08/24/2001 12:00AM

Bienamado to prep once for Cup

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DEL MAR, Calif. - Bienamado, who finished seventh as the favorite in the Arlington Million on Aug. 18, will reappear in an early October prep race for the $2 million Breeders' Cup Turf at Belmont Park on Oct. 27, according to co-owner John Toffan.

Toffan said the $750,000 Turf Classic at Belmont Park on Sept. 29 or the $300,000 Clement Hirsch Turf Championship at Santa Anita on Sept. 30 are being considered.

"I think we'll need another race before the Breeders' Cup," Toffan said. "I hate to go into the Breeders' Cup off that race."

Bienamado suffered his first loss of the year on turf in the Million, finishing 20 1/2 lengths behind Silvano.

Trained by Paco Gonzalez, Bienamado appeared not to handle the yielding course in the Million. Fourth for the first mile, he lacked a rally through the stretch. All six of his stakes wins in this country have come on firm ground. Last year, he finished fourth in the Arlington Million over a yielding course.

Earlier this year, Bienamado won the San Marcos Stakes and San Juan Capistrano Handicap at Santa Anita and the Whittingham Handicap at Hollywood Park. He was also ninth in the Santa Anita Handicap on dirt after a poor start.

Commanding lead for Baffert

Five winners in two days have given trainer Bob Baffert a nearly insurmountable lead in the trainer's standings.

Through Thursday, Baffert had 23 winners, 10 more than Bobby Frankel and Bill Spawr. Jack Carava, who has saddled 12 winners, is the only other trainer with more than 10 winners.

Baffert had three winners on Wednesday and scored twice on Thursday's eight-race card, winning with two medium-priced horses - Western Love ($13.80) in the first race and So Urgent ($16) in the seventh race.

Baffert is seeking his fifth consecutive training title at Del Mar. While he has a comfortable lead, he may not reach his personal record of 32 winners at Del Mar, set last year. Red McDaniel holds the all-time record of 47 wins in a season, while Farrell Jones won 11 training titles, including seven straight from 1960-66.

Juddmonte Farms will finish the meeting as the leading owner, boosted by Skimming's win in the $1 million Pacific Classic. Through Thursday, Juddmonte-owned runners had earned $1,101,424, the first time in Del Mar history than an owner had surpassed the seven-figure mark.

Alvo Certo retired to stud

Alvo Certo, the winner of the 2000 Escondido Handicap, has been retired for stud duty after suffering a knee injury while attempting to defend his title on Aug. 1.

An 8-year-old, Alvo Certo finished his career with 10 wins in 43 starts and earnings of $625,665 in Brazil and the United States. He will be retired to owner Tony Lara's Bandeirantes Farm near Sao Paulo, Brazil.

Trained this year by A.C. Avila, Alvo Certo suffered a bone chip in a knee while finishing last in the Escondido.

Previously trained by Richard Mandella, Alvo Certo was third in the Grade 1 Charles Whittingham Handicap at Hollywood Park in 1999 and third in the Grade 3 San Luis Rey Stakes the same year.

Quiet year so far for Biszantz

Five years ago, owner Gary Biszantz and his partners combined to win 14 races at Del Mar. This year, Biszantz has yet to have a winner, but promises to have several starters for the final week of the meeting, which ends on Sept. 5.

Biszantz has 16 horses in training at Santa Anita with Mike Puype. In past years, Biszantz has run such major stakes winners as Cobra King and Old Trieste, but this year lacks a stakes-caliber runner in California.

He said Charimoya, Swept Clean, and Forever Holy are young horses to watch from his barn.

"It's been quiet this year," Biszantz said. "I had some injuries in 2000.

I've got some 3-year-old maidens that have yet to make it to the races. We might run three or four in the last week. I think the last four months of the year will be great."

Reine de Romance may run in QE II

Reine de Romance, the winner of the Grade 2 San Clemente Handicap on July 29 who was third in the Grade 1 Del Mar Oaks on Aug. 18, is being considered for the Queen Elizabeth II Challenge Cup at Keeneland on Oct. 13, trainer Jenine Sahadi said.

Sahadi shipped Reine de Romance to her stable at Santa Anita earlier this week. The trainer said there is a chance that Reine de Romance could start in the $100,000 Harold Ramser Handicap at Santa Anita on Oct. 14.

"She's done a lot this year," Sahadi said. "Two and a half months ago, she was a maiden."

Tiznow takes it easy

Tiznow, the 2000 Horse of the Year, returned to the track on Friday, two days after working a mile in 1:35.80. Trainer Jay Robbins said he did not ask much of Tiznow during exercise on Friday, considering the fast workout and his scheduled appearance in the $500,000 Woodward Stakes at Belmont Park on Sept. 8.

"I just let him jog a mile this morning," Robbins said. "He came out of the workout pretty well."

The Grade 1 Woodward will be Tiznow's first start since winning the Santa Anita Handicap last March, a layoff caused by back problems.

o Starrer, who has not started since unseating jockey Chris McCarron at the start of the Coaching Club American Oaks at Belmont Park on July 22, worked seven furlongs in 1:24.60 on Friday.