11/20/2007 12:00AM

Xchanger going for Grade 1 in Cigar

EmailOZONE PARK, N.Y. - The connections of Xchanger have decided to forgo the Grade 3 Discovery Handicap to take a shot at the Gradeo1 Cigar Mile on Saturday at Aqueduct.

Xchanger, who already has won two Grade 3 races in his career, would have been the starting highweight and potential favorite in the $100,000 Discovery, a race restricted to 3-year-olds also on Saturday's Aqueduct card. In the $300,000 Cigar Mile, he will be taking on the likes of Breeders' Cup Sprint winner Midnight Lute, the improving Tasteyville, and the promising Daaher. Diamond Isle is possible.

"Just taking a shot," trainer Mark Shuman said by phone Tuesday from his barn at the Fair Hill training center in Maryland. "I figured to win another Grade 3 won't do anything for the value of the horse."

Xchanger, a son of Exchange Rate, won the Grade 3 Sapling as a 2-year-old and the Grade 3 Barbaro at Delaware Park in July. After finishing second in the Pennsylvania Derby and third in the Meadowlands Cup, Xchanger finished sixth, beaten 34 lengths by Corinthian, in the inaugural Breeders' Cup Dirt Mile run over an extremely sloppy Monmouth Park surface on Oct. 26.

Shuman blamed the off going as well as the kickback of mud in the colt's face as the reason for Xchanger's poor performance.

"We had the outside [post] there and we had to duck over to the rail, and he was climbing all over the place as soon as that mud pelted him in the face," Shuman said. "He didn't try very much. He was very tough to cool out after the race; he was very full of himself. It was just bad luck that day the way the racetrack came up.''

Shuman said Cornelio Velasquez would ride Xchanger in the Cigar Mile.

Court Vision to run in Remsen

The only thing Court Vision has done more than once is win.

He has raced at three different tracks and three distances. He has run on conventional dirt, Polytrack, during the daytime, and at night. Saturday, Court Vision will try his fourth track and distance when he runs in the $200,000 Remsen Stakes for 2-year-olds at 1 1/8 miles. The connections of Court Vision chose the Remsen over the $250,000 Kentucky Jockey Club Saturday at Churchill Downs.

"One, it's a bit smaller field," said Elliott Walden, racing manager for WinStar Farm, which owns Court Vision. "Two, we could get some experience over that track in case you want to come back for the Wood Memorial in the spring."

Walden, WinStar, and trainer Bill Mott already know that Court Vision likes Churchill Downs. Court Vision, a son of Gulch, won the Grade 3 Iroquois Stakes by a half-length at Churchill on Oct. 28. That came 22 days after he won a 1 1/16-mile maiden race over Keeneland's Polytrack on Oct. 6. In his debut, Court Vision finished second in a six-furlong maiden race under the lights at Turfway Park.

Eibar Coa will be aboard Court Vision in the Remsen.

Court Vision's opponents are expected to include Atoned, Big Truck, Giant Moon, Springs Road, Tide Dancer, and Z Fortune.

Lost Etiquette heading to Asmussen

The late-developing 3-year-old filly Lost Etiquette will have a new home after Friday's Grade 2, $150,000 Top Flight Handicap. Ro Parra's Millennium Farms has purchased the filly from Paul Pompa. She will be transferred to trainer Steve Asmussen following the Top Flight. Pompa and Parra will split any of Lost Etiquette's earnings in Friday's race.

Lost Etiquette will have a puncher's chance in the Top Flight, a one-turn mile race whose field is headed by the Grade 1 winner Pool Land. Lost Etiquette has 2 wins and 2 seconds from her last 4 starts, including a runner-up finish behind runaway winner Tessa Blue in the $250,000 Inside Information Stakes at sloppy Monmouth Park on Oct. 26.

"The track helped the other filly and it might have hampered us," Reynolds said. "While the other filly skipped around, this filly was taking half strides and still hung on for second."

Prior to the Inside Information, Lost Etiquette won the off-the-turf Salem County Stakes at the Meadowlands and a first-level allowance race at Belmont.

Backseat Rhythm skips Demoiselle

Reynolds and Pompa resisted the temptation to run their talented 2-year-old filly Backseat Rhythm in Saturday's Demoiselle Stakes by not even nominating her to the $200,000 race. Coming off a second-place finish in the Frizette and a third in the Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies, Backseat Rhythm would most likely have been favored in the 1 1/8-mile Demoiselle.

"We're going to give her a chance to be a 3-year-old," said Reynolds, who indicated the filly will winter in south Florida. "They got a nice climate down below. She had a tough, encapsulated campaign. She had a bunch of races back to back; she's not a great big filly."

Reynolds said the long-range goal for Backseat Rhythm is the Ashland at Keeneland in April. Reynolds said that Backseat Rhythm would stay on the dirt for now, with perhaps the Grade 2 Forward Gal at Gulfstream Park on Feb. 9 as an early 2008 target.

Without Backseat Rhythm, the Demoiselle is coming up a pretty wide-open affair led by Tempted winner Elusive Lady. Others pointing to the race include Be Fruitful, Expect the End, Melissa Jo, Meriwether Jessica, Sunday Elegance, and Sunday Holiday. D J Lightning and Home Crowd are possible.

Exercise incidents halt training

Stacey Prior, a longtime exercise rider for trainer D. Wayne Lukas, suffered a broken right leg in a training mishap Tuesday morning at Belmont Park. Prior was thrown from a horse she was galloping for Lukas on the main track.

At approximately the same time, exercise rider Sergio Lagos was thrown from a horse on the training track. Both riders were transported to local hospitals by ambulance and training was halted on both tracks for about 45 minutes while both ambulances were off the grounds.

Lagos had been an exercise rider for Gary Sciacca, who began serving a 120-day suspension Monday. Sciacca's horses have been transferred to Gary Gullo. Gullo said that Lagos was released from Franklin Medical Center and was back at the barn by 11:30 a.m. Gullo said the horse, My Ana Rose, was "scraped up a bit."