06/03/2009 11:00PM

Top talent potential no-shows


Benny the Bull, the top sprinter in the country last year, and Man of Danger, who was a neck behind him in the Grade 2 True North Stakes last year, turned up in the entries for Saturday's $70,000 Longfellow Stakes at Monmouth. For the rest of the field, that's bad news. The good news? Neither may show up.

Trainer Richard Dutrow would like to get Benny the Bull a race to prepare for the July 11 Smile Handicap at Calder, so he entered him in the Longfellow as well as Saturday's Grade 2, $250,000 True North at Belmont. As of Thursday morning, Dutrow was more likely to run Benny the Bull in New York, even though it's a tougher field.

"[Edgar] Prado can ride, it's at Belmont, it's a smaller field, all that stuff," said Dutrow, who won the Longfellow last year with Mr. Umphrey. "I'm not crazy about running against Fabulous Strike, but that's the way we're leaning."

Elvis Trujillo would ride Benny the Bull in the Longfellow, the ninth of 11 races on Saturday's card.

The Bruce Levine-trained Man of Danger, who drew the rail, will likely be the one to catch if he goes in the Longfellow. If he doesn't, Go Go Shoot, who is also trained by Levine and is considered "definite" by him, is the possible clear speed, and that may be a factor in the trainer's decision as to whether to run both horses.

"I'm not crazy about the 1-hole, that was one of the things that I didn't like," said Levine. The trainer said he was also entering Man of Danger in the $100,000 Karl Boyes Memorial Northwestern Stakes at Presque Isle Downs on Sunday, "so we'll see what that race looks like."

Man of Danger was sidelined after finishing far up the track when last seen, in the Eillo Stakes at the Meadowlands last fall, but Levine maintains the 7-year-old gelding just needed a break.

"He's doing great," said Levine, who named Chuck Lopez to ride Man of Danger. "He's just the type of horse that needs his rest after he runs a few times."

If both scratch, On the Vineyard, who will make his fifth straight stakes appearance, and Disco's Son, who comes off a 98 Beyer Speed Figure earned against optional claimers, may be the main beneficiaries.

* Ahvee's Destiny, a head short of winning the Very One Stakes in her last start, is the clear favorite in the $60,000 Candy Eclair Stakes, run at 5 1/2 furlongs on the turf. Linda Rice, an expert when it comes to grass sprinters, trains Ahvee's Destiny, who won an optional claimer at this course and distance last summer. Lopez will ride.