02/23/2006 12:00AM

Brother Derek keeps his cool during six-furlong bullet

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ARCADIA, Calif. - Amid blaring sirens and the hectic activity of a busy Thursday morning of workouts at Santa Anita, Brother Derek worked six furlongs in 1:12.20, his last major workout before the $200,000 Santa Catalina Stakes on March 4.

Brother Derek worked alone under jockey Alex Solis at 9:15 a.m., a time when the track was crowded with other horses working or galloping.

Brother Derek did not seem distracted by a loud siren that was triggered at the end of his workout when a horse suffered an apparent breakdown past the finish line.

Brother Derek's time was the fastest of 23 recorded works at the distance. Three other horses shared the second-fastest time of 1:14.20.

"It looked like he went in 1:15," trainer Dan Hendricks said. "He seems to be slowly coming up to his best.

"This makes you look like you can ride and I can train," Hendricks said he told Solis after a post-workout conversation. "The good ones will do that."

Solis kept Brother Derek well off the rail. The colt was well within himself through the final quarter-mile. One trainer watching from the grandstand caught Brother Derek's final furlong in 11.80 seconds.

"I was trying to keep him relaxed," Solis said. "If I get too close to the rail, he gets way too keen. He does it all so easy, it's amazing."

Owned by Cecil Peacock, Brother Derek has won 4 of 6 starts and $592,080.

Hendricks said that Brother Derek has trained well since his lone start of 2006, a win in the San Rafael Stakes at a mile on Jan. 14. The Santa Catalina is run at 1 1/16 miles.

The Santa Catalina will have a small field. Other probable starters are the maiden winners Latent Heat, Mister Triester, and Really Indian. Trainer Bob Baffert said he may start the maiden winner Point of Impact, pending a Sunday workout.

Aguirre horses face detention

Trainer Paul Aguirre was informed by the California Horse Racing Board last weekend that one of his recent starters - Jasjonjake, the seventh-place finisher in a $20,000 claimer on Feb. 5 - tested in excess of the permitted level of bicarbonates, or total carbon dioxide, CHRB officials said.

As a result, Aguirre's starters will be placed in a 24-hour detention barn for 30 days, beginning on Thursday, as part of an agreement between California's racetracks, the California Thoroughbred Trainers, and the Thoroughbred Owners of California that has been in place since the beginning of 2005.

The CHRB has yet to issue a formal complaint in the case.

An announcement was made at Santa Anita on Thursday informing the public that Cherryonthebottom, Aguirre's starter in the sixth race, had been placed in a detention barn. Cherryonthebottom finished second.

A consortium of racetracks and horsemen's organizations began testing for excessive bicarbonates last year. The CHRB took control of administering the tests in October.

Tests in excess of permitted levels - 37 millimoles per liter of blood - can lead to fines or suspensions.

T.H. Approval ends long vacation

T.H. Approval, the winner of the San Juan Capistrano Handicap last April, will return from a seven-month layoff in Sunday's $150,000 San Luis Obispo Handicap, a race that trainer Eduardo Inda hopes will lead to a defense of his San Juan title.

A winner of 4 of 19 starts and $344,288, T.H. Approval was the only winner from 30 starters in 2005 for Inda's stable. In the Grade 2 San Juan Capistrano, at about 1 3/4 miles on turf, T.H. Approval was always near the front and scored by 1 1/2 lengths. He was turned out following a runner-up finish in the Grade 2 Sunset Breeders' Cup Handicap at Hollywood Park in July.

"The doctor said, 'If you keep going, we'll be in trouble,' " Inda said.

Before the San Juan last year, T.H. Approval was third in the San Luis Obispo and fourth in the San Luis Rey Handicap in March. Inda said T.H. Approval may need a start to challenge San Marcos Stakes winner The Tin Man in the San Luis Obispo.

Other probable starters in the San Luis Obispo at 1 1/2 miles on turf are Atlando, Bouthan, Clipperdown, Fantastic Spain, and King's Drama.

"I hope he can win, but it is his first time out," Inda said. "The Tin Man ran so good. He'll be tough."

Trainer Richard Mandella said on Saturday that The Tin Man was not a definite starter and could be sent straight to Dubai instead.

Vet was fined for false report

Veterinarian Amy Lee Nevens was fined $750 by the CHRB in October for falsifying a veterinarian report showing what time she had administered furosemide to Intercontinental last September at Del Mar, on the day that the mare won the Palomar Breeders' Cup Handicap.

The shot of furosemide was administered approximately three hours before the race. CHRB rules state that furosemide, also known as Lasix, be administered four hours in advance of a start. Horses who receive furosemide closer to post time face being scratched.

Intercontinental later won the Breeders' Cup Filly and Mare Turf and was named champion turf female of 2005.