01/23/2007 12:00AM

Baze opts for Florida trip to stick with a 3-year-old

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ALBANY, Calif. - Jockey Russell Baze had to decide whether to go to Santa Anita with 4-year-old Smokey Stover for the $300,000 Sunshine Millions Sprint or to Gulfstream Park in Florida with the 3-year-old Another Kris for the $250,000 Sunshine Millions Dash.

He chose Florida, where he will also ride Secret Scheme in the $300,000 Filly and Mare Sprint.

"At this point, you want to keep as many good 3-year-olds in your holster as possible," said Baze, who will return from Florida to ride Bwana Bull in Sunday's California Derby at Golden Gate Fields.

Smokey Stover, Another Kris, and Secret Scheme are three of the six northern California-based runners competing in Saturday's Sunshine Millions. McCann's Mojave is also heading to Florida for the $1 million Classic. Somethinaboutlaura ($500,000 Distaff) and A.V. Flynn ($250,000 Oaks) will run at Santa Anita.

A seventh runner with strong northern California ties, Shaggy Mane - now based in Southern California after owner Jim Kwong sold a part interest in her - will run in the Filly and Mare Sprint.

Frank Alvarado will fly to Florida to ride McCann's Mojave. Kyle Kaenel will accompany A.V. Flynn to Santa Anita.

Baze is impressed with Another Kris, who has won both his starts. He raced greenly early in his debut but finished strongly, and sat just off the pace in winning his second start.

"He came from off the pace in the first and lay closer in the second," Baze said. "He's going in good. I like the way he's working."

Baze called the stakes winner Secret Scheme a "nice filly" but added, "I heard that race came up the toughest on the card."

The Filly and Mare Sprint drew Grade 1 winner Swap Fliparoo, as well as Grecian Lover and Bettarun Fast.

Both his mounts were drawn to the outside, which pleased Baze.

Smokey Stover drew the outside post 9 for the Sprint.

"How sweet for him," Baze said. "I'd love to go down to ride Smokey. As tough as that race came up, he's got a good chance to win."

Smokey Stover's trainer, Greg Gilchrist, was also pleased.

"I think it does work to our advantage being outside," Gilchrist said of Smokey Stover, who is not the quickest to get in gear out of the gate.

McCann's Mojave comes off a pair of confidence-building victories. The 7-year-old is trained by Steve Specht, who has had his eye on the Classic since a victory in the opening-day Union Square at Golden Gate Fields.

Jerry Hollendorfer trains Another Kris and Secret Scheme, and may have the one to beat in the Distaff with graded winner Somethinaboutlaura, who has remained at Santa Anita since going there last month.

Steve Miyadi got another strong work from undefeated A.V. Flynn on Monday. She went six furlongs in 1:14.60 as she prepares for her first start in six months in the Oaks.

A.V. Flynn set a track record in her debut at Pleasanton last summer. She then breezed in the Solano County Juvenile Fillies in July. She has not raced since.

"It's a tough race for a comeback," Miyadi said. "I was not planning to go in off a layoff."

Good news for Vicarino

X-rays on 3-year-old Vicarino were clean after the colt came out of a Saturday gallop lame, said his trainer, Gilchrist.

Vicarino showed no signs of lameness on Sunday, which Gilchrist called a "good sign," but he said the problem rules Vicarino out of what had been his next scheduled start, the Grade 2 San Vicente at seven furlongs on Feb. 11 at Santa Anita.

Gilchrist said Vicarino would only jog lightly for a while until he was sure there was nothing wrong with him.

California Derby still taking shape

Hollendorfer plans to run Bwana Bull, Candy's Bro, and Double Action in Sunday's $150,000 California Derby. The Craig Dollase-trained Boutrous was the only other confirmed runner early in the week, but a number of runners, including recent stakes winner Kolo, are being considered.

Dollase said that Kent Desormeaux would be named on Boutrous, an allowance winner in his last start.

Baze, who had his choice of the three Hollendorfer entrants, said he likes the way Bwana Bull is coming along.

"At first, he was real immature," Baze said. "Since he's been running long, he's realized what his calling in life is."

Baze said he thought Double Action might prefer the 1 1/16-mile distance more than Candy's Bro.

Stewards rule on positives

In an amendment to a previous ruling, the Golden Gate stewards ruled that earnings for Easy Pickins in his July 9, 2005, victory at Pleasanton be redistributed after his positive test for albuterol, a bronchodilator. Under the revised order of finish, Notorious One was moved up to first.

Trainer Bret Layne was fined $400 after Epic Angel showed an excess of the analgesic phenylbutazone following a race on Dec. 16, 2006.

Showdown in feature

Babcock Lake and Zoning In, a pair of 3-year-olds who have been facing tough competition, will meet in a six-furlong allowance sprint that tops Thursday's Golden Gate Fields card.

Zoning In won his maiden in the Malcolm Anderson last spring at Bay Meadows. He has run in six straight stakes, placing in two others.

Babcock Lake has run second in three straight allowance tries, losing to Another Kris, Double Action, and Candy's Bro.