade 2 Sanford in a 19-day period, appears to have gotten over his bucked shins in time to return to the races in Saturday's Grade 2 Futurity at Belmont Park. The Futurity is one of four graded stakes on a blockbuster Saturday card at Belmont.

Trainer Barclay Tagg said he used a "severe blister" to help heal Tale of Ekati's sore shins. The act of blistering involves putting heat on the inflamed area in an effort to increase circulation.

Tale of Ekati responded to the blister, and after an easy month of training he has worked three times in 12 days, including a five-furlong move in 1:01.17 on Tuesday, the best of seven moves at the distance.

"One shin was very sore, but he got over it very quickly," Tagg said. "I got two real good works into him."

Tale of Ekati, a son of Tale of the Cat, won his debut by 8 1/4 lengths over Anakim, who came back to win a maiden race here last weekend. In the Sanford, Tale of Ekati was interfered with at the start when two horses came over on him, and he was pinched back to sixth position early. After taking a good amount of dirt for the first time, Tale of Ekati made a mild rally to be second to Ready's Image while holding off The Roundhouse.

"I thought he ran very well that day," Tagg said. "Then he bucked his shins, and I had to give him some time. He seems to be working well."

While Ready's Image is not running in the Futurity, Tale of Ekati will have to face Kodiak Kowboy, a winner of four consecutive starts, including the Grade 2 Saratoga Special. Others pointing to the Futurity are Mythical Pegasus, Sargent Seattle, Stand Pat, and The Leopard.

Showing Up back in training

Tagg reported that Showing Up, a multiple Grade 1 winner in 2006, has recovered from his injured suspensory ligament and has resumed training. He has been jogging for several weeks and will be pointed to a 5-year-old campaign.

"He healed up really, really fast," Tagg said. "I was in between a rock and a hard place. I knew I'd have to really push him and take a chance of hurting him again to get him back this year. So I said the hell with this year - even if he won a Grade 1 between now and the end of the year it's not going to give him a championship."

Showing Up has run only once this year, finishing second in the Grade 1 Maker's Mark Mile at Keeneland in April.

Tagg said he hopes to bring Showing Up back to the races sometime next spring at Gulfstream.

Hubley hopes to spring Matron upset

After a maiden win at Colonial Downs and a minor stakes victory at Ellis Park, Miss Red Delicious figures to get tested for class when she runs in Saturday's Grade 2, $250,000 Matron Stakes for juvenile fillies.

Miss Red Delicious, a daughter of Empire Maker, finished seventh in her debut at Keeneland, a race in which she encountered significant trouble, according to trainer Mark Hubley. She didn't start for two months, but when she returned she was on Lasix and wore blinkers and won a 5 1/2-furlong maiden race at Colonial Downs by 13 1/2 lengths. After another two-month break, Miss Red Delicious won the Anna Fisher Debutante at Ellis Park by 1 1/2 lengths.

"This spot makes a lot of sense for us," Hubley said. "She's won at the distance already. This may come up a little softer than some of these other races. A lot of guys want to run three weeks out from the [Breeders' Cup]."

Kent Desormeaux, who won last year's Matron on 34-1 shot Meadow Breeze, has the call on Miss Red Delicious.

Also pointing to the Matron are Dagger, Proud Spell, Maren's Meadow, Sabooh, and Syriana's Song. Armonk and Cry and Catch Me are possible.

Sky High Flyer ready for Noble Damsel

Almost retired earlier this year, Sky High Flyer will try to reward her connections for keeping her in training when she runs in Saturday's Grade 3, $100,000 Noble Damsel Stakes.

Trainer Bobby Frankel said Sky High Flyer underwent throat surgery earlier this year, and though the operation went well, her owners had considered retiring her.

In the end they decided to keep her in training, and in her first start this year, Sky High Flyer finished second, beaten a head by Criminologist, in a third-level allowance at Saratoga. Criminologist came back to win an overnight stakes at the Spa, setting a course record.

"Her last race was excellent," Frankel said of Sky High Flyer. "She hadn't been out in a long time."

As Frankel perused Sky High Flyer's past performances, he was reminded of what strong competition his mare has faced. Last fall, she beat the talented New York-bred Finlandia in a second-level allowance race. She was beaten only two lengths by My Typhoon in the Mint Julep Handicap at Churchill Downs, a race in which "she was in traffic the whole way," Frankel said.

Last year at Keeneland, Sky High Flyer was beaten a head by Louve Royale, who came out of that race to win two stakes.

Frankel said he also plans to enter Sugar Shake in the Noble Damsel, but mainly as a backup to Sky High Flyer.

Also planning to run in the Noble Damsel are Amansara, Astronomia, Bayou's Lassie, Dance Away Capote, Fantastic Shirl, Pommes Frites, Silver Charades, and Swap Fliparoo.

Migliore on working vacation

Jockey Richard Migliore, a former mainstay on this circuit before heading west last fall, is back in New York to spend some time with his family for a few weeks until the Oak Tree at Santa Anita meeting opens on Sept. 26. He will ride here when the opportunity presents itself.

Migliore was named on one mount Wednesday, but it scratched. He has one call each day on Thursday and Friday.

"I came home to be with my family and catch up with everybody here and ride enough to stay fit, hopefully win some races, and let everybody know I'm alive and well," Migliore said.

Migliore said he plans to remain in Southern California full time.

"I really like California, and I like what I've been able to do there and look forward to continued success there," he said.

By his count, Migliore has won 110 races in Southern California, his biggest coming aboard Student Council in the $1 million Pacific Classic at Del Mar.

"That was huge," said Migliore, who won 17 races from 149 mounts at Del Mar. "To go there and win the premier race of the summer was fantastic. I had a fantastic meet that day."