01/25/2010 12:00AM

For Bold Chieftain, one last dance


ARCADIA, Calif. - Bold Chieftain, a 7-year-old millionaire, has won 11 stakes over the last 3 1/2 years throughout California. If he wins a 12th in Saturday's $500,000 Sunshine Millions Classic at Santa Anita, trainer Bill Morey will be stunned.

Morey said over the weekend that the Sunshine Millions Classic could be the last Southern California appearance for Bold Chieftain, describing the race as "the last big dance for this horse."

Owned by a partnership, Bold Chieftain has won 14 of 33 starts and $1,131,411. He won three stakes last year, including the California Cup Classic here and stakes at Sacramento and Golden Gate Fields.

"I don't know if you'll see us down here anymore," Morey said while watching Bold Chieftain work six furlongs in 1:14.60 at Santa Anita on Sunday.

There have been discussions about a stud career, but nothing has been finalized. A weak bloodstock market in California does not help the stud prospects of a grandson of Seattle Slew who earned substantial prize money without a graded stakes win. The lack of a breeding deal could lead to more races.

"There is no market for the horse off the track," Morey said. "We'll give him a little blow after this race and see what unfolds. He could surface in a high-priced claimer, but I would not run him into the ground. He's been too good for us. We'd never dream we'd earn $1 million."

Bold Chieftain was fourth in the Grade 2 San Pasqual Handicap here Jan. 9, racing near the front until the final furlong before fading to lose by two lengths under jockey Russell Baze.

"The last race wasn't a bad race," Morey said. "My rider admits he may have flushed too early."

Morey is realistic about Bold Chieftain's chances in the Classic, which is run over 1 1/8 miles. The race includes 3-year-old turf star The Usual Q.T., who is switching surfaces, and Palladio, a two-time stakes winner in 2009 who is being trained in Florida by Roger Attfield. Palladio is part of the Florida-bred contingent being sent to California this week.

Morey said the shippers concern him the most.

"Maybe they can divert the plane to Northern California instead of Southern California, and we might have a chance," he said.

The Classic is one of three Sunshine Millions races at Santa Anita on Saturday, along with the $200,000 Filly and Mare Sprint over six furlongs and the $300,000 Filly and Mare Turf over 1 1/8 miles.

Smooth cards over the weekend

Santa Anita raced without incident Saturday and Sunday after losing three weekdays last week because of insufficient drainage on the synthetic main track following eight inches of rain over five days.

Track superintendent Richard Tedesco said as much as two inches of rain was expected late Monday into Tuesday, and another storm is likely Friday, just before Saturday's Sunshine Millions program, which includes the $500,000 Classic on the main track.

Tedesco expressed confidence that he could handle the situation without a disruption to racing.

"I know what I can do and what I'll be able to do," he said.

Last week, Tedesco aerated the course with a device pulled by a tractor that punctured holes in the Pro-Ride brand synthetic surface, allowing for improved drainage.

There was considerable standing water on the main track when racing was cancelled Monday and noticeably less through the rest of the week, even during heavy rain.

Rain will be a factor at times for the next few months, the time of year when Southern California is most susceptible to wet weather.

Tedesco said one-day storms will be easiest to manage and cause the least amount of disruption to training. Last week, there was no full main-track training from Monday through Friday. Sunday, in an effort to play catch up, there were 306 works on the main track.

After training concludes Monday, Tedesco planned to aerate the main track throughout the day in advance of the expected rainstorm.

Separately, Tedesco has been hired to oversee the Polytrack surface at Del Mar, a senior Del Mar executive said over the weekend. Tedesco will replace Steve Wood, the longtime superintendent at Del Mar. Wood had also been at Santa Anita until being relieved of his duties there two years ago.

Dubai a possibility for Kinsale King

Kinsale King's victory in Saturday's Grade 2 Palos Verdes Handicap has trainer Carl O'Callaghan thinking about a trip to Dubai in March, to an extent.

While acknowledging that Kinsale King thrives on synthetic tracks and would be suited to the Tapeta Footings surface at the new Meydan racecourse in Dubai, O'Callaghan said he is considering staying in the United States and pointing for the Breeders' Cup Sprint at Churchill Downs in November.

The Dubai race being considered for Kinsale King is the $2 million Golden Shaheen over six furlongs.

Kinsale King races for Patrick Sheehy.

"I think the horse is pretty special on synthetics," O'Callaghan said. "But so many horses come home [from Dubai] and don't run to par.

"It might be a better idea to stay home and aim for the Breeders' Cup. We'll toy around with it. I think it would be more value for us to win the Breeders' Cup. Right now, I think we're on schedule for Dubai. In a couple of days, I'll sit down and talk with [Sheehy]."

Kinsale King won his second consecutive graded stakes in the six-furlong Palos Verdes. He won the Grade 3 Vernon Underwood Stakes at Hollywood Park last month.

Dubai is firmly in the plans of Dancing in Silks, who finished third to Kinsale King in his first start since an upset win in the Breeders' Cup Sprint here in November. Dancing in Silks closed from fourth to finish 1 3/4 lengths behind Kinsale King in the Palos Verdes.

"He got a little tired," trainer Carla Gaines said Sunday. "His legs were ice cold and he ate up last night."

Evita Argentina works for Santa Monica Handicap

Evita Argentina, the winner of the Grade 1 La Brea Stakes, will try for a second win at that level at this meeting in Sunday's $250,000 Santa Monica Handicap. She worked six furlongs in 1:12.60 on Sunday.

Evita Argentina will be a top contender in the Grade 1 Santa Monica, which like the La Brea is run over seven furlongs. Evita Argentina leads a field that does not include a standout. The field is unlikely to include multiple stakes winner Tuscan Evening, who will be pointed for the Buena Vista Handicap on Feb. 15.

Aside from Evita Argentina, the probable starters include Czechers, Diamondrella, Free Flying Soul, Gabby's Golden Gal, and Gilded Gem.