09/26/2005 11:00PM

Two sprinters join cast for Super Derby


The pace of Saturday afternoon's Grade 2, $750,000 Super Derby at Louisiana Downs got quicker on Tuesday after The Daddy flew in with four other hopefuls for the race, and Military Major joined the field for owner George Steinbrenner.

Both horses will be stretching out around two turns for the 1 1/4-mile Super Derby. Military Major worked five furlongs in a bullet 58.40 seconds in his final prep Monday. The Daddy, who won his maiden over six furlongs in 1:09, faced Lost in the Fog last out, and finished fourth to him in the Grade 1 King's Bishop.

He arrived aboard a plane that also brought Desert Breeze, Nolan's Cat, Real Dandy, and Smokescreen to Shreveport, La. The flight originated in New York, and stopped off in Kentucky.

They are part of a 10-horse field expected for the Super Derby. The other probables are A.P. Arrow, Kilates Kiss, Royal Saint, and Silver Haze. Key Issues, winner of the Minnesota Derby, had been under consideration, but will pass the race, his trainer, Gilbert Ciavaglia, said Tuesday.

Smokescreen should start as one of the favorites following his third-place finish to Sun King last out in the Grade 2, $750,000 Pennsylvania Derby. He breezed five furlongs in 1:02.60 at Monmouth on Sunday.

"He had a nice, even five-eighths, and he went out real well," said his trainer, Ben Perkins Jr. "We were pleased."

Trainer Dale Romans said Nolan's Cat shipped into town in good order. He said he's close to making a decision on a rider for the horse, who finished third in the Belmont Stakes in June.

Desert Breeze will be making his stakes debut on Saturday. Two starts ago the Todd Pletcher-trained Desert Breeze won an entry-level allowance at Saratoga by a neck over A.P. Arrow.

Real Dandy is the most accomplished member of the field, with earnings of $725,375. He closed with a rush to win the Grade 3 West Virginia Derby in August, and is managed by trainer Steve Asmussen.

Salvador Gonzalez trains The Daddy, who earned a Beyer Figure of 100 when he won his debut. Military Major, who is a half-brother to Grade 3 winner Acceptable, won his maiden in July, and is trained by Michael Caraman.

The Super Derby will be telecast live on ESPN during its NTRA Super Saturday show from 3 to 5 p.m. Central.