10/05/2001 11:00PM

Blueprint has some catching up to do


ARCADIA, Calif. - Blueprint, the winner of the Sunset Handicap and San Luis Rey Handicap earlier this year, is facing a time crunch to be ready for the $2 million Breeders' Cup Turf at Belmont Park on Oct. 27.

On Friday at Santa Anita, Blueprint worked a mile on turf in 1:41.60, finishing visibly tired. Despite the modest final time, trainer Bob Hess Jr. is not overly concerned. With three weeks remaining until the Breeders' Cup, Hess said Blueprint has time to get fit for the biggest race of his career.

"He did get a little tired," Hess said. "He still needs to work a mile two more times. If he works like this next week, I'll be disappointed."

Blueprint will be a longshot in the Breeders' Cup Turf. His victories this year came in Grade 2 races. He has not started since scoring in the Sunset Handicap on July 15 at Hollywood Park.

To his credit, Blueprint has won twice over the BC Turf distance of 1 1/2 miles and was a respectable third to Bienamado in the San Juan Capistrano Invitational Handicap over 1 3/4 miles on turf at Santa Anita last April.

Hess said that spacing the 6-year-old Blueprint's races is vital for big performances. As a result, Hess said he is confident that skipping the traditional autumn preps and training up to the Turf will give Blueprint his best chance of pulling an upset.

"Knowing the horse, this is the right thing to do," Hess said.

Radio show off the air in legal dispute

"Trackside with Roger Stein," a horse racing radio program that has aired on weekend mornings for the last eight years, has been suspended because of pending litigation, according to Kevin McCarthy, the general manager of host station XTRA 690.

"It's a brokered show, so we sell the time and there is some litigation between the principals involved," McCarthy said. "Until that's resolved, there won't be a show. We're assuming that this will be cleared up sooner than later. It's beyond our control."

The program aired on a popular all-sports station that has considerable range throughout Southern California.

Stein, a public trainer, said the dispute is between Global Sports, which owns the show, and Steve Clapick, who has produced the program for several years.

Stein said that XTRA has a contract to present the show through the end of the year, and expressed frustration that the program, which has a core audience of handicappers and racing fans, has been disrupted.

"I still have not heard from XTRA," Stein said. "It has nothing to do with me."

Awkward timing for exotic

Sunday's two major stakes - the Goodwood Breeders' Cup Handicap and the Oak Tree Breeders' Cup Mile - are run consecutively, providing bettors with an opportunity for a $2 daily double on Breeders' Cup preps.

In addition the two races are linked with two major stakes at Keeneland for the $1 Four Stakes Pick Four, a first for the two tracks. The Keeneland races are the Overbrook Spinster Stakes and the Shadwell Keeneland Turf Mile, both Breeders' Cup preps as well.

The racetrack's portion of the revenue generated from the bet has been earmarked for the New York Heroes Fund to benefit families affected by last month's terrorist attacks.

The only drawback to the bet is the time difference between the two tracks. The bet closes at 12:42 p.m., eight minutes before the first leg is run at Keeneland. The two races from California are the seventh and eighth races on the Oak Tree program and will be run at 3:47 and 4:16 p.m., respectively.

End of road for Dixie Dot Com

Dixie Dot Com will go out with a bang. He will race in California for the final time on Sunday in the Grade 2 Goodwood Handicap, and end his career Oct. 27 in the Breeders' Cup. According to trainer Bill Morey, the campaign is the realization of a plan laid out by Bart Heller, one of Dixie Dot Com's owners who passed away Aug. 10.

"It was Bart Heller's dream to go through the year like we have, to run in the Pacific Classic, to run in a Breeders' Cup race, and retire him," Morey said. "I'm just trying to fulfill his dream." Dixie Dot Com, a 6-year-old, has done his part this year, winning two of six and earning $669,000. His most recent start was a runner-up finish Aug. 19 in the Pacific Classic; the Goodwood was never in the plan.

"I was trying to stay away from Tiznow and Skimming to tell you the truth," Morey said. "We were never pointing for this race." Plans for the Kentucky Cup Classic and Meadowlands Cup were scrapped in the aftermath of the terrorist attacks, and Morey said the Goodwood was the only spot left to prep for the Breeders' Cup.

Following the Breeders' Cup, Dixie Dot Com will go to stud. Morey said the son of Dixie Dot Com will stand in California, at a farm yet to be determined. Dixie Dot Com, a 6-year-old by Dixie Brass, has won eight races and more than $1.3 million from 22 starts.

Tizbud injured

Tiznow's unraced little brother - 2-year-old Tizbud - is recovering from the same injury that delayed Tiznow's career debut. "He has a stress fracture of the tibia, the same thing Tiznow had," trainer Jay Robbins said. "He'll come back in early December."

Tizbud's pedigree (by Cee's Tizzy, out of Cee's Song) is the same as Tiznow. Before the injury, his physical appearance was similar to a young Tiznow. Tizbud is stabled at Harris Farms in Central California. The setback will postpone Tizbud's debut until the Santa Anita winter meet when he is a 3-year-old. Tiznow, of course, made his debut April 22 of his 3-year-old year and won the Breeders' Cup Classic.

*Levy Restaurants, which provides food service at Dodger Stadium and Staples Center, will take over food service operations at Hollywood Park when the fall meeting begins on Nov. 7. Levy Restaurants also provides food service at two other Churchill Downs Inc. tracks - Arlington Park and Churchill Downs.

- additional reporting by Brad Free