03/11/2002 12:00AM

Two Pletcher attractions staying in barn


HALLANDALE BEACH, Fla. - The prospective starting lineups for two of this week's key attractions lost some of their luster when trainer Todd Pletcher announced he will not run Smok'n Frolic in Friday's $250,000 Bonnie Miss Stakes or Smooth Jazz in Saturday's $150,000 Swale Stakes.

Smok'n Frolic finished a disappointing seventh making her 3-year-old debut in the Grade 2 Davona Dale Stakes on Feb. 24. She had closed out her 2-year-old campaign with easy victories in the Grade 3 Tempted and Grade 2 Demoiselle stakes in New York.

"I just wasn't satisfied with the way she scoped after she worked on Saturday," Pletcher said. "It was kind of a dirty scope, and coming off a disappointing effort it just did not stack up at the right time to run her on Friday."

Smooth Jazz was recently turned over to Pletcher after being purchased privately by owner Michael Tabor.

"He's settled in well, but I'm just getting to know him and the Swale comes up just a little too soon," Pletcher said.

While Smok' n Frolic and Smooth Jazz will not run this weekend, Pletcher hopes to get another promising 3-year-old, Warners, back in action against preliminary allowance competition on Saturday's Florida Derby undercard. Warners worked five furlongs in 1:00.60 here Monday.

"There's a seven-furlong allowance race for him in the book on Saturday, and if that doesn't go I've got him nominated to run in the Ocala Sprint Championship on Monday," said Pletcher.

"He's training well, and in a perfect world I'd start him back at six furlongs, which is one reason the Ocala race is appealing. He's a very talented horse. The question is how far he wants to go.

"We're behind schedule and playing catch-up" if Warners is to make the Kentucky Derby, Pletcher said. "But we do have a lot of options, including the Aventura Stakes here on April 6. There's also the Bay Shore and Withers in New York or the Lexington at Keeneland."

Belterra works for Davona Dale

A small field is expected for the Bonnie Miss and will be led by Belterra and Ms Brookski, upset winner of the Davona Dale.

The undefeated Belterra indicated her readiness for the Grade 2 assignment by working five furlongs in 1:00 here Monday.

Belterra won all three of her starts at 2 but has not started since easily defeating Take Charge Lady to capture the Golden Rod Stakes on Nov. 24.

"Today was just an easy, happy work," said Ian Wilkes, assistant to Carl Nafzger, who trains Belterra for owner and breeder Robert Manfuso. "She's trained well and is ready to go now."

Dust Me Off, who has won two of her three starts, worked seven furlongs in 1:25.60 in company with stablemate Shine Again on Monday and is also likely to run in the Bonnie Miss.

Compact field expected for Swale

A compact but talented lineup is also expected for the Swale and will be led by Ethan Man, Monthir, and Governor Hickel.

Ethan Man, an impressive allowance winner here earlier this winter, looked sharp working four furlongs in 46.80 here Monday, getting the last quarter mile in 23 seconds.

"He's doing great," said his trainer, Pat Byrne. "I had hoped he'd work in about 48 seconds this morning, but the track was fast, and as you could see he did it all on his own."

Ethan Man has won two of his three starts and in his career debut at Churchill Downs last fall defeated Louisiana Derby runner-up Easyfromthegitgo.

"He's coming into the race fresh, and I like the idea of coming right back at seven furlongs instead of stretching him out around two turns," said Byrne.

"I'm happy where we are with him now, and if all goes well I plan to go to the Lexington Stakes off this race. I'm keeping all our options open now and not dismissing the Kentucky Derby at this point. I feel he can go two turns.

"He's a very relaxed horse and has done well and really developed since his last race.

"I've had a lot of nice horses over the past several years but none like him. He's the best I've had since Favorite Trick."

Hook and Ladder has throat abscess

Trainer John Kimmel said Hook and Ladder was suffering from a sub-epiglottic abscess when he finished last as the even-money favorite in Saturday's $200,000 Gulfstream Park Handicap.

"Basically, that's an abscess which broke open in his throat and kept him from being able to breathe properly during the race," said Kimmel.

"We discovered the condition when scoping him after the race. He never gave us any indication of the problem, but it probably developed sometime between his breeze day Monday and Thursday.

"It is a very painful condition but a simple one to treat with antibiotics although it will cost us anywhere from two to four weeks training time."

* Jockey Jose Santos and his agent, Jorge Velasquez, have parted ways. Santos has turned his book over to veteran agent Mike Sellitto, who previously handled riding engagements for Richard Migliore.

* Wednesday's pick-six carryover will be $82,270.