01/19/2008 12:00AM

War Pass bounces back from touch of colic


HALLANDALE BEACH, Fla. - There are bumps along every road, including the one that leads to the Kentucky Derby each spring.

Trainer Nick Zito encountered one of those obstacles, albeit a little one, on Saturday morning when he was forced to cancel a scheduled work for War Pass after the undefeated colt contracted a mild case of colic the previous afternoon.

Zito said he received a call that War Pass was showing signs of discomfort shortly after leaving Gulfstream Park around 5 p.m. on Friday. He let his veterinarian, Dr. Joseph Migliacci, explain the rest.

"War Pass showed signs of abdominal discomfort with the symptoms of a mild impaction at feed time on Friday," said Migliacci. "As a result, we decided to send him to the Palm Beach Equine Clinic, where he could receive maintenance fluids all evening. It was basically a precautionary measure. He passed manure all evening, had a good night, and is back to normal this morning."

Migliacci said he believed the hot and humid weather might have contributed to the condition.

War Pass returned to Zito's barn at Palm Meadows on Saturday morning, and the Hall of Fame trainer said he will monitor the colt's condition over the next several days before deciding when he might be able to breeze again.

"He came back looking great and I'll probably send him to the track Sunday," said Zito. "We'll just have to adapt, but better this sort of thing happened now than in March, when it could force him to miss an important race like the Wood."

Zito did send out another of his Derby hopefuls, Anak Nakal, to work an easy half-mile at Palm Meadows on Saturday in 49.60 seconds. Anak Nakal could make his 3-year-old debut in the Grade 2 Fountain of Youth on Feb. 24.

Daaher remains on target for Donn

Daaher, who will make his 2008 debut in the Grade 1 Donn Handicap in two weeks, indicated his readiness for the assignment when he worked five furlongs in 59.97 seconds on Saturday.

Daaher was barely visible after breaking off at the five-furlong pole a couple of lengths behind stablemate Make the Point as fog shrouded most of the turn and the top of the stretch at Palm Meadows early Saturday morning. He came back into view on even terms with his workmate leaving the turn, completed a half-mile in 47.55, then finished in hand before galloping out six furlongs in 1:13.07.

"Perfect," exclaimed Neal McLaughlin, deputizing for his brother, trainer Kiaran McLaughlin, who was in New York on Saturday. "He'll come back with a nice half-mile next week and be good to go in the Donn."

McLaughlin is hoping to use the Donn as a prep for Daaher's first major goal this season, the Dubai World Cup on March 29. McLaughlin won both races a year ago with Invasor.

Tagg finds two more nice prospects

Trainer Barclay Tagg has Tale of Ekati cranking up for his 3-year-old debut, but the winner of the Grade 2 Futurity at Belmont Park isn't the only Kentucky Derby prospect in the barn.

Tagg unleashed two other promising 3-year-olds on Friday and Saturday when he sent out Jockey Ridge and Elysium Fields to impressive maiden wins, both with jockey Eibar Coa aboard.

Jockey Ridge set a face pace, then drew off to an impressive 4 3/4-length victory going 6 1/2 furlongs while making his second career start on Friday. A son of Broken Vow, Jockey Ridge earned a 101 Beyer Speed Figure for the effort.

"I'd like to stretch him out and will probably look for an allowance race of some kind for him next," said Tagg."

Tagg put blinkers on Elysium Fields for the first time and was rewarded with a similarly easy maiden special weight triumph in a 1o1/8-mile race Saturday.

Rags to Riches's first work far off

Trainer Todd Pletcher reported that Belmont Stakes winner Rags to Riches galloped for the first time since rejoining his stable at Palm Beach Downs last week.

"She looks great but will probably need at least 30 days before we think about having her work," said Pletcher.

Rags to Riches is the overwhelming favorite to win an Eclipse Award on Monday evening as the top 3-year-old filly in 2007.

Cabassa nearing 1,000 wins

Jockey Abad Cabassa Jr. is closing in on his 1,000th lifetime victory. Cabassa presently has 989 wins.

Cabassa is best known around this area as the regular rider for Tour of the Cat during the consistent gelding's heyday. Cabassa won nine races with Tour of the Cat from September 2001 through October 2003, including the Grade 2 Richter Scale Breeders' Cup Handicap here.

Tour of the Cat, who has earned more than $1 million, was scheduled to compete under an $18,000 claiming tag for trainer Ross Wolfendale on Sunday.