05/26/2004 11:00PM

Action This Day needs extended time to heal


INGLEWOOD, Calif. - Action This Day, the champion 2-year-old male of 2003, has been turned out until mid-summer after being found to have a sore back, trainer Richard Mandella said.

The minor injury will prevent Action This Day from starting in the Breeders' Cup Classic at Lone Star Park in October. "I sure don't plan on making that," Mandella said.

Action This Day was treated for a sore back before a sixth-place finish in the Kentucky Derby, Mandella said. He said the recurrence of the injury was detected after the colt returned to Mandella's stable at Santa Anita in early May.

"He came up sore after the Kentucky Derby," Mandella said.

Mandella and owner B. Wayne Hughes intended to give Action This Day a brief rest before resuming racing this summer. Instead, the colt was sent to owner Hughes's ranch in Malibu, Calif., last week.

Mandella said on Thursday that Action This Day would be away from the racetrack for 60 days.

Action This Day has won 2 of 7 starts and $822,084. At 2, Action This Day won 2 of 3 starts, including a 26-1 upset in the Breeders' Cup Juvenile at Santa Anita. In an open year among the nation's 2-year-olds, the win in the top race was enough for Action This Day to secure the championship.

This year, Action This Day is winless in four starts, all in stakes. His best finish came in his first start of the year when he finished fourth in the minor Sham Stakes at Santa Anita in February.

In the Kentucky Derby, Action This Day closed from last in the field of 18 to finish 13 3/4 lengths behind Smarty Jones.

Twice as Bad could be very good

Twice as Bad, who is making his California debut in Saturday's $150,000 Laz Barrera Handicap, has not started since December, but the layoff does not concern trainer Vladimir Cerin.

Since acquiring the colt in January, Cerin has considered Twice as Bad to be a potential stakes winner for Ernie Moody's Mercedes Stable. Unfortunately, Twice as Bad's health has not cooperated.

"He got really sick as soon as he got here," Cerin said. "I couldn't do anything with him."

This spring, Mercedes Stable has had two other 3-year-olds develop into top-caliber prospects - Rock Hard Ten, who finished second to Smarty Jones in the Preakness Stakes, and Laura's Lucky Boy, who won his first major race in the Will Rogers Stakes at Hollywood Park last weekend.

Cerin expects Twice as Bad to be a stakes winner soon, possibly as quickly as Saturday.

"I think he's a very good horse," Cerin said. "Fortunately I have owners that are patient enough. The fact they have horses like Laura's Lucky Boy and Rock Hard Ten to keep their minds on other things is good, too."

Twice as Bad won 2 of 12 starts at Gulfstream Park and Calder last year, and placed in two stakes in the fall. He ran against such top Florida-based 2-year-olds as Imperialism, Second of June, Sir Oscar, and Wynn Dot Comma.

Earlier this year, Imperialism won the San Rafael and San Vicente stakes at Santa Anita and finished third in the Kentucky Derby. Second of June and Wynn Dot Comma won stakes at Gulfstream Park.

"There were some interesting horses in those lines," Cerin said.

Designed for Luck looking up

Cerin will start Designed for Luck in Monday's $350,000 Shoemaker Breeders' Cup Mile on turf.

A 7-year-old gelding, Designed for Luck is winless in three starts this year. He was a game second to Shoemaker hopeful Leroidesanimaux in the Grade 3 Inglewood Handicap on May 1.

"I think that the best race he's run," Cerin said. "He was three wide on both turns and spotted the winner weight."

Last year, Designed for Luck won 3 of 4 starts, including the Oak Tree Breeders' Cup Mile. His only loss was a seventh in the Breeders' Cup Mile at Santa Anita.

There are nine probable starters in the Shoemaker, including Dell Place, Glick, King of Happiness, Momentum, Singletary, Sweet Return, and Tsigane.

Monday's $350,000 Gamely Breeders' Cup Handicap for fillies and mares on turf may have only four starters - Dimitrova, Megahertz, Noches de Rosa, and Quero Quero - all stakes winners.

No more turf for Boomzeeboom

Cerin has several other hopes for upcoming major stakes. Even the Score will start in the $350,000 Charles Whittingham Handicap on June 12, the same day that Publication runs in the $250,000 Californian Stakes.

Sigint will start in the $150,000 American Handicap on July 4, while Boomzeeboom will run in the Affirmed Handicap on dirt June 19. Last weekend, Boomzeeboom finished seventh of eight in the Will Rogers Stakes on turf, his first start on that surface.

"Boomzeeboom will never run on turf again," Cerin said.

Pleasantly Perfect progressing

Pleasantly Perfect, unraced since winning the $6 million Dubai World Cup on March 27, is in full training for a comeback, Mandella said.

Thursday at Santa Anita, Pleasantly Perfect breezed a quarter-mile at the end of a gallop. "It wasn't really a work but it is a start," Mandella said.

Pleasantly Perfect could have the first recorded workout of his comeback next week, Mandella said.

The long-term goal is the Breeders' Cup Classic at Lone Star Park Oct. 30, with preps expected at Del Mar and Santa Anita. There are two major stakes for older horses on dirt at Del Mar - the $250,000 San Diego Handicap over 1 1/16 miles on Aug. 1 and the $1 million Pacific Classic over 1 1/4 miles on Aug. 22.

"He looks great. I'll bring him along and if he comes around fast enough there are some races at Del Mar," Mandella said.

Mandella has ruled out a start in the $750,000 Hollywood Gold Cup on July 10, saying that the race is too close.

Full Moon Madness runs for tag

Full Moon Madness, the multiple stakes winner who has been sidelined frequently because of minor injuries, makes his 9-year-old debut in an optional claimer over 5 1/2 furlongs on turf Saturday. Full Moon Madness is eligible to be claimed for $80,000.

Trained by Bob Marshall, Full Moon Madness has not started since finishing last of nine in the Grade 3 Hollywood Turf Express last November.

A winner of 15 of 39 starts and $1,015,885, Full Moon Madness has won 5 of 8 starts over 5 1/2 furlongs at Hollywood. He won four consecutive stakes from April to July 2002 but is winless in his last four starts.

The optional claimer, run as the third race, is a difficult spot for a comeback. F J's Pace, a 9-year-old who has won 18 of 62 races, drew the rail, while King Robyn, a winner of 12 of 22 starts, starts from post 3 in the field of nine.

King Robyn will go favored. Eligible to be claimed for $80,000, King Robyn, 4, is unbeaten in five starts in turf sprints at Hollywood.