07/27/2006 11:00PM

Buzzards Bay may skip meet


DEL MAR, Calif. - Buzzards Bay, the winner of the Oaklawn Handicap in April and one of the nation's top older horses, is unlikely to start at the Del Mar meeting and may have only one prep race before the Breeders' Cup Classic at Churchill Downs on Nov. 4, trainer Ron Ellis said on Friday.

Ellis said that Buzzards Bay will be shipped to Santa Anita and will be based with his stable there for the rest of the summer. Ellis said that Buzzards Bay did not handle the Del Mar track well in a half-mile workout on Tuesday.

"I didn't like the reaction in his legs," Ellis said.

Owned by Gary and Wendy Broad, Buzzards Bay will not start in the $1 million Pacific Classic on Aug. 20, Ellis said. The Windy Sands Handicap at a mile here on Sept. 4 has not been ruled out.

Ellis said that Buzzards Bay could start in the Goodwood Breeders' Cup Handicap at the Oak Tree at Santa Anita meeting on Oct. 7.

"He needs to race before" the Breeders' Cup, Ellis said. "He can get away with one race. I don't have a big plan, other than to keep him sound."

A winner of five of 16 starts and $1,147,507, Buzzards Bay finished fourth in the Stephen Foster Handicap at Churchill Downs on June 17.

Nevens new assistant track veterinarian

Veterinarian Amy Nevens has been hired as an assistant track veterinarian at Del Mar, adding a third person to the track's morning inspection team.

The addition was recommended at a meeting of track officials and horsemen on July 22 after three horses were euthanized in the first three days of racing, from July 19-21. Through Thursday, the number of horses euthanized had reached seven - six as a result of injuries suffered in races and one from an injury during morning training.

Nevens joins track veterinarian Steve Buttgenbach and state veterinarian Greg Beck as part of the morning inspection team.

Nevens began on Friday, according to Del Mar vice president Craig Fravel. The addition of Nevens was greeted favorably by private veterinarian Rick Arthur, who will become the California Horse Racing Board's equine medical director this fall.

"Hopefully, it will give them an opportunity to have extra time to examine horses," Arthur said of Buttgenbach and Beck. "They want to make sure they have the time to do their jobs properly."

Last year, Nevens was a private veterinarian at Del Mar and was part of a controversy surrounding Intercontinental's win in the Palomar Breeders' Cup Handicap in September.

Nevens administered a Lasix shot to Intercontinental within four hours of the Palomar and was fined for filing a false veterinarian's report indicating that the shot was given at the proper time. A Lasix shot must be administered no earlier than four hours to post.

Live Life to Beverly D. next

Live Life, who finished sixth in the Grade 1 John Mabee Handicap on July 22, will make her next start in the $750,000 Beverly D. Stakes at Arlington Park on Aug. 12, trainer Neil Drysdale said.

Drysdale is dismissing Live Life's loss in the Mabee after she broke slowly and chased a slow pace. "She was eliminated," he said. "She needs to be on the front and the pace was soft."

Owned by Neil's wife, Shawn, Live Life has won three of 11 starts and $146,469. She was second in the Grade 2 Beverly Hills Handicap at 1 1/4 miles on turf at Hollywood Park on June 24, her American stakes debut.

In France last year, Live Life was second in the Group 3 Prix Chloe. She has won two of five starts since joining Drysdale's stable.

Drysdale has yet to decide on the next start for Aragorn, the flashy winner of the Eddie Read Handicap here last Sunday. The options include the Arlington Million at 1 1/4 miles on Aug. 12 or the $400,000 Del Mar Breeders' Cup Mile on Aug. 26.

Drysdale said that Fourty Niners Son, who finished fifth in the Read, will make his next start in the $250,000 Del Mar Handicap at 1 3/8 miles on turf on Aug. 27.

Valdivia wins in return from injury

Jockey Jose Valdivia Jr. returned to riding for the first time in more than four weeks on Thursday and won a starter allowance on the heavily favored Doppio in the fifth race.

Valdivia had been sidelined after breaking his collarbone when he fell from New Joysey Jeff while contending for the lead in the Cinema Breeders' Cup Handicap at Hollywood Park on June 25.

Valdivia had two rides Thursday. He resumed exercising horses last weekend. Sunday, he has two mounts, but one is on the also-eligible list for the seventh race. "When you come back, you have to start all over," he said.

Buzzards Bay has been Valdivia's top mount this year, and Valdivia expects him to start in the Breeders' Cup Classic this fall. "I have a lot of confidence he'll be in the starting gate at Churchill Downs on Nov. 4," he said.

During his time off, Valdivia was able to spend time with his 3-month-old daughter, Siena. He said the injury made it difficult for him to help his wife, Rene, care for the baby. "It was like she was taking care of two kids," he said.

Thru n' Thru out after leg surgery

Thru n' Thru, fourth in the Landaluce Stakes at Hollywood Park on July 1, has been turned out after undergoing surgery to have a bone chip removed from a leg, trainer Bob Baffert said.

Baffert did not say whether the injury was to an ankle or knee. Thru n' Thru has one victory in two starts, a maiden race at five furlongs at Hollywood Park on June 15.

Baffert said Thru N Thru will be out for 90 days. She would have been a candidate for Saturday's Sorrento Stakes for 2-year-old fillies at 6 1/2 furlongs.

The Sorrento drew nine nominations, including Shawklit Sundae, who set the pace in the Landaluce before fading to fourth. She was disqualified and placed fifth in the Landaluce for interfering with Thru n' Thru in the stretch.