10/18/2005 12:00AM

Wildcat Heir shows he's fit for Sprint

Rain affected workouts for Breeders' Cup horses from New York to California. Classic contender Rock Hard Ten had to settle for gallop over the wet track at Santa Anita on Tuesday.

In a perfect world, the connections of Wildcat Heir would have worked their talented sprinter over the weekend to find out if they should pre-enter him for the $1 million Breeders' Cup Sprint.

But after eight consecutive days of rain disrupted the colt's training schedule, owner Ebby Novak and trainer Ben Perkins Jr. opted to pre-enter Monday and find out later how fit Wildcat Heir is.

Tuesday, Wildcat Heir showed his connections he belongs in the Sprint by working a strong five furlongs in 59.45 seconds over Belmont Park's main track. The move, done in company with the allowance winner Wild Jam, was the fastest of 21 works at the distance.

Wildcat Heir's work was one of six timed workouts put in by Breeders' Cup-bound

horses on a gorgeous Tuesday morning on Long Island. Tuesday also marked the arrival of the first wave of out-of-towners as Southern California-based horses Stevie Wonderboy (Juvenile), Jealous Profit (Juvenile), and Healthy Addiction (Distaff), and Midwest-based runners Gun Salute (Turf) and Wend (Filly and Mare Turf) were flown in. Original Spin (Juvenile Fillies) vanned in from Chicago.

The 5-year-old Wildcat Heir has made only 11 starts in his career and just one this year. Foot problems plagued him in Florida during the winter and again this summer. The one race he did run was awesome. Wildcat Heir won the Teddy Drone Stakes at Monmouth Park by 5 3/4 lengths, running six furlongs in 1:08.59 and earning a Beyer Speed Figure of 117. It was his first race since he won the Grade 1 De Francis Dash last November at Laurel Park.

"It's frustrating with a horse that you know is a good horse,'' Perkins said. "You wish they had a chance to prove it a little more themselves.''

While Wildcat Heir went fast Tuesday morning, the work did not exactly go as planned. Peter Lacy, the exercise rider of Wild Jam, broke off about six lengths ahead of Wildcat Heir rather than the half-length Perkins wanted. Wildcat Heir, under Stewart Elliott, caught up to a slowed down Wild Jam early in the move, then Wildcat Heir sat off of him until midstretch, when he began to draw clear.

Wildcat Heir went the final three furlongs of his work in 34.58 seconds and galloped out six furlongs in 1:12.26.

"I just wanted that horse to carry him to the middle of the turn,'' Perkins said. "When Stewart got to him he was sitting still and he had to wait for Peter to get going again. I was happy with it.''

Private Vow works; Velazquez to ride

Private Vow, a leading contender for the Breeders' Cup Juvenile, worked six furlongs in 1:14.87 in company with Royal Moment.

Private Vow, under exercise rider Luis Gracia worked outside of Royal Moment as the two were basically together through an opening quarter of 25.24 seconds and half-mile in 48.90. At the eighth pole, Toby Sheets, the rider of Royal Moment, motioned Gracia to go on with Private Vow, who galloped away from him through the stretch. He galloped out seven furlongs in 1:28.54.

"This horse's demeanor is extremely laid back,'' trainer Steve Asmussen said. "Pretty good move today, the out in 1:28. He blew a little bit. He's cooling out very relaxed. We're where we want to be. He settled off his workmate today beautifully.''

Asmussen also confirmed that John Velazquez would ride Private Vow. Jerry Bailey had ridden Private Vow to three consecutive wins - including a nine-length score in the Futurity - but he is committed to ride the undefeated First Samurai in the Juvenile.

Said Asmussen: "It's extremely fortunate to get somebody who has had Breeders' Cup success like Johnny has - winning two Breeders' Cup races last year - and at the very least who's as accomplished here at Belmont Park as he is, and he has won several races for me in the past. It's a great fit.''

Superfly, the third-place finisher in the Champagne, worked four furlongs in 49.43 seconds over the main track.

Stellar Jayne, Sundrop work for Godolphin

Stellar Jayne, who will look to improve upon her third-place finish in last year's Breeders' Cup Distaff, worked five furlongs in 1:01.87 over the main track. Richard Migliore was aboard for the move.

Working by herself, Stellar Jayne went in fractions of 13.18 seconds, 25.75, 37.75, 49.81, and galloped out six furlongs in 1:15.00.

"I was pretty happy,'' said Richard Mettee, the assistant trainer for Godolphin Racing's New York-based runners. "I think she's pretty good right now; we just need to keep her right where she is.''

With Bailey opting to ride Sweet Symphony, Frankie Dettori will have the mount on Stellar Jayne.

Dettori will also ride Sundrop for Godolphin in the Filly and Mare Turf. Sundrop looked every bit a turf horse as she breezed five furlongs on dirt in 1:04.23.

"She will do a good piece of work on the dirt if she's in company or on the grass,'' Mettee said. "Her next work will either be in company or on the grass.''

Lost in the Fog's final workout set

The undefeated Lost in the Fog will have his final major work for the Breeders' Cup Sprint on Thursday at Golden Gate Fields, trainer Greg Gilchrist said.

Lost in the Fog will work five furlongs at 9 a.m. Pacific following the second break of the day, with regular jockey Russell Baze aboard, Gilchrist said.

Golden Gate Fields will open the clubhouse gate at 8:30 a.m. for fans.

Lost in the Fog will leave for New York on Saturday instead of this past Tuesday, as originally planned. Gilchrist cited the beautiful weather in northern California and the unsettled weather in New York as his reasons for staying home longer. Also, Gilchrist noted that Lost in the Fog has already been to Belmont and won, taking the Riva Ridge on Belmont Day.

"I had planned on working twice between his last race and the Breeders' Cup, but then I thought I don't really need to work this horse a half-mile,'' Gilchrist said. "He has been running all year long. I decided that Thursday I will put a good five-eighths into him and that will set him up for the race.''

Rain puts Rock Hard Ten on hold

A rare fall rainstorm in Southern California on Monday and Tuesday delayed the final major workout by Rock Hard Ten for the Breeders' Cup Classic. Rock Hard Ten galloped Tuesday on the wet Santa Anita training track, and was scheduled for work seven furlongs Wednesday or Thursday, depending on track condition.

Trainer Richard Mandella said the one- or two-day delay in Rock Hard Ten's workout schedule wasn't a major concern because he had gotten a lot of work into the horse in preparation for the Goodwood Handicap on Oct. 1, "so I think I'm in good shape," Mandella said.

Rock Hard Ten's victory in the Goodwood was his first start in seven months. He entered that race off a series of long workouts.

Rock Hard Ten will ship Sunday to Belmont, where Mandella said his work regimen will be "a little eye-opener . . . maybe just an open gallop" early in the week.

Rock Hard Ten will be one of two Mandella trainees in the Breeders' Cup. He said he entered Laura's Lucky Boy in the Turf, with second preference the Mile. Laura's Lucky Boy finished fourth in the Grade 1 Clement Hirsch Handicap on Oct. 2, and was moved to third via disqualification.

"He came out of the race so good; he's sitting on a good one," Mandella said. "Whether his good one is good enough, I don't know."

Chicago has one top contender, one longshot

The connections of the two Hawthorne-based Breeders' Cup horses, Original Spin and Lord of the Game, both have decided to send their horses to Belmont well in advance of their respective races. Original Spin, bound for the Juvenile Fillies, boarded a horse van Monday morning at Hawthorne and was bedded down in New York by Monday night.

That same van could have transported Lord of the Game, who goes in the Classic, but trainer Tom Tomillo decided to wait and make sure the horse would not be excluded from an oversubscribed race. Tomillo, who said he pre-entered Lord of the Game in the Classic on Monday, said he was to speak with Breeders' Cup officials sometime Tuesday, and intended to ship his horse Wednesday if assured that Lord of the Game would get a chance to run.

While Lord of the Game finished a close second last out in the Hawthorne Gold Cup, he will be a longshot on Breeders' Cup Day. Not so Original Spin, a good-looking winner of the Arlington-Washington Lassie last out, and now 2 for 2 in her brief career. Original Spin figures to be one of the top five choices in the Juvenile Fillies, especially with Bailey taking over the mount. Ron Anderson, Bailey's agent, confirmed Tuesday that he had agreed to ride Original Spin for trainer Tony Mitchell.

* Shakespeare, the undefeated winner of the Joe Hirsch Turf Classic, worked five furlongs in 1:00.95 over the Belmont turf course on Tuesday. Shakespeare will be one of the choices in the $2 million BC Turf.

- additional reporting by Chuck Dybdal, Brad Free, and Marcus Hersh