06/27/2003 11:00PM

Zavata earns his way into the Carry Back


MIAMI - Zavata, the top 2-year-old in the country for much of last summer following victories in the Tremont Stakes and Saratoga Special, is heading to Florida to compete in the $300,000 Carry Back Stakes on July 12. The Carry Back is one of four graded sprint stakes on the $1.7 million Summit of Speed program.

Zavata could not sustain his early season success last year, finishing third as the 1-5 favorite in the Grade 1 Hopeful before being eased in the Breeders' Cup Juvenile. But after a disappointing 3-year-old debut against older horses at Belmont Park, Zavata shipped to Monmouth Park, where he covered six furlongs in 1:08.80 on Thursday to defeat third-level allowance company.

Trainer Patrick Biancone confirmed after that race that the six-furlong Carry Back would be the next start for Zavata, whose ultimate goal this season is the Breeders' Cup Sprint.

The Carry Back may wind up as the best race on the Summit of Speed program. Along with Zavata, the Grade 3 dash could also attract arch-rivals Posse and Midas Eyes.

Nominations for the Carry Back and all five stakes on the Summit of Speed card closed on Saturday.

Dr. Kashnikow assigned 117 pounds

Dr. Kashnikow has been assigned high weight of 117 pounds for Friday's $100,000 Americana Handicap, one more than Love the Game and Mr. Livingston. As usual, racing secretary Bob Umphrey also assigned dirt-only weights for the race, with defending champion Dancing Guy, Aeneas, and High Ideal all pegged at 116 pounds should the 1 1/8-mile event be moved to the main track. Such was the case last year, when Dancing Guy rallied to win.

Aeneas is not expected to run in the Americana no matter the conditions. He is being pointed for the Grade 2 Washington Park Handicap at Arlington on July 19.

* The Florida Clean Indoor Air Act goes into effect beginning Tuesday. No smoking will be permitted inside any area of the building at Calder. Violators will be fined $100 for the first offense and up to $500 for subsequent violations.

* Robin Cleary, who was left paralyzed following a training accident here in 1996, continues her tireless quest to raise money for the Research Fund at the Miami Project to Cure Paralysis. Cleary, who is married to trainer Brian Cleary, recently went over the $500,000 mark in money raised for the fund.

Cleary raises most of the money by going barn to barn for donations at south Florida racetracks and training centers.