01/02/2006 1:00AM

Who says everything has its price?

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Horsephotos
Blazing Rate (outside) inches ahead of In Summation in the final stride to win the In Reality Stakes - and hand In Summation his only defeat.

HALLANDALE BEACH, Fla. - When Magna Graduate was sold privately by Burr Travis for a high six-figure sum last spring, the deal ended up a win-win situation for all involved. Travis and his trainer, Garry Simms, both did well financially, and so did the colt's new owner, Elisabeth Alexander, since Magna Graduate became a standout 3-year-old by year's end.

Travis and Simms could have engineered another major transaction in recent weeks, but they have chosen to keep the cards they were dealt. Numerous inquiries have been made of Travis and Simms about selling the 3-year-old Itsallboutthechase, but they are saying no.

"We've had a lot of interest in the horse and turned down quite a bit of money," Simms said last weekend at Palm Meadows, where he has six horses in training, including Itsallboutthechase. "But we've decided to take a shot. Like my son told me, 'Dad, you've got to chase your dreams.' And what's a dream worth?"

Itsallboutthechase, by Devil His Due, is one of about 10 3-year-olds expected to run Saturday in the $125,000 Aventura Stakes, the first race in the Florida Derby series at Gulfstream. Itsallboutthechase earned an 85 Beyer Speed Figure in an impressive victory in his last start, a 1 1/16-mile maiden race at Churchill Downs on Nov. 26.

Once-beaten In Summation will be one of the favorites in the one-mile Aventura. Other probables include My Golden Song, Saint Daimon, Corinthian, Dixie Swinger, and Big Lover; either of the Nick Zito-trained pair of Little Cliff or Super Fly; and one of the Darley Stable trio of Armament, Barbican, and Barcola.

Blazing Rate easing back into form

The only horse to defeat In Summation in six career starts, Blazing Rate, will pass the race, having just returned to training following a brief freshening.

Blazing Rate rallied to catch In Summation in the final stride of the 1 1/16-mile In Reality Stakes for his third victory in four career starts. Trained by the veteran south Florida-based horseman Richard Root, Blazing Rate also captured the Foolish Pleasure Stakes by two lengths over D'broken Speed,

another prospective starter in the Aventura. Blazing Rate's only setback came at the hands of In Summation in the seven-furlong Affirmed Stakes on Labor Day.

"He's been back at the track for about two weeks after spending some time on the farm following the In Reality," Root said. "He's put on some weight, looks good, and had his first work, an easy three-eighths in 39, last Saturday. We'll just take things as it goes, and when he's ready to run we'll look for a race, although I'd hate to start him back at a mile and one-eighth in one of the big stakes like the Fountain of Youth."

Like father like son

Trainer Allen Jerkens and his son Jimmy each have a top contender for Saturday's $100,000 Mr. Prospector Handicap, and each sent their horse out for a final major work on Tuesday morning.

At Gulfstream Park, the elder Jerkens worked War Front five furlongs in 59.60 seconds for the six-furlong Mr. Prospector, while the younger Jerkens had Sir Greeley go a half-mile in 47 up the road at the Palm Meadows training center, where he is stabled for the winter.

War Front will turn back to a sprint after finishing a tiring sixth going 1 1/16 miles in the Grade 3 Discovery Handicap in his 3-year-old finale on Oct. 29. The setback snapped a three-race win streak for War Front, a son of Danzig, who had won his three previous starts by an average margin of more than eight lengths.

Sir Greeley closed out his 3-year-old campaign winning 2 of his last 3 starts, including Aqueduct's Fly So Free Stakes on Dec. 7. A son of Mr. Greeley, Sir Greeley also finished fourth in the Fall Highweight and recorded a career best 110 Beyer Speed Figure winning a third-level allowance race by six lengths at Belmont in late September.

Funny Cide, who has not started since finishing far back in the Grade 1 Suburban Handicap on July 2, is expected to return in the Mr. Prospector. Other prospective starters include Friendly Island, Gaff, Nightmare Affair, and possibly Lord of the Game and Storm Surge.

Ward and Oxley plan New York string

Trainer John T. Ward Jr. and his main client, John Oxley, plan to branch out to New York later this year. Ward said he has hired Barry Knight, a former assistant to D. Wayne Lukas, to run his New York division.

Ward also will maintain a large Midwest stable that will race mostly at Keeneland - his primary base - in the spring and fall and at Arlington Park in the summer.

"There are two major factors in our decision to go to New York," said Ward. "The first is that Mr. Oxley has a whole lot of homebreds turning 2 this year, and we are trying to make a name for his young stallions. The second is that Keeneland is going to be all torn up after the spring meet because they're putting down their new Polytrack surface, and we have to take all these horses somewhere."

Oxley's operation has grown and he now owns a broodmare band of more than 60 mares. Among his stallions is Monarchos, with whom he and Ward won the 2001 Kentucky Derby.

- additional reporting by Mike Welsch

At a glance: Gulfstream Park

RACING SCHEDULE: 87 days; Wednesday through April 23 (87 days); dark every Tuesday and Jan. 5, 6, 9, 18, 23, and 30.

POST TIME: 12:50 p.m. Eastern daily, except April 1 (noon).

ADMISSIONS: Free to walk into track; additional admission/seats: $10-$25

PURSE AVERAGE: About $270,000 per day.

LOCATION: 901 So. Federal Hwy., Hallandale Beach, Fla.

PHONE: (954) 454-7000 or (800) 771-8873.

INTERNET: www.gulfstreampark.com

2006 stakes schedule

DATEEVENTCONDITIONSDISTANCEPURSE
Sat.,Jan. 7Aventura Stakes 3YO 1 mile$125,000
Sat.,Jan. 7Mr. Prospector Handicap (G3)3YO & Up6 furlongs100,000
Sat.,Jan 7Hal's Hope Handicap (G3)3YO & Up1 1/8 miles100,000
Sun.,Jan. 8Ft. Lauderdale Stakes3YO & Up1 1/16 miles (T)75,000
Sat.,Jan. 14Marshua's River StakesF&M, 3YO & Up1 1/16 miles (T)75,000
Sat.,Jan. 21First Lady Handicap (G3)F&M, 3YO & Up6 furlongs100,000
Sat.,Jan. 28Sunshine Millions DistaffF&M, 3YO & Up1 1/8 miles500,000
Sat.,Jan. 28Sunshine Millions Turf3YO & Up1 1/8 miles (T)500,000
Sat.,Jan. 28Sunshine Millions Sprint3YO & Up6 furlongs300,000
Sat.,Jan. 28Sunshine Millions Oaks3YO F6 furlongs250,000
Sun.,Jan. 29Mac diarmida Handicap (G3)3YO & Up1 3/8 miles (T)100,000
Sat.,Feb. 4Donn Handicap (G1)3YO & Up1 1/8 miles500,000
Sat.,Feb. 4Hutcheson Stakes (G2)3YO7 1/2 furlongs150,000
Sat.,Feb. 4Davona Dale Stakes (G2)3YO F1 1/8 miles150,000
Sat.,Feb. 4Holy Bull Stakes (G3) 3YO1 1/8 miles150,000
Sat.,Feb. 4Old Hat Stakes (G3)3YO F6 1/2 furlongs100,000
Sat.,Feb. 4Suwannee River Handicap (G3)F&M, 3YO & Up1 1/8 miles (T)100,000
Sun.,Feb. 5Deputy Minister Handicap (G3)3YO & Up6 furlongs100,000
Sat.,Feb. 11Appleton Handicap (G3)3YO & Up1 mile (T)100,000
Sun.,Feb. 12Hallandale Beach Stakes3YO1 1/16 miles (T)60,000
Sat.,Feb. 18Hurricane Bertie Handicap (G3)F&M, 3YO & Up6 1/2 furlongs100,000
Sat.,Feb. 18Sabin Handicap (G3)F&M, 3YO & Up1 1/8 miles100,000
Sun.,Feb. 19Gaily Gaily Stakes3YO F1 1/16 miles (T)60,000
Sat.,Feb. 25Gulfstream Park B.C. Turf (G1)3YO & Up 1 7/16 miles (T)250,000
Sat.,March 4Fountain Of Youth Stakes (G2)3YO1 1/8 miles300,000
Sat.,March 4Gulfstream Park Handicap (G2)3YO & Up1 3/16 miles300,000
Sat.,March 4Richter Scale B.C. Sprint (G2)3YO & Up 7 furlongs200,000
Sat.,March 4Swale Stakes (G2)3YO7 furlongs150,000
Sat.,March 4THE Very One Handicap (G3)F&M, 3YO & Up1 7/16 miles (T)100,000
Sat.,March 4Honey Fox Handicap (G3)F&M, 3YO & Up1 1/16 miles (T)100,000
Sun.,March 5Forward Gal Stakes (G2)3YO F7 furlongs150,000
Sun.,March 5Bonnie Miss Stakes (G2)3YO F1 1/8 miles150,000
Sat.,March 11Canadian Turf Handicap3YO & Up1 1/16 miles (T)100,000
Sun.,March 12Palm Beach Stakes (G3)3YO1 1/8 miles (T) 100,000
Sat.,March 18Shirley Jones B.c. Handicap (G2)F&M, 3YO & Up7 furlongs200,000
Sun.,March 19Herecomesthebride Stakes (G3)3YO F1 1/8 miles (T)100,000
Sat.,March 25Rampart Handicap (G2)F&M, 3YO & Up1 1/8 miles (T)200,000
Sat.,April 1Florida Derby (G1)3YO1 1/8 miles1,000,000
Sat.,April 1Orchid Handicap (G3)F&M, 3YO & Up1 1/2 miles (T)150,000
Sat.,April 1Skip Away Handicap (G3)3YO & Up1 1/8 miles100,000
Sat.,April 1Pan American HANDICAP (G3)3YO & Up1 1/2 miles (T)150,000
Sat.,April 1Artax Handicap3YO & Up7 1/2 furlongs100,000
Sat.,April 1Lure Stakes3YO & Up1 mile (T)75,000
Sat.,April 1Spectacular Bid Stakes3YO6 1/2 furlongs75,000
Sat.,April 8Bob Slater StakesF&M, 3YO & Up5 furlongs (T)50,000
Sat.,April 15Yankee Affair Stakes3YO & Up5 furlongs (T)50,000