12/13/2006 12:00AM

Whatsthescript rolls dice in Futurity

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INGLEWOOD, Calif. - Owner Tom Stull is taking a gamble by supplementing the multiple turf stakes winner Whatsthescript to Saturday's Hollywood Futurity on the synthetic track.

Whatsthescript would be a short-priced favorite in the $75,000 Eddie Logan Stakes over a mile on turf at Santa Anita on Dec. 30, and will be a longer price in Saturday's Grade 1 Futurity over 1 1/16 miles.

Stull and trainer Manuel Marques debated which race to try before deciding on the Futurity on Wednesday, Marques said.

Marques says that Whatsthescript has trained well on Hollywood Park's synthetic track and deserves a shot on the surface. In the back of his mind, he envisioned trying the colt in a stakes on that surface next year, but the plan has been moved forward.

"I had a plan to try it next year, maybe for the Swaps, and he wants to do it now," Marques said of Stull's plan.

Whatsthescript has won 3 of 5 starts and $103,041. The winner of a maiden race in Ireland in July, he is unbeaten in two starts since being acquired by Stull's Tommy Town Thoroughbreds and turned over to Marques.

Whatsthescript, who is by Royal Applause, won his California debut in the restricted Pinjara Stakes over a mile on turf at the Oak Tree at Santa Anita meeting on Oct. 26. He returned to win the Grade 3 Generous Stakes over a mile on turf on Nov. 24.

"We had trained for this race and we were going to decide at the last minute whether to run in it or not," Marques said. "If he runs in the top three, he'll be worth a lot more than he is now.

"The horse is doing everything perfectly. Maybe he'll run huge and win the race. I wouldn't be surprised if he wins the race."

The Futurity has drawn a field of 10, led by the undefeated Belgravia, who won the Grade 3 Hollywood Prevue Stakes over seven furlongs on Nov. 18. The Futurity will be his first start around two turns.

Other top candidates are Stormello and Principle Secret, the first two finishers in the Grade 2 Norfolk Breeders' Cup Stakes at Santa Anita in October, and Roman Commander, Unusual Suspect and Liquidity, the first three finishers in the Real Quiet Stakes here on Nov.o4.

Distance question for Principle Secret

At this time of year, no trainer wants to admit that his star 2-year-old is only a sprinter. There is too much prize money and glory on the Triple Crown trail to give up hope.

Although Principle Secret has lost two straight at 1 1/16 miles, trainer Christopher Paasch is hoping a big performance in the Hollywood Futurity can propel the colt toward the Kentucky Derby.

Principle Secret has had mixed results in his last three races. He was a brilliant winner of the Best Pal Stakes over 6 1/2 furlongs at Del Mar in August and finished a game second in the Grade 2 Norfolk Breeders' Cup Stakes at 1o1/16 miles, losing by a neck.

But in the 1 1/16-mile Breeders' Cup Juvenile at Churchill Downs on Nov. 4, Principle Secret had a dreadful trip and failed to finish. After being kicked by a rival on his lower legs at the start, Principle Secret tore off to the lead, but he faded on the final turn and was eased.

The injuries were superficial, according to Paasch. The disappointment felt by Paasch remains.

"At the half-mile pole, I just turned and walked away," Paasch said. "I was hoping that he didn't break down."

Paasch is optimistic that Principle Secret can thrive over a longer distance. In the Norfolk, he led to deep stretch and was just caught.

"I think, off the race at Santa Anita, he's a route horse," Paasch said. "I'd like to believe he's a route horse. He does everything so easily. The distance shouldn't be an issue. I think he can get a mile or a mile and a sixteenth. I don't know about a mile and a quarter. I'm not saying he's a Derby horse."

For Paasch and owner Charles Cono, that issue will be sorted out soon enough.

Frankel: Either I'm a fool or a genius

When asked why he was running Down, a maiden, in Sunday's Grade 1 Hollywood Starlet, trainer Bobby Frankel had a quick answer.

"She'll win the Starlet, that's my theory," he said.

Down has made one start, finishing second by a nose in a maiden race at Belmont Park on Oct. 22. Owned by Michael Bello, Down was entered in a maiden race here last weekend, but withdrawn was when she drew the rail.

"Maybe it was a signal to take her out and try this race," he said.

The Starlet, which is run over 1 1/16 miles, will have a large field. The top candidates include the stakes winners Mistical Plan, Quick Little Miss, Romance Is Diane, and Runway Rosie as well as the stakes-placed runners Mystic Soul and She's Included.

Frankel is willing to take a chance with Down, who is by Mr. Greeley.

"We'll see if I'm a fool or a genius," Frankel said.

Violette to send Eastern invader for Malibu

The $250,000 Malibu Stakes for 3-year-olds over seven furlongs on Dec. 26, the opening-day feature of the Santa Anita winter-spring meeting, will have a large field.

High Finance, who finished fourth in the Perryville Stakes at Keeneland and the Mr. Leader Stakes at Aqueduct in his last two starts, will make his first start in California in the Malibu. Trained by Rick Violette for West Point Stables, High Finance will be ridden by Richard Migliore.

"Some years this race is a two-other-than and some years it looks like a salty race," he said. "This looks tough. I've got the flight lined up and we're pretty committed to going."

The candidates for the Malibu include Arson Squad, Awesome Gem, Brother Derek, Da Stoops, Latent Heat, Midnight Lute, Northern Soldier, Sailors Sunset and Spring at Last.