12/03/2002 12:00AM

'Two Item' makes first start on turf


MIAMI - Two Item Limit, who has traveled the country amassing earnings of more than $1 million for owner Joseph Graffeo, will finally return to her Florida roots as a surprising starter in Saturday's $100,000 My Charmer Handicap on the turf. The My Charmer is one of four $100,000 races on Saturday's Grand Slam I program at Calder.

Two Item Limit has started 26 times in her career, but has never run on grass. She trained over the turf for the first time Monday morning, working a half-mile around the dogs in 50.20 seconds under jockey Manny Aguilar.

"It was hard to tell how she went; the dogs were set out so far," said Steve DiMauro, who has piled up the frequent-flyer miles accompanying Two Item Limit from coast to coast over the past couple years. "But she appeared to be moving well over the grass, and Manny said she was traveling great."

Two Item Limit is looking to bounce back from a fourth-place finish as the 2-5 favorite in Hawthorne Park's Illini Princess Stakes on Nov. 9.

"I can't really come up with an explanation for why she ran so poorly in her last start, other than she might not have been grabbing the track too well and she was coming back two weeks off her race in the Breeders' Cup," said DiMauro.

Two Item Limit has competed in each of the last two Breeders' Cup Distaffs, finishing third in 2001 and seventh behind division leader Azeri this year.

"Joe [Graffeo] has been anxious to try her on grass to see if she might have another dimension," said DiMauro. "We had been considering shipping her to Texas for the Great State Challenge but decided she'd done enough traveling. We'll keep her home and let her run around here a few more times before she is sent out to be bred next spring."

Chispiski on the fence for Chaposa Springs

Two Item Limit was one of several Grand Slam candidates to work here Monday.

Band Is Passing went five furlongs over the main track in a leisurely 1:03, preparing to defend his title in the Tropical Turf Handicap. Chispiski and Abuela Esther both breezed in preparation for possible appearances in the seven-furlong Chaposa Springs Handicap.

Chispiski has won seven of her last 10 starts and has not been worse than second during that span. Her half-mile work of 47.40 was easily the best of 23 at the distance on Monday's tab.

"I'm still not sure if she's going to start," said Ron Spatz, who trains Chispiski for owner-breeder William Sorren's Brazil Stable. "We're a little concerned about the distance. I really think she's best at six and 6 1/2 furlongs. In addition, she may have to face Slews Final Answer again and that filly beat us pretty easily the first time we met."

Away, third in Keeneland's Grade 3 Thoroughbred Club of America Stakes on Oct. 20, will likely be the starting highweight under 117 pounds in the Chaposa Springs.

Velasquez remains red hot

Cornelio Velasquez, who will ride Slews Final Answer for trainer Bill Mott if she starts in the Chaposa Springs, extended his lead in the jockey standings by riding five winners on Sunday's program. Velasquez tied a track record with six victories the previous Sunday.

One of Velasquez's five wins was a sterling performance aboard the 7-year-old Petrina Above, who overcame a slow start to capture the five-furlong Wedding Jitters Handicap. Petrina Above has been transformed into the top female turf sprinter on the grounds since trainer Frank Carlisi returned her to the grass earlier this summer. She has now won three of her last four turf sprints with her only defeat a third-place finish against males and Texas Glitter in the Calder Turf Sprint Handicap.