08/01/2002 11:00PM

Allowance a must-win spot for Total Impact


DEL MAR, Calif. - Total Impact, second in the $2 million United Arab Emirates Derby at Nad al-Sheba in March, will be favored to win a $61,000 allowance race on Sunday that could serve as a prep to the $1 million Pacific Classic on Aug. 25.

Total Impact has yet to start in a stakes in the United States. He has run in two allowance races in California, including a fourth as a strong favorite at Hollywood Park on May 8.

Following that race, trainer Laura de Seroux gave Total Impact a break. In his comeback on Sunday, he faces seven others, including Mysterious Cat, who was second in the San Bernardino Handicap at Santa Anita in April, and Pleasantly Perfect, the winner of an allowance race at Hollywood Park on June 20.

Total Impact must win to be a candidate for the Pacific Classic, de Seroux said.

"I want to see him handle an allowance field pretty handily," de Seroux said.

The 4-year-old Total Impact was eligible for the UAE Derby because he was bred in South America, which has a late summer and early fall breeding season.

Sunday's $64,000 Sandy Blue Stakes for 3-year-old fillies could produce a starter for the $300,000 Del Mar Oaks on Aug. 24.

Run over 1 1/16 miles on turf, the Sandy Blue Stakes is led by Ombre Legere, who finished eighth in the $500,000 American Oaks at Hollywood Park on July 6 in her U.S. debut. She is trained by Ron McAnally.

In France, Ombre Legere won the Group 3 Prix Penelope and was seventh in the French Oaks.

Her competition Sunday includes Got Koko and Fair Bianca, allowance winners at Hollywood Park.

Stevens has knee surgery

Hall of Fame jockey Gary Stevens is expected to miss at least two months after undergoing arthroscopic surgery on Thursday to remove two bone chips from his right knee.

Stevens on Friday said he does not expect to ride the remainder of the Del Mar meeting, which ends on Sept. 11, and could delay his comeback until the start of the Oak Tree meeting on Oct. 2.

"I've got no definite timeline set right now," Stevens said. "I'll let my knees tell me. I want to give it at least six weeks. I want to make sure the legs are strong. This was kind of a maintenance thing."

Stevens has been bothered by knee problems in recent years; they forced a 10-month retirement from December 1999 to October 2000. He aggravated his right knee over the weekend and took off his mounts on Monday.

"I needed to take care of it," he said. "It would have been like a toothache that would have bothered me for the rest of the year."

Stevens said Thursday's procedure took 20 minutes and that he has been advised to begin therapy next week. He said his therapy will be overseen by Joe Horrigan, who has worked with hockey stars Wayne Gretzky and Luc Robitaille.

Valdivia back in irons

Jockey Jose Valdivia said on Friday that he will resume riding Wednesday, nearly three weeks after suffering a hairline fracture of his wrist in a spill at Hollywood Park.

Valdivia had a cast removed earlier this week and said he will begin working horses on Monday. He feared that doctors will ask him to wear a smaller cast for a few more weeks, but said they were pleased with his recovery.

"It's been a little tough for three weeks without doing anything," Valdivia said.

Valdivia will have mounts in two major stakes next week. On Saturday, he rides Voodoo's Sister in the $150,000 Sorrento Stakes for 2-year-old fillies over 6 1/2 furlongs.

On Sunday, Valdivia rides Irguns Angel in the $300,000 Clement Hirsch Handicap for fillies and mares. Run over 1 1/16 miles, the Clement Hirsch is led by Azeri, a winner of four consecutive

Grade 1 races.

Collusion ruled in claim

A $50,000 claim for Green Eyed Lady from the fifth race on July 26 has been rescinded and two owners fined $1,500 each after track stewards ruled the owners colluded to make the claim.

Green Eyed Lady was claimed by Steve Kenly's Logan Stables from William Goddard's JPF Investments. According to steward Dave Samuel, $50,000 was transferred from Goddard to Kenly before the race through accounts held with the track paymaster.

Kenly was the only owner to claim Green Eyed Lady.

"It was a protection type of claim," Samuel said. "Our paymaster caught it and we found out about it."

Green Eyed Lady finished second. Both owners were fined $1,500 under a rule that covers "prohibited actions with respect to claims." The filly was returned to Goddard and trainer Paul Aguirre.

Disturbingthepeace to Arlington

Disturbingthepeace, the top sprinter in California this summer with two graded stakes wins, is being pointed to the $100,000 Arlington Sprint over six furlongs on Aug. 24. The reason he is running in the Arlington Sprint is to give him a race over the track on which the Breeders' Cup Sprint will be run, his trainer, Darrell Vienna, said.

Disturbingthepeace would have to be supplemented to the Breeders' Cup Sprint, to be run

Oct. 26.

Owned by David Milch, Disturbingthepeace won the Triple Bend Breeders' Cup Handicap at Hollywood Park on July 6 and the Bing Crosby Breeders' Cup Handicap here on July 27.

o Came Home, the winner of five stakes this year, worked five furlongs in 58.60 seconds on Friday at Hollywood Park. He is being pointed to the $200,000 King's Bishop Stakes over seven furlongs at Saratoga on Aug. 24.

- additional reporting by Brad Free.