01/21/2009 12:00AM

Taqarub heading south off impressive win


OZONE PARK, N.Y. - The next time Taqarub runs, jockey Alan Garcia won't have to catch a plane to ride him.

Coming off a dominant 8 1/4-length win in Monday's Jimmy Winkfield Stakes over Aqueduct's inner track, Taqarub earned a trip to south Florida where he will make his next start in the $250,000 Fountain of Youth Stakes at Gulfstream Park on Feb. 28. This year, the Fountain of Youth has been shortened from 1 1/8 miles to a one-turn mile.

"I think it hits us right between the eyes,'' trainer Kiaran McLaughlin said by phone from south Florida.

Garcia, who is spending his first winter riding at Gulfstream, flew up from south Florida to ride Taqarub, and returned immediately after the race.

Taqarub's victory in the Winkfield - in which he ran the fastest six furlongs of the meet (1:09.26) - was his third win in as many starts, all at six furlongs. He is a son of Aldebaran out of the mare Honor Bestowed, who is a half-sister to Soaring Softly and Plenty of Grace, both of whom won graded stakes on turf going long. McLaughlin said the Fountain of Youth was chosen over the Gotham here on March 7 after consulting with owner Sheikh Hamdan bin Rashid al-Maktoum and racing manager Rick Nichols.

"We feel he will go further with his pedigree," McLaughlin said. "We don't know for sure, but let's go a mile instead of any further."

By choosing the Fountain of Youth, Taqarub will meet Notonthesamepage, who won the Spectacular Bid at Gulfstream by 8o1/4 lengths and who also will be stretching out from six furlongs. Both Taqarub and Notonthesamepage won their races on the lead.

"Alan doesn't feel like we have to be on the lead," McLaughlin said. "He breaks fast and we inner-tracked it and went because that's the way to go on that track sometimes and against that group."

McLaughlin said Taqarub should be in Florida by the end of the weekend.

McLaughlin tough again in stakes

With victories in the Ruthless and Winkfield already this year, McLaughlin seeks a third inner-track stakes score on Saturday with Accredit in the $65,000 Paumonok Handicap.

Accredit, a 4-year-old son of E Dubai, has won his last two starts, both over wet tracks. In fact, he is 4 for 4 on wet surfaces, 0 for 7 on dry tracks. Unfortunately, for him, rain is not in the forecast for Saturday.

"He's a real mud-loving horse; they do come around once in a while," McLaughlin said. "It's not that he'll run poorly on dry, he definitely moves up in the wet."

The last time Accredit ran on a fast dirt track, he finished second to the highly regarded Desert Key in a first-level allowance race. In three races over the inner track last winter, Accredit finished third in the Jimmy Winkfield and second in two other sprint stakes.

Rajiv Maragh rides Accredit from the outside post in the six-horse field.

Also entered in the Paumonok are Ravalo (Mike Luzzi), Grand Champion (Richard Migliore), True Quality (Chucky Lopez), Place Your Bet (Jennifer Stisted), and Serious Fever (Channing Hill).

True Quality, second to Fabulous Strike in the Grade 3 Gravesend last out, drilled four furlongs in 47.45 seconds Wednesday morning over Aqueduct's inner track. It was the fastest of three moves at the distance.

Injured Songster to miss Paumonok

Trainer Tom Albertrani wanted to run Songster in the Paumonok, but the multiple graded stakes winner suffered a quarter crack that will force him to miss the race.

"He's back to the track this morning, but he missed a few days of training so we had to skip it," Albertrani said Wednesday.

Songster, who as a 3-year-old won the Woody Stephens and Hirsch Jacobs, returned to training after having fertility problems at stud. In his lone start since, which came last November, Songster finished third in an allowance race.

Meanwhile, Albertrani said no final decision has been made for Evening Attire Stakes winner Barrier Reef's next start. He said the Stymie on Feb. 28 is a possibility.

Albertrani also said that Zada Belle, the Interborough Stakes winner, is doubtful to run in the $65,000 Correction Handicap on Jan. 31. He said he prefers to run her in a graded stakes next, such as the Grade 2 Barbara Fritchie at Laurel on Feb. 14 or the Grade 2 Distaff Handicap over the inner track on March 21.

Haynesfield back to work

Haynesfield, the most accomplished 3-year-old on the grounds here, worked five furlongs in 1:03.63 over Belmont Park's training track on Monday. It was his first breeze since winning the Count Fleet Stakes on Jan. 3.

Haynesfield, a New York-bred son of Speightstown who has won three straight starts, is being pointed to the $100,000 Whirlaway Stakes here on Feb. 7.

Toby Sheets, assistant to trainer Steve Asmussen, said Haynesfield would likely get two more works before the race.

"He doesn't need a whole lot," Sheets said.