12/30/2005 12:00AM

Blue Norther full of new faces

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Benoit & Associates
The 11-year-old Full Moon Madness remains an effective sprinter at lower claiming levels. His win on Thursday pushed his bankroll past $1.2 million.

ARCADIA, Calif. - Even Patrick Biancone admits that Kitty Hawk's European form is something of a puzzle.

The filly has run twice, winning a five-furlong maiden race in Ireland and finishing 11th in the Group 3 Prix du Calvados in France. Both races were in August.

"It's difficult to assess," Biancone said of Kitty Hawk's form.

Sunday, Kitty Hawk makes her U.S. debut in the $75,000 Blue Norther Stakes at Santa Anita, a one-mile turf race for 3-year-old fillies. Run as the fourth race on a nine-race program, the Blue Norther drew 14 entrants, but will have a safety limit of 12 starters.

Biancone said that Kitty Hawk has worked well in recent weeks. He said Sunday's race will help him learn more about her. "She should run her race," he said.

Kitty Hawk is one of six fillies in the field making their first start in California - Arabic Dancer, Claire Simoff, Dance Daily, Seasons, and Zoemeg are the others.

Seasons has an outstanding chance to win in her U.S. debut. Now trained by Neil Drysdale, she won a maiden race and an allowance race for sprinters in France in August.

Dance Daily is making her fifth appearance in a stakes, but is searching for her first win. Trained by D. Wayne Lukas, Dance Daily was eighth in the Grade 2 Golden Rod Stakes at Churchill Downs on Nov. 26. She has never run on turf, and may be better suited if the Blue Norther is switched to dirt. Rain is in the forecast.

Of the runners with local experience, Cross will attract support. She was promoted from second to first in the Hidden Light Stakes on turf here on Nov. 2 and finished sixth in the Sharp Cat Stakes on the main track at Hollywood Park on Nov. 27.

Madre May returns from a three-month layoff. Trained by Gary Mandella, she beat maidens on turf at Del Mar then was last of seven in the Grade 2 Oak Leaf Stakes on Oct. 1.

Giacomo displays better stamina

Kentucky Derby winner Giacomo breezed six furlongs in 1:15 at Hollywood Park on Friday, a workout that trainer John Shirreffs said went better than a work over a similar distance a week earlier.

"His first six furlongs, he got a little tired in his last 100 yards," Shirreffs said, referring to the pre-Christmas workout. "This time, he didn't get tired, but he was blowing a little afterwards. He did enough to blow a little but not too much."

Giacomo worked alone, customary to Shirreffs's habit. The workout was the 12th fastest of 24 recorded works at the distance.

Giacomo has been working steadily since late November.

Owned by Jerry and Ann Moss, Giacomo is being pointed for the $300,000 Strub Stakes on Feb. 4, with a possible prep race in advance.

Giacomo has not started since finishing seventh in the Belmont Stakes in June. During the layoff, he underwent surgery to remove bone chips from an ankle and knee.

Tatsuji looks good in debut

Shirreffs and the Mosses have a 3-year-old to follow in 2006 in Tatsuji, who won his debut over 1 1/16 miles in a maiden race on Thursday.

Ridden by Corey Nakatani, Tatsuji ($22.80) rallied from last in a field of eight to win by two lengths, finishing in 1:45.43. He showed a sharp kick on the final turn, rallying from sixth to reach contention in early stretch.

Tatsuji was bred in Ireland. By Fusaichi Pegasus, Tatsuji was purchased for $250,000 at the 2004 Keeneland September yearling sale.

"The good ones step it up in the afternoons," Shirreffs said, adding he "didn't have a strong feeling" how Tatsuji would run.

Shirreffs said that Tatsuji had worked in blinkers twice in December, once with Nakatani aboard. The blinkers helped him stay focused, Shirreffs said.

Tatsuji is likely to start in an allowance race before trying a stakes, Shirreffs said.

Ageless 'Full Moon' still winning

Full Moon Madness enters 2006 as an 11-year-old in winning form.

Thursday, Full Moon Madness won a sprint for $12,500 claimers, his 17th win in a career that spans 59 races and includes 11 stakes wins. Thursday's race was his second win in 13 starts in 2005, all in sprints, and his second win since being claimed for $16,000 by Jack Carava for La Canada Stables in August.

Carava was Full Moon Madness's first trainer, way back in June 1997. In his debut, Full Moon Madness finished second in a claiming race for maidens and was claimed by Bob Marshall. Bred by Golden Eagle Farms, Full Moon Madness won 11 stakes for Marshall from 1998 to 2003; the richest of those was the $150,000 California Cup Sprint in 2000.

Carava recalls that Full Moon Madness was not considered a top prospect in 1997. The idea that he would win more than $1.2 million seemed impossible.

"I had a couple of horses for Golden Eagle Farm and I wanted to keep them apart," Carava said. "They all had come in together. The others acted like they could run."

Full Moon Madness finished second in the Sunshine Millions Sprint last January but began slipping lower in the claiming ranks through the spring. When Carava claimed him in August, it was the third time that Full Moon Madness had been claimed within a year, and the second time he was taken for $16,000.

In Thursday's race, Full Moon Madness closed from sixth in a field of eight to win by 3 1/2 lengths. He was not urged by jockey Garrett Gomez in the final sixteenth.

"He's a cool horse," Carava said. "He gets distracted when he hits the front. They back up so fast that he can't pull himself up."

Carava fears that Full Moon Madness may not be in his barn for long.

"If he runs like that a few more times, they will claim him," he said.

* Alphabet Kisses, a candidate for Thursday's $75,000 Kalookan Queen Handicap over 6 1/2 furlongs, breezed five furlongs in 1:00.60 at Hollywood Park on Friday. Trained by Marty Jones for Harris Farms, Alphabet Kisses won the Grade 1 La Brea Stakes in 2004.