10/17/2005 11:00PM

Blame Candy Factory's last on virus

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ARCADIA, Calif. - It turns out that Candy Factory, pointing for the California Cup, had a legitimate excuse when her four-race win streak came to a screeching halt Oct. 7 at Santa Anita. Winner of the $125,000 Solana Beach Handicap on Sept. 4 at Del Mar, Candy Factory had emerged as the leading California-bred turf filly until she finished last as the 8-5 favorite in an overnight stakes.

"Her blood was out of whack; she was fighting off a virus," trainer Mike Machowsky said. "I knew something was amiss. Her red count was low."

Machowsky said Candy Factory did not require antibiotics, bounced back on her own, and has trained regularly the past week. He said Candy Factory would breeze later this week, and remains on target for the $100,000 California Cup Distance Handicap on Nov. 6. Candy Factory has won 4 of 8.

Cal Cup questionable for Uncle Denny

On the other hand, graded stakes winner Uncle Denny may have run himself out of consideration for the $250,000 California Cup Classic on Nov. 6 by finishing a distant fourth in a sprint in his comeback from a seven-month layoff on Oct. 12. Trainer Rafael Becerra and owner Stan Fulton have not ruled out the 1 1/8-mile Cal Cup, but the 10 1/2-length defeat in the seven-furlong sprint was not what they were expecting.

"He couldn't keep up with that speed," Becerra said. "I'm just drawing a line through that one. I need to work him long, and then we'll make a decision [on the Cal Cup]. We're not giving up yet, but there are so many other races to run in."

Uncle Denny won the El Camino Real Derby in March, but chipped an ankle in that race and was sidelined. He has won 4 races in 6 starts and $247,913.

Singhalese a trip victim, trainer says

Del Mar Oaks winner Singhalese finished last in the Grade 1 Queen Elizabeth II Cup on Saturday at Keeneland, but Tuesday morning at Santa Anita she was bucking and squealing.

"We were locked in right from the start," trainer Jim Cassidy said, explaining the filly's trip.

Although she was last of seven, Singhalese finished only 2 3/4 lengths behind upset winner Sweet Talker. Cassidy said no decision had been made whether to aim Singhalese for the Grade 1 Matriarch Nov. 27 at Hollywood Park.

Cassidy will have at least one Matriarch starter. He said 2004 Queen Elizabeth winner Ticker Tape had a minor issue going into the Grade 2 WinStar Galaxy on Oct. 9 at Keeneland, and nearly was scratched. Ticker Tape emerged from her eighth-place finish in the Galaxy in good shape and will point for the Matriarch.

Meanwhile, Cassidy's 2-year-old filly Golden Silk, third in the Oak Leaf Stakes, will switch to turf for her next start.

"She only had one three-quarter [workout] before the Oak Leaf," Cassidy said. "She's out of a Sharpen Up mare; she should like the turf."

High hopes for $900K buy

You can't hide Cindago. An unraced 2-year-old colt sired by Indian Charlie, Cindago made a splash from the time he was sold at Barretts for $900,000. It's a hefty sum considering his sire stands for $15,000.

"He looks like an athlete," trainer John Sadler said of Cindago, who was nominated to the $75,000 Sunny Slope Stakes on Saturday. Whether he debuts in the Sunny Slope or waits for a maiden race, Cindago is one to keep an eye on. "He's showing good run, so we're happy," Sadler said.

Sadler will be in action coast to coast on Breeders' Cup Day. Healthy Addiction enters the Distaff as a live longshot; Hasty Kris runs on the BC undercard in the Grade 3 Sport Page; and Ancient Title runner-up Zanzibar runs at Santa Anita in the Grade 3 Morvich Handicap at 6 1/2 furlongs on turf. Sadler said that Selvatica, an impressive allowance winner Oct. 13, will aim for a stakes race at Hollywood Park.

Mandella seeks Malibu repeat

Trainer Richard Mandella will try to kick start his upcoming Santa Anita winter meet the same way he began 2004-05 - by winning the Grade 1 Malibu Stakes on opening day, Dec. 26. Rock Hard Ten won the seven-furlong Malibu last year, making his first start in more than four months. Now, El Roblar is being freshened for a return in the Malibu. It would be his first start since finishing ninth at 7-2 in the Grade 2 Del Mar Derby on Sept. 5.

"He was a little stoved up out of that race at Del Mar, so I just backed off," Mandella said. "He's freshening up for Christmas."

El Roblar won the Oceanside Stakes on July 20 at Del Mar and was third in the Grade 2 La Jolla on Aug. 13.

Meanwhile, Mandella was at a loss to explain the fourth-place finish by 8-5 favorite Osidy in the Grade 2 Del Mar Derby on Saturday.

"I haven't figured it out," he said. "He didn't run bad, but he didn't run his best race."

* Trainer Vladimir Cerin nominated unbeaten 2-year-old filly Bettarun Fast to the $75,000 Anoakia Stakes on Sunday, but weather caused a workout delay and her status now depends on a half-mile workout Wednesday. Bettarun Fast won all three of her starts at Calder and would be making her California debut and first start for Cerin in the six-furlong Anoakia for 2-year-old fillies.