10/15/2006 11:00PM

Bordonaro likely for BC Sprint

Email

ARCADIA, Calif. - Bordonaro, the winner of the Grade 1 Ancient Title Breeders' Cup Stakes and two other stakes this year, is expected to be supplemented to the $2 million Breeders' Cup Sprint at Churchill Downs on Nov. 4, trainer Bill Spawr said over the weekend.

Spawr and owners Fred Carrillo and Daniel Cassella had hesitated to commit Bordonaro to the Sprint after the Ancient Title at the Oak Tree at Santa Anita meeting, citing concerns about the four-week gap between races. But Spawr said the 5-year-old Bordonaro has trained well in the week since his win.

"We're going forward with it so far," Spawr said. "Everything is in motion. We've gone from possible to probable."

Carrillo and Cassella must pay $130,000 to supplement Bordonaro to the BC Sprint.

"They're willing to put the money up," Spawr said.

Spawr said Bordonaro has fought hind-end problems this year, primarily soreness, but said those have not surfaced since the Ancient Title. "Maybe he's peaking," Spawr said.

A gelding, Bordonaro went back to the track on Friday for a jog and resumed galloping on Sunday.

If he starts in the BC Sprint, Bordonaro would be one of the leading contenders, behind the 3-year-old star, Henny Hughes.

Bordonaro has won 9 of 12 starts and $642,164. Earlier this year, he won the Sunshine Millions Sprint at Santa Anita in January and the Count Fleet Sprint Handicap at Oaklawn Park in April. His only loss this year was a runner-up finish in the Grade 1 Bing Crosby Handicap at Del Mar in July. He was struck in the face by a rival's whip in the early stretch of that race.

Dark Islander eyes Hollywood Derby

Dark Islander, the winner of Saturday's $150,000 Oak Tree Derby in his U.S. debut, is expected to stay in California for the $500,000 Hollywood Derby on Nov. 26, trainer John Hills said Sunday.

Dark Islander rallied from last in the field of six to win the Grade 2 Oak Tree Derby by 1 1/4 lengths over Obrigado. It was the first time that Dark Islander had started in a graded or group stakes after running in minor handicaps in England. He had won two of his previous three starts going into Saturday.

Hills thought that Dark Islander accomplished two major goals in the Oak Tree Derby.

"He's made the leap into stakes class and it's the farthest he's ever run," Hills said. "He ticked two boxes."

Hills said Dark Islander will stay in California, in trainer Paddy Gallagher's stable.

Dark Islander was sent to California in the hope that the colt would fare better on California's firm turf courses, according to owner Donald Kerr.

"We've had trouble getting the ground he likes, and we thought he would like this style of racing," said Kerr, who lives in England.

Behaving Badly retired

Behaving Badly, the winner of six sprint stakes in the last 14 months, has been retired and will be bred to Vindication, trainer Bob Baffert said Sunday.

Behaving Badly finished fourth as the favorite in the Thoroughbred Club of America Stakes at Keeneland on Saturday.

"She didn't run her race," Baffert said, adding that jockey Victor Espinoza "said she didn't feel the same."

Owned by Hal and Patti Earnhardt, Behaving Badly won 9 of 13 starts and $749,224. Her most prominent win came in the Grade 1 Santa Monica Handicap at seven furlongs at Santa Anita last January.

By Pioneering, Behaving Badly, 5, won consecutive runnings of the Grade 3 Rancho Bernardo Handicap at Del Mar in 2005 and 2006 and the Grade 2 Genuine Risk Breeders' Cup Handicap at Belmont Park in July.

One pick four guarantee isn't met

Saturday's pick four pool failed to reach the $400,000 guarantee, resulting in a $48,600 cash infusion to the pool by track management. A total of $351,400 was bet.

The pick four pool is guaranteed to reach $400,000 on Saturdays and Sundays during the current Oak Tree at Santa Anita meeting. Sunday's pool was $482,245, the second-highest of the meet. The pick four pools have averaged $440,504 on Saturdays and Sundays this meeting.

Oak Tree executive vice president Sherwood Chillingworth said it was unclear why Saturday's handle was lower than the guarantee.

"We've been trying to figure that out ourselves," he said. "Our betting was up [for the day.] This is the only one that has happened. You can't consider it a pattern."

He said the missed guarantee would not change management's approach during the meeting.

"We announced at the first of the meeting we'd guaranteed all pick fours for $400,000 on Saturdays and Sundays," he said. "We're going to adhere to that policy."

Chillingworth said that business has improved over last year in the first 15 days of racing at the 26-day meeting. Through Saturday, ontrack handle was up 3 percent, ontrack attendance was up 7 percent, and all-sources live handle was down 1 percent, he said.

"We're very happy with where we are right now," he said.

The meeting concludes on Oct. 29.

Arson Squad targets Strub series

Arson Squad is bound for the $250,000 Malibu Stakes for 3-year-olds at seven furlongs here Dec. 26 after his win in an allowance race in Saturday's fifth race.

Making his first start since finishing fourth in the Grade 2 La Jolla Handicap at Del Mar on Aug. 12, Arson Squad ($4.40) won Saturday's allowance race by a length, covering the 6 1/2 furlongs in 1:15.61.

Ridden by Alex Solis, Arson Squad challenged for the lead throughout and held off a determined Turnbolt, who finished second.

"He was pretty awesome," trainer Bruce Headley said of Arson Squad. "Alex knows this horse and knows he'll accelerate. He just takes off."

Owned by Mace and Samantha Siegel, Arson Squad, 3, has won 4 of 8 and $372,450. Earlier this year, he won the San Pedro Stakes at 6 1/2 furlongs and the Grade 2 Swaps Breeders' Cup Stakes at 1o1/8 miles.

All those wins have given Headley an incentive to wait for the three-race Strub series, which ends with the Grade 2 Strub Stakes at 1o1/8 miles for 4-year-olds in early February.

Headley is not interested in trying Arson Squad on the synthetic surface during the Hollywood Park fall meeting. Hollywood Park is running on a synthetic surface for the first time in November and December.

"I'll let them experiment and watch from afar," he said. "I want to try for the Stub series."

'The Mig' California-bound

Jockey Richard Migliore, one of the leading riders in New York for the last 25 years and a winner of more than 4,000 races, is moving to California next month, according to agent Ron Anderson.

Anderson will represent Migliore when he makes the move to Hollywood Park on Nov. 5 or 8. Anderson said Migliore is booked to ride the Breeders' Cup program at Churchill Downs on Nov. 4 before leaving for California.

"He'll be [in California] indefinitely at this point," Anderson said. "I think he's been intrigued to try California."

Anderson will also represent Garrett Gomez, who has been riding in Kentucky and New York since April. Gomez, who previously rode in California, is scheduled to spend the fall and winter in California and will begin riding at Oak Tree on Oct. 25.