05/12/2008 11:00PM

Brother Derek's foot problem flares up

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INGLEWOOD, Calif. - At age 5, Brother Derek was a fresh horse poised to play a key role in the handicap division this summer at Hollywood Park. But after one promising race, the 2006 Santa Anita Derby winner is sidelined again.

Brother Derek has not returned to the track since a runner-up comeback April 20 at Santa Anita, where he is stabled.

"His quarter crack opened up again, and I totally backed off," trainer Dan Hendricks said Tuesday.

It is not the first time the foot has given Brother Derek trouble.

After a one-year layoff, he was scheduled to return March 28, but was scratched with the first quarter crack. Brother Derek healed, returned a month later, and finished second with a wide trip. He appeared to be on his way until the crack reopened.

Hendricks does not have a timetable for Brother Derek, but is satisfied with the progress of his foot. "It's healing up now," Hendricks said.

Cecil Peacock owns Brother Derek, who has won 6 races and $1.6 million.

Indian Sun faces softer in Will Rogers

Hendricks and Peacock are not entirely out of action, however. Their good colt Indian Sun drops in company Saturday and returns to turf for the Grade 3 Will Rogers Stakes, a mile race for 3-year-olds. Indian Sun has 2 wins and 2 seconds from 4 starts on grass, but Hendricks is not willing to concede that Indian Sun is strictly a turf horse.

"He's a decent dirt horse, but look at who he's been running against," Hendricks said.

Indian Sun finished fourth to Gayego in the Arkansas Derby, fourth in the San Felipe in which Georgie Boy and Gayego ran one-two, second in the San Rafael won by El Gato Malo, and a close fifth in the CashCall Futurity.

In the Will Rogers, Indian Sun will face EZ Dreamer, Polonius, Robscarvic, and Tiz West.

Prime Ruler breathes easier as gelding

Prime Ruler was a first-time gelding last Sunday when he produced the highest win payoff of the meet, a $75 stunner in a $25,000 claiming race. Interestingly, trainer Chris Paasch said he believes the castration may have helped his breathing.

"A lot of horses, when they are uncomfortable behind, have [breathing problems]," Paasch said.

He speculates that Prime Ruler's testicles were causing discomfort when he ran. "I think he was uncomfortable behind, and I think he held his breath when he ran because he was expecting pain," Paasch said.

Prime Ruler, ridden by Agapito Delgadillo, won the sprint by a nose and earned his highest Beyer Speed Figure - an 86 - since his debut as a 2-year-old.

Baze back aboard Dearest Trickski

It took five months, but Michael Baze finally is back aboard Dearest Trickski, the filly sprinter seeking her sixth straight win in the $75,000 Desert Stormer Handicap on Saturday. Baze replaces Mike Smith, who will be busy Saturday at Pimlico, where he rides Gayego in the Preakness Stakes.

Baze rode Dearest Trickski to three wins last fall for trainer John Sadler, and was to ride her in a stakes early in the Santa Anita winter meet. When the race did not fill, Sadler was forced to run Dearest Trickski in a Grade 1.

"It was an audible to go in the La Brea, and [Baze] already had a commitment," Sadler said.

Dearest Trickski won the La Brea under Smith, while Baze finished fourth on favorite Sindy With an S. One month later, Smith rode Dearest Trickski to victory in the Sunshine Millions Filly and Mare Sprint in late January.

Dearest Trickski is the 123-pound topweight Saturday in the six-furlong Desert Stormer, her first start since the Sunshine Millions Jan. 26.

"I don't like the weight because she's a little filly," Sadler said, adding that "she's trained well, real steady."

Dearest Trickski, who Sadler said is not Breeders' Cup-eligible, will face Ashley's Kitty (118), Overly Tempting (115), and Silky Smooth (115).

Mitchell puzzled by Bilo's performance

The last-place finish by Bilo last Sunday in the Grade 3 Los Angeles Handicap remains a mystery to trainer Mike Mitchell.

"He came out of the race good, but I just don't know," he said. "Is he the same horse? It's back to the drawing board."

Mitchell originally planned to use the six-furlong Los Angeles as a prep race for the Grade 1, seven-furlong Triple Bend Handicap on July 5, a race Bilo won last year while trained by Marty Jones.

"That's out. I see no reason to jam him back in the Triple Bend," Mitchell said.

Bilo was purchased privately last fall.

"We have a lot of money tied up in him; we'll try to get some of that money back," Mitchell said.

Political Web fit for return

The richest race Thursday at Hollywood Park is not the most interesting, but race 6 sure looks like an easy spot for Brendolyn and Political Web. They are the principals among five that entered the second-level optional $80,000 claimer for fillies and mares going seven furlongs.

Political Web will be racing for the first time since January.

"She's training good and got a good post," trainer Julio Canani said.

Political Web drew the outside post, and Canani said she is doing as well now as she was in summer 2006 when she won an allowance and a minor stakes at Del Mar.

Brendolyn meanwhile, has more recent form. She won a low-rated $50,000 claiming race one month ago, and should be setting or pressing the pace in a sprint that came up devoid of speed.

Anzisong well-suited for turf mile

Rafael Becerra will try to extend his hot streak Thursday when he starts Anzisong in race 7, a maiden-40 starter allowance at a mile on turf.

"I think the distance will be good for him," said Becerra, who has won with 5 of his last 15 starters.