11/27/2003 12:00AM

Timo makes one long trip - to face another


MIAMI - Timo will have to make a long trip to get to Calder for Saturday's $100,000 Mecke Stakes, shipping in from trainer Bill Badgett Jr.'s winter base at Fair Grounds. And after drawing post 12, Timo will likely be forced to make another long trip if he's to win the 1 1/16-mile Mecke.

The Mecke, for 2-year-olds, shares top billing on Saturday's 12-race program with its filly counterpart, the $100,000 Hollywood Wildcat Stakes. Both races are wide open, and as a result drew full fields of 12.

Timo was forced to take a wide trip when he drew post 11 in a first-level allowance race on Sept. 17. He could not quite overcome the lost ground, and was caught late by Artie Schiller after taking the lead between calls at midstretch. Thanks to a more favorable draw, Timo avenged that setback five weeks later in the Pilgrim Stakes, when he easily defeated Artie Schiller by 2 1/4 lengths after forcing the pace.

Timo, a son of El Prado, will carry co-highweight of 120 pounds and jockey Eibar Coa under the allowance conditions of the Mecke. He shares that impost with the locally based Tap Dancer, who will be making his grass debut in the race.

Tap Dancer won the Seacliff Stakes here this summer and most recently finished second behind the undefeated Sir Oscar in the In Reality Stakes. Tap Dancer is a son of Sword Dance and should handle the surface change.

Shining Hawk, a son of Silver Hawk, is the only other stakes winner in the field, earning his maiden win in a 1 3/4-length victory in the World Appeal Stakes at The Meadowlands. Shining Hawk has encountered traffic problems in each of his three career starts.

Cool Conductor finished a late-running fourth after breaking poorly and racing wide in the Pilgrim and figures to show improvement if he leaves with the rest of the field. A son of Stravinsky out of the stakes winning Brazilian-bred mare Verinha, Cool Conductor was impressive winning his grass debut - overcoming trouble to rally from far back and defeat maiden special company by nearly four lengths. Trainer Bill Mott has tabbed Rene Douglas for the ride.

Gambling Native, Flight to Justice, Austin Barber, and Hunting Hillbilly are all winners over the local turf course.

My Amandari and Vous draw tough, too

The post position draw also was unkind to two of the main contenders in the Hollywood Wildcat, My Amandari and Vous, who were assigned posts 11 and 12, respectively.

My Amandari was an impressive winner of her career debut going a mile over the Belmont Park grass course. She did not show the same kind of effort on dirt when she finished a well-beaten fourth in Delaware's Blue Hen Stakes prior to shipping south for the winter.

Vous has proven to be versatile, finishing a late-running and close second in her turf debut, and then returning three weeks later to easily win her maiden over a sloppy track at The Meadowlands.

My Amandari and Vous both worked well on the grass Monday.

Pick of the Pack and Zak's Precocious are both stakes winners, though neither has run on the grass.

Faswiga, an even fifth in Belmont Park's Miss Grillo Stakes, and the stakes-placed Peace Symbol are among the other serious candidates in the Hollywood Wildcat, as are recent grass maiden winners Honey Ryder and Coquinerie.