04/14/2004 12:00AM

Ten Most Wanted should take no prisoners


CHICAGO - He will probably not get a police motorcade as his horse van travels crosstown from O'Hare airport to Hawthorne Race Course on Wednesday. But as far as Saturday's National Jockey Club Handicap goes, Ten Most Wanted has the status of a visiting dignitary.

The five horses entered on Tuesday to face him in the Grade 3, $250,000 race, have earned a total of about $1,262,000 among them. Ten Most Wanted, just a 4-year-old now, has bankrolled more than $1.5 million.

And he will roundly be expected to add the winner's share of the NJC Handicap purse to that total. Ten Most Wanted, with David Flores flying in to take the mount, figures to be something less than even money in the 1 1/8-mile race.

His opponents will include Colonial Colony and Parrott Bay, second and third in the 2003 edition of this race; Fighting Indians, a bargain purchase who has never truly contended in a race of this caliber; Flemish Cap, who ran for a $25,000 claiming price three starts ago; and New York Hero, who will vie with Colonial Colony for second betting choice. Flemish Cap looks like filler, but he is strictly a front-running horse, and his presence ought to ensure a fair pace for Ten Most Wanted.

Not that it should much matter. Ten Most Wanted has flopped in his last two starts, but both were much deeper races than this, and the horse encountered significant first-turn trouble each time. In the Breeders' Cup Classic, Ten Most Wanted was taken out by a chain reaction started by a rank Funny Cide. In the New Orleans Handicap, a scrum into the first turn threw Ten Most Wanted off stride and pushed him out to the center of the racetrack.

Wednesday was Ten Most Wanted's travel day, as he shipped here from the Hollywood Park base of his trainer, Wally Dollase. Ten Most Wanted came to Hawthorne last spring, making a name for himself with a romping win in the Illinois Derby.

Solid pair for Mitchell

Julie's Prize carried 126 pounds, Summer Mis 128 in their respective statebred stakes wins last Saturday at Hawthorne, but neither of those two Tony Mitchell-trained horses appeared stressed as they returned to regular training this week. Julie's Prize remains on course for the Sixty Sails Handicap here two weekends hence, while Summer Mis will get a longer break, with her next major objective the Chicago Breeders' Cup Handicap at the Arlington meet.

"They both came out of it very well," said Mitchell, who was in Aiken, S.C., on Wednesday, checking on 2-year-olds in training there. "Julie was looking for her feed as soon as she got back to the barn, so I knew she was okay. Summer came out of her last race kind of tired, but this time she seemed fine."

Summer Mis, a one-turn horse, had to work a bit harder than her half-sister on Saturday. Julie's Prize was geared down late as she easily won the Peach of It Handicap, running 1 1/16 miles faster than males did later Saturday in the Milwaukee Avenue Handicap. The Grade 3 Sixty Sails is an open race, Mitchell said. "I think we're in with a shot."

Scooter Roach upset Wiggins in the Milwaukee Avenue, and Wiggins's trainer, Tony Granitz, felt the race's slow pace compromised his horse, who was making his first start of the season.

"The rider took a hold of him, and that didn't work out very well," Granitz said. "The important thing is that he came out of the race in good shape."

Granitz said Wiggins's next major goal is the Grade 3 Hanshin Handicap on May 29 at Arlington. "If something comes up in between, who knows, we might take a look at it," he said.

Turf season starts up

A bone-chilling north wind blew into Chicago late last Saturday afternoon and was still in town Wednesday morning. If it has been difficult to remember that this is spring, Friday's National Jockey Club at Hawthorne program might help: The ninth race is a grass race, the first one of the Illinois racing season.

Bonnie Rose, a promising debut winner here March 27, is in the race, as is Miss Sweet Time, a starter from the streaking Christine Janks barn, and these look like the two horses.

Bonnie Rose took steady betting action in her career debut, a six-furlong dirt race, and ran to her reputation. She left quickly from post 1, opened a clear early lead, and was under little pressure from co-leading jockey Eddie Razo while drawing away to win by more than six lengths.

"She's a nice filly. She looks like the real deal," said Tony Granitz, who trains Bonnie Rose for Wheeler Farm. "Her pedigree says grass, but she really looked like she liked the dirt the other day, too. I don't think two turns will be a problem."

The day's sixth race, a second-level sprint allowance, could go any number of ways. The race is packed with speed and lacks an obvious closer, and tactical decisions probably will determine the outcome. Mr Big Time, in for as little as $5,000 claiming last season, is the tepid selection.