06/18/2008 11:00PM

Zaftig sidelined with a bruised foot


ELMONT, N.Y. - Zaftig, the impressive winner of the Grade 1 Acorn Stakes here June 7, will be forced to miss the Grade 1 Mother Goose on June 28 due to a bruised foot, trainer Jimmy Jerkens said Wednesday.

Zaftig's defection eliminates what would have been an intriguing matchup between her and the Kentucky Oaks winner, Proud Spell.

Jerkens said Zaftig has just walked the shed row since last weekend after the bruise was diagnosed.

"We pulled the shoe and soaked the foot and it looks like now it's just subsiding," Jerkens said.

Jerkens said the injury did not happen in the Acorn, a race Zaftig won by 4 1/2 lengths on Belmont Stakes Day, improving her record to 3 wins from 5 starts. Jerkens said Zaftig had galloped a few mornings after the Acorn, but "took a bad step one afternoon."

Jerkens said he was hopeful that Zaftig could make it back for the Grade 1 Coaching Club American Oaks here July 19.

Meanwhile, Proud Spell worked five furlongs in 1:01 Wednesday at the Fair Hill Training Center in Maryland. It was her third timed breeze since she won the Oaks by five lengths at Churchill Downs on May 2.

"She's doing very well," trainer Larry Jones said. "She's ready now for another two or three races in a row; we'll see what we can get accomplished."

Jones said Proud Spell's next three races would likely be the Mother Goose, the Coaching Club, and the Alabama at Saratoga on Aug. 16.

"That's what we're looking at right now," he said.

Solar Flare set for Suburban

In addition to sending Proud Spell here for the Mother Goose, Jones said he would also be shipping Solar Flare up for the Grade 1 Suburban, run on the same day. Solar Flare is an Argentine-bred son of Salt Lake who on June 3 won a third-level allowance race at Delaware Park by three-quarters of a length in his U.S. debut. He ran a mile and 70 yards in 1:40.16 and earned a 101 Beyer Speed Figure.

He was purchased privately by Rick Porter's Fox Hill Farms earlier this year and sent to Jones. Prior to the June 3 race, Solar Flare hadn't run since Jan. 8 when he won a 1 1/4-mile allowance race at Hipodromo by nine lengths.

"He ran lights out off that long layoff," Jones said of the June race, where Solar Flare came within a second of the track record. "He's already won at a mile and a quarter, so we know the distance will be okay."

The Suburban, run at 1 1/4 miles, drew 20 nominees. Among those expected to run are A.P. Arrow, Frost Giant, Harlington, and Sir Whimsey.

On Wednesday, Harlington worked a bullet five furlongs in 1:00.65 over Belmont's main track.

Mint Lane likely for Dwyer

Jerkens said Wednesday that Mint Lane, winner of the Postponed Stakes here June 13, could make his next start in the Grade 2, $200,000 Dwyer Stakes here July 6. At 1 1/16 miles around one turn, the Dwyer is run under the same conditions as the Postponed.

Mint Lane went gate to wire in the Postponed after recording runner-up finishes in the Federico Tesio at Pimlico in April and the Peter Pan in May. He won the Postponed by 5 3/4 lengths, ran 1 1/16 miles in 1:42.67, and earned a 106 Beyer Speed Figure in the process.

"It was a good time on a slow track," Jerkens said. "His one-turn races seem better than his two-turn races."

Desert Key, another promising Jerkens-trained 3-year-old, could make his next start in the Grade 2 Amsterdam on July 28 for his next start. Desert Key won a six-furlong first-level allowance race by five lengths on Belmont Stakes Day, running six furlongs in 1:08.80. He earned a 106 Beyer.

Desert Key is a son of E Dubai, who won the Dwyer in 2001.

Mauralakana heads New York Stakes

Mauralakana, the dominant winner of the Grade 2 Sheepshead Bay Handicap here May 24, heads what will likely be a short field for Saturday's Grade 2 New York Stakes at 1 1/4 miles. The New York was changed from a handicap to a race run under allowance conditions last year.

Others pointing to the New York include Archstone, Dynaforce, Hostess, Tejida, and possibly Masseuse and Rutherienne. The latter is entered in Saturday's All Along Stakes at Colonial Downs.

Mauralakana, trained by Christophe Clement, will run in the New York and then the Beverly D. at Arlington. Her future will be decided by owner Robert Scarborough after that. Scarborough purchased her to be a broodmare in Australia beginning later this year.

Groomedforvictory eyes quick return

It is not trainer Barclay Tagg's nature to run horses back in two weeks, but he is strongly considering doing it with Groomedforvictory, who could start in Sunday's $100,000 Mike Lee Stakes for New York-breds.

Groomedforvictory finished a well-beaten sixth in the Grade 2 Woody Stephens Stakes here June 7. Prior to that, he overcame trouble to win a restricted New York-bred stakes at 6o1/2 furlongs on May 7.

"We're going to enter and see what it looks like," assistant trainer Robin Smullen said. "We don't like to run horses back in two weeks, but he seems to come out of his race well."

On Wednesday, Groomedforvictory worked four furlongs in 47.87 seconds, the second-fastest of 30 works at the distance, over Belmont's main track.

"It was absolutely nothing for him," Smullen said. "He was literally cantering around there."

Others pointing to the Mike Lee are Be Bullish, Megapixel, Peperoni, That'srightofficer, and Tin Cup Chalice.

Like son, like father

Dagoberto Garcia, the 44-year-old father of Belmont Stakes-winning jockey Alan Garcia, rode his first race in North America on Wednesday at Belmont. Dagoberto Garcia finished last aboard Ready Read in a $14,000 claiming race.

"In the Belmont, I was so proud and excited for my son," Dagoberto, who rode in his native Peru before coming here in 2005, told the New York Racing Association press department. "Today, I am excited for myself."

Since coming to New York, Dagoberto Garcia has worked as an exercise rider for Dominick Schettino, Kiaran McLaughlin, and Todd Pletcher. He now works for Gary Contessa, who put him on Ready Read.

* Jockey Jeffrey Sanchez will begin serving a five-day suspension Saturday for careless riding. The suspension was reduced from 10 days after Sanchez waived his right of appeal.

Sanchez finished first aboard Wonforthegoodguys in Sunday's first race, but bumped with McCalmont, the eventual third-place finisher, in upper stretch, and was subsequently disqualified and placed third.