11/22/2004 1:00AM

Working holiday for Mitchell

Email
Adam Coglianese/NYRA
Saturday's Remsen Stakes at Aqueduct will mark Galloping Grocer's first race against open company. He is 3 for 3 against New York-breds.

OZONE PARK, N.Y. - Back in the summer, trainer Mike Mitchell promised his family that he'd take them on a vacation and leave the horses behind.

"They must have said 'No horses' 20 times," said Mitchell, who is based in California.

But after Kela won the Grade 1 Bing Crosby in July, Mitchell began scouring the stakes schedule. In addition to the Breeders' Cup Sprint in late October, Mitchell felt the $350,000 Cigar Mile in late November would be a good spot for Kela. So, this week, Mitchell will be on a working vacation in New York City with his wife, Denise, and daughters Shea and McCall.

The Mitchells were scheduled to arrive in New York on Tuesday because that's the only day tickets were available for the Broadway musical "Wicked." On Wednesday, Kela will arrive at Aqueduct, where he will run in Saturday's Grade 1 Cigar Mile against Pico Central.

On Monday, Kela completed preparations for the Cigar Mile by working five furlongs in 59.80 seconds at Hollywood Park under exercise rider George Alvarez. Kela, who upset Pico Central in the Pat O'Brien Handicap at Del Mar in August, is coming off a second-place finish behind Speightstown in the Breeders' Cup Sprint.

"He really does not need a fast work, so this work was just on his own," Mitchell said. "He galloped out good, came back good; I just couldn't ask for him doing any better."

Kela is already proven at one mile, having won the Texas Mile at Lone Star Park in April. That race was around two turns. Mitchell believes the one-turn configuration of the Cigar Mile will be perfect for Kela.

In the Cigar Mile, Kela will be reunited with Tyler Baze, who was aboard Kela for victories in the Bing Crosby and Pat O'Brien. Jerry Bailey was aboard in the Sprint, in which Kela closed from 10th to finish 1 1/4 lengths behind Speightstown. Bailey rides Badge of Silver in the Cigar Mile.

Pico Central, who owns wins in the Carter, Metropolitan, and Vosburgh in New York, was made the 123-pound highweight for the Cigar Mile. Kela was assigned 121. Others expected to run include Aggadan, During, Lion Tamer, Purge, and Voodoo.

Lion Tamer, second to Mass Media in the Sport Page on Oct. 31, was added to this field after being scratched from Saturday's De Francis Dash at Pimlico.

Galloping Grocer has muddy work

Trainer Dominick Schettino postponed Galloping Grocer's final work for the Remsen from Sunday to Monday due to wet track conditions. Belmont's main track was still wet on Monday, but Schettino needed to get the work in, so Galloping Grocer went five furlongs in 59.07 seconds under Angel Cordero. The track was listed as muddy.

While the time was fast, the work did not go as planned. Schettino wanted Galloping Grocer to work just outside of One Tough Dude. Instead, One Tough Dude broke off about eight lengths in front, and Galloping Grocer went very fast early trying to catch him. NYRA clockers caught Galloping Grocer in fractions of 11.13 seconds and 34.17. Galloping Grocer went his last quarter in 24.90 and finished about a length behind One Tough Dude. Galloping Grocer never caught One Tough Dude while galloping out six furlongs in 1:13.80.

"He went off a little too fast, but Angel was just sitting on him the whole way, even in the stretch," said Schettino, who seemed unfazed that Galloping Grocer never caught his workmate.

Galloping Grocer, a New York-bred who is 3 for 3, will meet open company for the first time in Saturday's Remsen. His chief rival will be Rockport Harbor, the undefeated winner of the Grade 3 Nashua last out.

Trainer Todd Pletcher confirmed Killenaule as a Remsen starter after scratching him from Saturday's Laurel Futurity at Pimlico. Father Weist, Pavo, Stormy Jim, and either David Junior or General Jumbo are expected. The latter two are trained by Brian Meehan, who finished second with Master David in last year's Remsen.

Proud Accolade is California-bound

Proud Accolade, the Champagne winner, worked five furlongs on Monday and was scheduled to ship to Southern California on Tuesday as he prepares to run in the Grade 1 Hollywood Futurity on Dec. 18 against Hollywood Prevue winner Declan's Moon and Breeders' Cup Juvenile winner Wilko.

Proud Accolade, fifth in the Breeders' Cup Juvenile, worked five furlongs in 1:02.56 in company with Flower Alley, who was timed in 1:03.45. Proud Accolade worked in blinkers and will wear them for the first time in the Hollywood Futurity.

Pletcher decided to ship Proud Accolade to Hollywood a month out because he feared potential deteriorating weather conditions in the Northeast could compromise the colt's training schedule. Also, Pletcher is sending several runners out West for this weekend's Turf Festival at Hollywood Park.

Pletcher also shipped Essence, winner of Saturday's Grade 3 Anne Arundel Stakes at Pimlico. While Essence's primary objective is to be Proud Accolade's workmate, it is possible she could run in the Grade 2, $150,000 Bayakoa on Dec. 12.

Summer Raven out of Demoiselle

Summer Raven, winner of the Grade 3 Tempted Stakes in her last start, spiked a fever and will not run in Saturday's $200,000 Demoiselle Stakes, Pletcher said. Pletcher is hopeful that Summer Raven could be ready to go one week later in the $250,000 Delta Princess Stakes at Delta Downs on Dec. 4.

Summer Raven's defection figures to leave Sis City a very strong favorite in the Grade 2 Demoiselle, run at 1 1/8 miles. My Typhoon is the only other confirmed runner. Trainer Shug McGaughey will run either Salute or Smuggler. Trainer D. Wayne Lukas may run recent maiden winner Winning Season.

Maidens K.D.'s Shady Lady and Money Helps are possible.

Medallist works for Fall Highweight

Medallist completed his preparations for Thursday's $100,000 Fall Highweight Handicap by working four furlongs in 45.89 seconds over Belmont's muddy main track. Ray Ganpath was up for the move, the fastest of 14 at the distance.

Meanwhile, Edgar Prado has picked up the mount aboard Bwana Charlie, who was scheduled to arrive from Kentucky on Tuesday.

* Jockey Jamie Spencer was scheduled to return to Ireland on Monday after being kicked in the stomach by a horse at Aqueduct on Saturday. Spencer spent one night in a local hospital, where X-rays came back negative. He is expected to keep his engagements for next weekend's stakes races in Japan.