12/30/2003 12:00AM

Biancone sends two in Santa Ysabel


ARCADIA, Calif. - Trainer Patrick Biancone has a definitive leader among his 3-year-old male prospects in Lion Heart, the undefeated winner of the Hollywood Futurity last month.

Sunday at Santa Anita, he could find a female counterpart if can continue their recent success in stakes in the $100,000 Santa Ysabel Stakes over 1 1/16 miles on dirt.

Both fillies are in outstanding form and do not face the toughest competition in the Santa Ysabel, the first stakes of 2004 at Santa Anita for 3-year-old fillies. Halfbridled, the division leader and winner of the Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies, is not in the field. She is expected to return in the one-mile Las Virgenes Stakes on Feb. 15.

Mambo Slew won the Miesque Stakes over a mile on turf at Hollywood Park on Nov. 28 and a maiden race on turf at Santa Anita in October. She was fifth in her only appearance on the main track, at Saratoga last August.

Biancone admits he is taking a chance by running Mambo Slew on the main track in the Santa Ysabel.

"She has nowhere to run on the turf," Biancone said. "It's worth trying the dirt one more time."

Salty Romance has been favored in all three of her starts and is likely to have that role in the Santa Ysabel. Owned by Flying Zee Stable, she has won her last two starts - a maiden race over six furlongs at Hollywood Park in November and the Delta Princess Stakes at Delta Downs on Dec. 5.

In the Delta Princess, she scored by 5 1/4 lengths in a front-running effort that looked as easy as a workout.

"It was a good race to get her to run two turns for the first time," Biancone said. "She just galloped."

There were only eight nominations for the Santa Ysabel, and the race could draw as many as seven starters. Other candidates include A.P. Adventure, Penny's Fortune, Stellar Jayne, Super GI, and Wildwood Flower.

Stellar Jayne won the one-mile Pocahontas Stakes at Churchill Downs in early November but returned and finished eighth in the Golden Rod Stakes later that month.

Wildwood Flower is unbeaten, and untested, after three starts in northern California. Trained by Jerry Hollendorfer, Wildwood Flower has not run beyond six furlongs. She won the Piedmont Stakes over that distance in her last start on Nov. 22.

Saturday's main race is the $150,000 San Pasqual Handicap at 1 1/16 miles for older horses. The race is traditionally the first stakes of the meeting for Santa Anita Handicap hopefuls.

Grey Memo and Hot Market, two California-breds, may run in the San Pasqual or may wait until the $1 million Sunshine Millions Classic for Cal-breds and Florida-breds on Jan. 24. Other San Pasqual candidates include Gift of the Eagle, Nose the Trade, Olmodavor, Star Cross, and Total Impact.

Officials discussing security plan

A 10-point plan designed to enhance backstretch security at California racetracks is being scrutinized by a group of horsemen and racing officials. The hope is that the plan would eliminate any perception of cheating on the backstretch.

The issue was discussed publicly at the California Horse Racing Board meeting last month and again at a meeting last Saturday at Santa Anita attended by 19 people, including track officials, owners, trainers, and veterinarians.

They are scheduled to meet again on Jan. 10 to discuss the findings of ongoing research on security measures.

The recommendations being discussed are the implementation of a detention barn; installing surveillance cameras in shed rows; ensuring that horses are on the grounds five hours from race time; and banning horses from racing for 30 to 90 days after a positive test for a prohibited substance.

The detention barn idea is widely opposed by horsemen. A compromise, discussed on Saturday, would be to dedicate stalls in each barn to be used by horses racing on that day. The stalls would be wired for surveillance cameras but would allow horses to stay in the familiar confinements of their own stables and not in a general detention barn, which would expose horses to more commotion.

Other ideas being considered are more simple, such as ensuring that horses racing on a given day have warning signs adjacent to their stalls prohibiting unauthorized contact; random spot checks of stables by security officials; higher visibility for CHRB investigators and racetrack security; and enhanced training of such personnel.

One proposed idea that was virtually eliminated at Saturday's meeting was the administration of Lasix by a state veterinarian. Lasix currently is administered by private veterinarians. Dr. Rick Arthur, a prominent veterinarian, said such a task would be too much of an undertaking for one person.

Instead, a plan to have CHRB investigators randomly collect and analyze syringes used by private veterinarians for Lasix administration is being discussed.

The issue of cost was widely mentioned as a hindrance to several of the ideas, primarily the installation of security cameras throughout the barn area. Hollywood Park officials told the group that cameras are being installed in the barn area in stages.

Borrego may be headed to Santa Catalina

, the winner of an optional claimer for 2-year-olds last Saturday, is being considered for the $150,000 Santa Catalina Stakes on Jan. 17, co-owner and trainer Beau Greely said.

By El Prado, Borrego was making his first appearance on dirt, and won by 1 1/2 lengths. He overcame a troubled start to stalk the pace and take the lead in the final furlong of the 1 1/16-mile race.

Borrego made his first three starts on turf, including an eighth in the Generous Stakes at Hollywood Park.

"We definitely want to try the Derby preps," Greely said. "We think he's a nice horse. He looks like a horse that will improve with distances."

* Jockey Emile Ramsammy is riding in Barbados this weekend and will not return to Southern California until Jan. 9, according to his agent, Sue McBrayer. He is riding in a jockey competition on Saturday.