08/02/2006 12:00AM

Brother Derek works toward September return

Brother Derek, breezing five furlongs Wednesday at Del Mar, will likely make his return in the El Cajon at Del Mar on Sept. 2. Another possibility is the Del Mar Derby on turf Sept. 3.

DEL MAR, Calif. - Brother Derek breezed five furlongs Wednesday at Del Mar and is on schedule for a return to racing within a month, trainer Dan Hendricks said.

Brother Derek was timed in 59.80 seconds, his second official work since returning to training following a brief illness in late June.

Hendricks said Brother Derek will run in the final days of the Del Mar meeting and is scheduled to have two starts before the Breeders' Cup Classic at Churchill Downs on Nov. 4.

Brother Derek's most likely race at Del Mar is the $100,000 El Cajon Stakes at a mile on Sept. 2, but Hendricks has not ruled out the $400,000 Del Mar Derby at 1 1/8 miles on turf on Sept. 3. Brother Derek has never run on turf.

"There is the slightest chance we might run in the Del Mar Derby," Hendricks said. "I might work him on the turf next week. Timing-wise, it comes up well. It is a Grade 2 worth $400,000. He's ahead of schedule."

The winner of the Santa Anita Derby in April and two other stakes earlier this year, Brother Derek is likely to run in the $500,000 Goodwood Breeders' Cup Handicap at Santa Anita on Oct. 7. The Goodwood would be Brother Derek's first start against older horses.

Owned by Cecil Peacock, Brother Derek has not started since finishing fourth in the Preakness Stakes in May. He has won six of 10 starts and $1,302,080.

Spawr still angry with Bing Crosby ruling

Pure as Gold and Bordonaro, the first two finishers of a controversial running of the Bing Crosby Handicap last Sunday, are on course for a rematch at Santa Anita in the $250,000 Ancient Title Breeders' Cup Stakes at six furlongs on Oct. 7.

Pure as Gold won the Grade 1 Bing Crosby by a half-length over Bordonaro, but had to survive an objection. Jockey Alex Solis, who rode Bordonaro, claimed that jockey Jon Court, who rode Pure as Gold, struck Bordonaro in the face with his whip. After a lengthy review, the stewards did not change the order of finish.

Bill Spawr, who trains Bordonaro, was still upset about the call on Wednesday morning, saying he wished the stewards had utilized images from the TVG network in their decision. Spawr said that an isolated camera that TVG had on Bordonaro during the race showed that the horse "was struck twice" by Court's whip.

"I wasn't upset until I saw TVG," he said. "It's not even close. He hit him in the head."

Spawr called for those images to be available to the stewards during their reviews.

"Why should a gaming service have better technology on things that decide our lives?" he said.

In their ruling, the stewards looked at several angles and ruled that the images were inconclusive.

Both Spawr and Jack Carava, who trains Pure as Gold, said they are unlikely to try their horses in the $300,000 Pat O'Brien Breeders' Cup Handicap at seven furlongs on Aug. 20.

"The Pat O'Brien comes up quick for him," Carava said. "I think he'll be tired for awhile."

Spawr said that Bordonaro is on course for the Breeders' Cup Sprint in November. The Bing Crosby ended a four-race winning streak for Bordonaro. "It doesn't change the horse's ability," he said of the loss.

Carava admitted Pure as Gold is a long way from the Breeders' Cup, and said the Ancient Title will determine whether he pursues the Breeders' Cup.

"He would have to probably win again," Carava said. "We want to make sure he belongs."

Claimed for $100,000 by La Canada Stables on June 14, Pure as Gold surprised Carava when he raced near the front in the six-furlong Bing Crosby.

"I didn't think the style of the race would go that way," Carava said. "I thought he'd be farther back and he'd close and get a piece of it."

Good Reward targets Pacific Classic

Good Reward, who won the 2004 Hollywood Derby in his only Southern California appearance, and Top This and That, who won an optional claimer here last Sunday, are being pointed for the $1 million Pacific Classic here on Aug. 20.

The Pacific Classic is the richest race of the meeting. The probable field is led by Lava Man, the winner of the Santa Anita Handicap and Hollywood Gold Cup, and Giacomo, the 2005 Kentucky Derby winner who won the San Diego Handicap here July 22.

Good Reward, who will be ridden by Garrett Gomez, is winless in six starts since the Grade 1 Manhattan Handicap at Belmont Park in June 2005. He has yet to win a stakes on dirt, a goal for trainer Shug McGaughey.

McGaughey said he is hopeful that a quick pace will develop and aid Good Reward's late kick.

"I think going a mile and a quarter he can maybe let the others battle it out up front and hopefully pick up the pieces," he said.

Good Reward has won five of 22 starts and $832,902. He beat maidens on the main track at Belmont Park in 2003.

Top This and That, a winner of five of 20 starts and $309,656, rallied from last to win a one-mile optional claimer by 2 3/4 lengths. The victory was his first since he won an allowance race for California-breds last December. In between, he finished second in the Grade 2 Strub Stakes and later missed training because of a quarter crack, Hendricks said.

Top This and That will make his Grade 1 debut in the Pacific Classic.

"We have to hope for pace," Hendricks said.

Other candidates for the Pacific Classic include Perfect Drift, the runner-up in the last two runnings; Ace Blue, second to Lava Man in the Hollywood Gold Cup; Magnum; Papi Chullo; Preachinatthebar; and Super Frolic.

Aragorn will tackle Del Mar BC Mile

Aragorn, a striking winner of the Grade 1 Eddie Read Handicap on July 23, will return for the $400,000 Del Mar Breeders' Cup Mile on turf on Aug. 26, trainer Neil Drysdale said.

Drysdale and Aragorn's owners, Roy and Belinda Strudwick, had considered the $1 million Arlington Million on Aug. 12, but are opting to stay in California.

"We're looking toward staying here," Drysdale said. "There is the weather factor."

Temperatures in the Chicago area are near 100 degrees this week. At Del Mar, temperatures are closer to 80.

- additional reporting by David Grening