12/27/2003 12:00AM

Vous will miss Wildcat with fever


MIAMI - Coming off her game victory in the Hollywood Wildcat Stakes, Vous would likely have been the favorite in Thursday's $100,000 Tropical Park Oaks. But after Vous came down with a temperature earlier this week, trainer Tim Hills has decided to pass the race.

"It's nothing serious," Hills said Saturday. "She spiked a fever of about 102 on Wednesday and didn't eat, which is unusual for her. There seems to be a little bug going around at Palm Meadows right now. She recovered quickly and was back to the track to jog this morning. In the old days I might have tried to patch her up with antibiotics and run her. But I've been at this business 30 years, and I've learned the hard way, when they get sick you're much better off to regroup and wait for another day."

Despite being a stakes winner on grass, Hills said he's not sure Vous is strictly a turf horse. A daughter of Wild Rush, Vous won her maiden over a sloppy main track at the Meadowlands.

"Her race was visually impressive, and I'd like to try her again on the main track before I commit her completely to grass," said Hills. "There is certainly a lot more money to be won out there for a 3-year-old filly if they can run on the dirt."

Vous's victory in the Hollywood Wildcat came about an hour before Timo won the Mecke Stakes here Nov. 29. Timo will be back Thursday as the likely favorite in the Grade 3 Tropical Park Derby.

"He'll work Sunday morning and be on a van for Florida that afternoon," said trainer Bill Badgett. "[Eibar] Coa will ride him again."

Timo has won 4 of 6 starts and, after winning the Pilgrim Stakes at Aqueduct, is a two-time stakes winner.

Among the newly turned 3-year-olds Timo is expected to face in the Tropical Park Derby is Imperialism, who, after a slow start, closed full of run to finish second in the Mecke.

Two of the top juvenile colts on the grounds, Second of June and Sir Oscar, worked Saturday. Second Of June breezed a mile in 1:45.40 in his first work since he won the What A Pleasure Stakes on Dec. 13. Sir Oscar, who completed an undefeated 2-year-old campaign with a victory in the Jack Price Juvenile on Nov. 15, went five furlongs in 1:02.40 for trainer Manny Azpurua.

Second of June and Sir Oscar could make their 3-year-old debuts in the $100,000 Holy Bull Stakes at Gulfstream Park on Jan. 17.