12/21/2002 12:00AM

Trust N Luck's got game


MIAMI - The fastest 2-year-old in the country, at least according to Beyer Speed Figures, isn't Breeders' Cup Juvenile winner Vindication or the undefeated Sky Mesa. He isn't stabled in California, Kentucky, New York, or at either Gulfstream Park or Payson Park in Florida.

The 2-year-old with the highest Beyer Speed Figure this year resides with trainer Ralph Ziadie at Calder Racecourse. His name is Trust N Luck and he received a 110 Beyer after breaking Unbridled's 13-year-old stakes record by more than a full second winning the Dec. 14 What a Pleasure Stakes.

Trust N Luck is a son of Montbrook out of the Dahar mare Bold Burst. He was purchased by Ziadie for owner Einar Robsham for $200,000 out of the March Ocala Breeders' Sale.

The What a Pleasure was Trust N Luck's fourth victory in eight starts; the $60,000 first prize swelled the young colt's earnings to $382,000, the majority of which he won by virtue of his easy victory in the In Reality Stakes, the final leg of the Florida Stallion Stakes.

"Mr. Robsham told me two things after the race," Ziadie said. "This horse is not for sale at any price. And no matter what happens, he's heading to Kentucky for the Derby."

Before the What a Pleasure, Ziadie predicted that if Trust N Luck made the lead he would win. Although even Ziadie couldn't predict his colt - who has been victimized by bad luck at or just after the break in several of his losing races - would run faster than any other 2-year-old in the country.

"He is a very good horse and he ran a very big race, but numbers are just numbers," Ziadie said. "We'll see what happens down the road."

Ziadie said if it were left up to him, Trust N Luck would start just twice more before the Kentucky Derby - in Gulfstream Park's Grade 1 Fountain Of Youth Stakes and Florida Derby.

"If the [Kentucky] Derby is going to be our long-range goal, then I'd like to run him only twice," Ziadie said. "Mr. Robsham mentioned he'd like to look at the Holy Bull Stakes, which comes up next month at Gulfstream. We'll sit down and talk things over in the next couple of days and then map out a plan from there."

A nice ending for Sugar N Spice

Sugar N Spice, one of the leaders in the local filly and mare handicap sprint division for the past several seasons, has been retired. She will be bred next season to Unbridled's Song.

Sugar N Spice was bred, owned, and trained by Barry Croft. The daughter of Strike the Anvil retires with 13 wins, eight in stakes, and earnings of more than $420,000.

"It was hard to stop on her because she's as sound now as the first day I brought her to the track," Croft said. "But the deal I got to breed her from my longtime friend Larry Vaughn was too good to pass up. For her to get to one of those good studs like Unbridled's Song means an awful lot to me."

Sugar N Spice was still running against the best in the area this season at age 7. She went 2 for 8 in 2002, including wins in the Goldarama and Irish Sonnet handicaps.

"I wanted to do what's right for the mare," Croft said. "She's been too good to me over the years. She's the one who kept me going and got me enough recognition to pick up some of the other owners and horses I have in the barn."

Croft is also looking forward to next year when Sugar N Spice's full sister Sweet as Spice makes the races.

"She's the spitting image of Sugar," Croft said. "I won't even have to change the foal papers."

* More than 300 horses were nominated for the eight races that will make up the $3.6 million Sunshine Millions card to be held at Gulfstream Park and Santa Anita on Jan. 25. Topping the list of nominations for the main event, the $1 million Sunshine Millions Classic, to be run at Gulfstream, are Best of the Rest, Booklet, Nothing Flat, Sir Bear, Continental Red, Calkins Road, Grey Memo, Hot Market, and Tizbud.

* Alfred Timpani, who trained horses along the East Coast for more than 50 years, died earlier this week. Timpani remained in the game as an owner following his retirement from training. His best horse at the time of his death, Sun Fighter, is currently trained by Duke Davis.