05/19/2004 12:00AM

Zakocity might grow up in Peter Pan


ELMONT, N.Y. - Trainer Pat Reynolds, who saddled Alysweep to a second-place finish in last year's Grade 2 Peter Pan, will run Zakocity in this year's Peter Pan on Saturday at Belmont Park.

The stakes-placed Zakocity is a recent edition to the Reynolds barn. The 3-year-old colt, who was privately purchased by owner Paul Pompa Jr. earlier this year, was previously trained by Marty Wolfson at Calder.

Zakocity, who is eligible to run in a second-level allowance, has several decent efforts in stakes against some very solid horses, including Imperialism, The Cliff's Edge, Limehouse, and Second of June. In his last start, Zakocity finished fourth in Gulfstream Park's Aventura Stakes on April 3.

"He looks like he belongs in graded stakes," said Reynolds, who began training Zakocity after the Aventura. "He's had some excuses in his races. He had a hind-end issue that is better now and might have been caused by the sandy Calder surface. When he first got here he was a little timid and not sure of himself, but he has made great strides in the mornings, and his confidence is up. I think he's headed in the right direction."

Last Saturday, Zakocity worked a bullet six furlongs in 1:12.45 with jockey Jose Santos in the saddle. Santos has the mount aboard Zakocity in the $200,000 Peter Pan. Reynolds said he is considering making some modifications to the blinkers worn by Zakocity in his last six starts.

With 14 races under his belt, Zakocity has the most starts among all expected entrants in the Peter Pan. Others considered probable for the 1 1/8-mile race are Consecrate, Friends Lake, Intimidator, Master David, Pies Prospect, Purge, Sinister G, Swingforthefences, Tiger Hunt, and Wild Wadi.

Storm Flag Flying looks ahead

With Storm Flag Flying's first stakes win since the 2002 Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies behind her, trainer Shug McGaughey is now looking forward to targeting a few of the summer's most important races for older fillies and mares.

Storm Flag Flying, who won last Saturday's Grade 2 Shuvee Handicap, will be pointed to a race named for her late breeder, the Grade 1 Ogden Phipps Handicap at Belmont on June 19. The Go for Wand and Personal Ensign, Grade 1 races run at Saratoga, also have caught McGaughey's eye.

The Go for Wand and Personal Ensign, which is named for Storm Flag Flying's maternal grandmother, are two-turn races. Storm Flag Flying has had the opportunity to run only twice in two-turn races. She won both of those races - the Breeders' Cup and an optional claimer at Gulfstream in February.

"I think she likes two turns because she can sit and stalk," said McGaughey, who trains Storm Flag Flying for Phipps's son Ogden Mills and his family. "It will be fun to run in those races [at Saratoga]. As the spring and summer goes on, I think she will get better and better. She's starting to shed her winter coat and is eating better. Her feet are also starting to grow since she lost her frogs. All that will help her."

Meanwhile, McGaughey said that Saarland, the runner-up in the Westchester Handicap in his last start, will run next in the Grade 1, $750,000 Metropolitan Mile Handicap on May 31. Last year, Saarland ran one of the best races of his career when he finished second to Aldebaran in the Met Mile. Saarland was beaten a neck by Aldebaran, who later was named the 2003 champion sprinter.

Saarland trained brilliantly before the Westchester, where he was beaten 4 1/4 lengths by Gygistar, who is expected to run back in the Met Mile.

"I don't think he kicked as hard in the stretch," McGaughey said. "Maybe those couple of fast works dulled him."

Snowdrops vs. Lojo on Friday

Snowdrops, a winner of her last two starts on the turf at a mile, and Lojo, a restricted stakes winner at Belmont, are the top contenders in Friday's seventh race. The $56,000 mile turf race for fillies and mares drew eight runners, plus two main-track-only horses, Kitty Knight and Hidden Ransom.

Should Snowdrops and Lojo run well in the classified allowance race, their connections might consider the $250,000 Just a Game Breeders' Cup Handicap at a mile on June 5 for their next starts.

Edgar Prado rides Snowdrops, a closer, from post 4.

Lojo, who has more tactical speed than Snowdrops, finished sixth in the Grade 3 Beaugay on May 1 in her first start since November. She figures to benefit from having a race under her belt.

Shaun Bridgmohan rides Lojo, who drew from post 6.

Ma Femme and Leebearski are the likely pacesetters.

Potra Fabulous, a Group 1 winner in Argentina, has lost three starts in this country under trainer Bobby Frankel, but she is a winner on turf and dirt.

If the race goes on dirt - showers are in the forecast - Kitty Knight would be the horse to beat. Kitty Knight finished third in the Grade 2 Genuine Risk in her last start on May 9.

Artie Schiller named to Hill Prince

Artie Schiller, who became a stakes winner with his emphatic victory in last Saturday's $100,000 Woodlawn at Pimlico, has been nominated to the $100,000-added Hill Prince at Belmont on June 6.

Jimmy Jerkens, Artie Schiller's trainer, said a trio of turf stakes at Arlington Park this summer for 3-year-olds - the Arlington Classic, American Derby, and Secretariat - could also be on the colt's agenda.

With his 3 3/4-length victory in the Woodlawn, Artie Schiller brought his turf record to four wins in five starts.

* Quantum Merit, a winner of a tough allowance race here May 9, will head a field of New York-breds in Sunday's $100,000-added Kingston Handicap on the grass. Others probable for the 1 1/8-mile race are Celtic Sky, Quiet Ruler, Reluctant Groom, Foreverness, Golden Commander, Rodeo Spirit, To Go, and Vault.

* La Reina, preparing for the $250,000 Acorn on June 4, worked a half-mile in 52.07 seconds on Wednesday at Belmont.