05/25/2004 11:00PM

Ziadie not surprised by track record


MIAMI - It's common for trainers to feel confident of victory, but rarely do they go into a race truly believing their horse will also set a track record.

But trainer Kirk Ziadie had that kind of confidence in his fleet filly Whenthedoveflies, who not only dominated Sunday's Cool Air Stakes by 3 1/4 lengths but also established a course record, covering five furlongs on the turf in 54.78 seconds. The time eclipsed Heckofaralph's mark of 54.80, set in 1998.

The victory was the fourth in a row on grass for Whenthedoveflies, a 4-year-old daughter of Dove Hunt whom Ziadie trains for the Kalacan Racing Stable. Her three previous turf wins all came at Tampa Bay Downs.

"In Tampa she was running on grass about a foot high, and she still nearly broke the five-furlong record the second time she won, and then went out and equaled the about five-furlong record in her final start up there," said Ziadie. "So I knew with the course here as hard and fast as it's been lately that she could probably get the track record Sunday if she went out and ran her best race."

Whenthedoveflies broke running under jockey Emanuel Cosme and set eye-catching fractions en route to her record performance, covering the opening quarter in 20.67 seconds and the half in 43.02.

Ziadie said he will now point Whenthedoveflies for the $100,000 Calder Turf Sprint Handicap July 10. The race is open to both sexes.

"I'm not afraid of sending her up against the boys," Ziadie said. "And the timing is perfect. She runs really well fresh, and this gives her six weeks until her next start."

Ziadie won races at a more than 40 percent clip at Tampa and, incredibly, has done even better since shipping to Calder. Whenthedoveflies was the fifth winner Ziadie has saddled from just 10 starters during the first month of the meet.

"I never expected to get off to such a good start here," said Ziadie, whose father, Ralph Ziadie, has won six local training titles. "I figured things would be a lot tougher when I got down from Tampa, but fortunately the horses have all been firing for me."

The younger Ziadie is in his first full year on his own and has 21 stalls at Calder. His sudden success has not gone unnoticed.

"I'm getting calls every day to take on new owners and more horses, but I have to turn them down because I just don't have the room," said Ziadie.

The most notable horse in Ziadie's arsenal up to this point has been Kaufy Mate, who first gained notoriety when he upset The Cliff's Edge in Tampa's Sam Davis Stakes. Kaufy Mate then enhanced his reputation with a victory in Gulfstream's Aventura Stakes.

"I knew he was looking at some time off after the Aventura, so we just sent him to the farm to freshen up for a while," Ziadie said. "He's a big horse who has his problems, and he had a hard campaign this winter. I'll bring him back later this summer, and I believe he'll be even better as a 4-year-old."

Tour of the Cat stays short for now

Manny Wayar, who took over as trainer for Tour of the Cat after the gelding's eighth-place finish in the Dubai Golden Shaheen, had originally been pointing him for Monday's 1 1/16-mile Memorial Day Handicap. But after consulting with the owners, Wayar had a change of heart, and instead entered the versatile Tour of the Cat, a multiple graded-stakes winner, in Saturday's six-furlong Ponche Handicap.

"We talked it over and decided to keep him short for now and point for the big race here in July," Wayar said, referring to the $500,000 Smile Handicap on July 10. "I'm sure there will be a lot of fast horses coming in for the race, but for that kind of money and with the home-court advantage, it made sense to give him a shot at it."

A field of six was entered for the Ponche, including Royal Lad, Bernard's Candy, Scrubs, Built Up, and Weigelia.

Wayar's decision will likely leave Supah Blitz, Predawn Raid, and The Judge Sez Who as the starting highweights in the Memorial Day Handicap.

Trainer Manny Tortora had been contemplating sending Supah Blitz back to Texas for the Grade 3 Lone Star Handicap, but he now appears to be leaning toward keeping him home for the holidays. Supah Blitz shipped to Lone Star last month and finished second behind California invader Kela in the Grade 3 Texas Mile.

* Friday's card will be the last run at the 12:50 p.m. post time until September. Beginning next week, post time for all Friday programs will be 2:55 p.m.