06/24/2003 11:00PM

Trust N Luck returns from vacation


MIAMI - Trust N Luck, winner of the Grade 1 Fountain of Youth and a Kentucky Derby contender until his disappointing performance in the Coolmore Lexington Stakes, has resumed training after returning to trainer Ralph Ziadie's barn last weekend.

Trust N Luck was sent to the farm at Ocala Stud shortly after his fourth-place finish in the Lexington.

"He had some internal problems that needed to be taken care of, but that's all been cleared up now," Ziadie said. "He was out of training while he was in Ocala, so he's got a ways to go before we start thinking about when or where we might run him."

Trust N Luck first gained national attention after earning a 110 Beyer Speed Figure for his victory in the What a Pleasure Stakes here in his 2-year-old finale. He then moved to the top of his division following an easy victory in the Fountain of Youth before finishing a well-beaten second behind Empire Maker in the Grade 1 Florida Derby.

Storm Flag ready to take on fastest fillies

Storm Flag may hold the best chance of any locally based runner of winning one of the four graded stakes on the $1.7 million Summit of Speed card when she goes postward for trainer Richard Root in the $300,000 Azalea Stakes on July 12. And jockey Gary Boulanger is excited about the prospect of taking on some of the nation's fastest 3-year-old fillies with the exceptionally quick Storm Flag.

"I had a twinkle in my eye about this filly since the first time I rode her last year," said Boulanger. "She is so unbelievably fast she just wanted to run right through the bridle, and I had all I could do to get her to run 43-and-change halves in the two starts before her last. But once Richard put her on the Lasix for her last race, she became a different filly. She's so much more calm and relaxed on Lasix. She was much more settled, manageable, and rateable the last time, and I'm really looking forward to riding her in the Azalea."

Boulanger lost an opportunity to ride his other big 3-year-old, The Name's Bond, in last Saturday's $100,000 Unbridled Stakes when trainer Frank Gomez had to scratch the horse due to a minor foot injury. The Name's Bond would have been the odds-on favorite to add the Unbridled to his two previous stakes victories this season.

"He had a little stone bruise in his heel that has finally popped," said Boulanger. "He's fine now. I think as good as this horse has gotten, he can really be competitive out of town in the right spot. Maybe not against the likes of Empire Maker, but perhaps at the next level."

Boulanger, the leading rider here in 1994 and 1995, spent several years riding at Woodbine in his native Canada before returning to Calder on a regular basis once again last summer.

"I certainly have no regrets about making the decision to stay here on a permanent basis," said Boulanger, who is third in the standings behind M.R. Cruz and apprentice Eddie Castro. "Keeping the family together and in one spot is the most important thing in my life right now."

Trainer Ritvo is back - and she's winning

Trainer Kathy Ritvo, who took eight years off to raise her two children, has returned this season with a six-horse stable and is wasting little time finding her way back to the winner's circle.

Ritvo, who is married to trainer Tim Ritvo, sent out V.I.P. Kipper in Tuesday's opener, and he won his second race in as many starts. The victory was Kathy Ritvo's third from just nine starters at the session.

Jockey-turned-trainer saddles first starter

Former jockey Abigail Fuller-Catalano will saddle the first horse of her training career when she sends Port Henry postward in Saturday's fifth race.

Fuller is the daughter of prominent owner-breeder Peter Fuller and the wife of Mike Catalano, the trainer-turned-jockey agent. She was also the regular rider for Mom's Command, aboard whom she won New York's prestigious Triple Tiara in 1985.

Fuller is taking over the training duties for her husband, who recently took over the engagements of jockey Jose Rivera II. Rivera has returned here following a brief stint at Monmouth Park.

Filly becomes winner without making a start

Last Saturday was a busy day for Carla Wolfson and Girl, her unraced 3-year-old filly. In the morning, Wolfson breezed Girl three furlongs at Calder. That evening she took the big, good-looking filly to the old Tropical Park in Miami, where Girl, a granddaughter of Affirmed, beat out 15 other horses to win a blue ribbon in a local horse show.

"She's still a couple of months away from racing," said Marty Wolfson, who trains Girl for his wife. "She has a big, long stride and is going to be a turf horse. Hopefully we'll be able to have her ready to run sometime in August."