07/10/2007 11:00PM

Two seniors still to be reckoned with


MIAMI - At an age when most horses have either been turned out to pasture or relegated to lower-level claiming races, Eternal Look and Tour of the Cat are still going strong. The two old pros remain in good enough form at the age of 9 to be considered the ones to beat in Friday's $30,000 allowance feature at Calder.

Eternal Look has won 11 of 73 starts and banked nearly $360,000, 55 of those races and 10 of the victories coming over his home course at Calder. A son of Ponche, he began his career as a 2-year-old during the summer of 2000, winning his first start against maiden competition. He has bounced around between the claiming and allowance ranks for the majority of his career. He has been claimed twice, most recently by his current owner, the J S M Stable, for $16,000 in 2004.

Eternal Look has seemed to improve with age. In 2006 he captured 4 of 13 starts and became a stakes winner for the first time by upsetting the Major Moran Stakes on Aug. 27. Trainer Steve DiMauro stopped on him following his fourth-place finish behind Tour of the Cat under allowance conditions Dec. 28 and did not bring him back to the races until mid-June.

In his lone start this year he finished fifth in the Champali here, beaten nearly 15 lengths.

"He had a few old problems and he'd never been given any real time off, so we figured it would be nice if he got a break at the end of last year," said DiMauro. "It took him a little longer than I expected to knock the rust off, and I thought he'd run better than he did in his first start. But he seems to be coming around and showing a little more aggressiveness in the morning since that race. I'm just not sure if he's all the way back yet."

DiMauro feels Friday's feature is a perfect spot for Eternal Look if he can return to his outstanding 2006 form.

"He had a great year last year, but he's 9 now, and you're never sure at what point they'll starting tailing off because of their age," said DiMauro.

Tour of the Cat has been even more effective than Eternal Look over his long career, winning 16 of 56 starts, including three graded stakes. Tour of the Cat, a son of Tour d'Or, became a millionaire last season when he won 3 of 11 outings and earned more than $111,000 for the Double G Stable.

When he starts Friday, Tour of the Cat will be saddled by his third trainer in as many starts dating back to April 18, when he was sent out by Maria Pascual to a three-quarter-length allowance win at Gulfstream Park. He finished last after being crowded leaving the gate in the Ponche Handicap here, when he was trained by Manny Wayar, and he currently resides in the barn of Ross Wolfendale.

A pair of relative youngsters, the 7-year-olds Supervisor and Champagne Account, are also among the key contenders in the field for Friday's headliner, which also includes Wild Nature, Hornshope, and the mare Leona's Knight.

Supervisor, trained by Manny Tortora, has been a mainstay in the older handicap division here for several years but remains winless since 2005. He has started just once this season, finishing eighth behind Lawyer Ron and Istan under high-priced optional claiming conditions at Gulfstream on Feb. 11.

Straight Faced still at the farm

DiMauro reports that Straight Faced, the king of the local 2-year-old division for most of the 2006 season, remains on Adam Parker's farm in Ocala, Fla., and is not expected to return to training until later this summer. Straight Faced was plagued by foot problems throughout his juvenile campaign.

"He's had frog and foot problems for a long time, and we basically had to let him grow a new foot, and it took a long time," DiMauro explained. "If all goes well, he could go back into training in August and return to the track in October or November."

* Imawildandcrazyguy will make his first start since finishing sixth in the Belmont Stakes in Saturday's 12th race, a one-mile allowance for 3-year-olds and up who have never won three races. Despite competing in two legs of the Triple Crown and being graded-stakes-placed, Imawildandcrazyguy has won just 2 of 13 starts and is winless at 3.