10/18/2007 11:00PM

Buzzards Bay wins; Clark is next

EmailARCADIA, Calif. - Buzzards Bay is bound for the $500,000 Clark Handicap at Churchill Downs on Nov. 23 after winning a $54,000 allowance race at Santa Anita Friday that required a little more work than trainer Ron Ellis would have preferred.

Buzzards Bay fought off challenges in early stretch from Siren Lure and Corey County to win the 1 1/16-mile race by 1 3/4 lengths over Siren Lure. Buzzards Bay ($2.80) was timed in 1:41.13 over a track that played very fast.

Ridden by Jose Valdivia Jr., Buzzards Bay stalked pacesetter Sweet Roberto to the final turn before taking the lead. For a moment in early stretch, it appeared that Siren Lure and Corey County would go by Buzzards Bay, but Valdivia roused Buzzards Bay to pull clear in the final furlong.

"He's just goofing around," Ellis said. "He's a little too smart for his own good. He made me a little nervous.

"It's a matter of him trying a little bit. He's got one ear pricked, like he's waiting for something to do."

A winner of 7 of 20 starts and $1,357,907, Buzzards Bay was making his first start since finishing eighth in the Grade 2 San Diego Handicap at Del Mar on July 21. Ellis said that Buzzards Bay did not handle Del Mar's Polytrack surface that day.

Buzzards Bay missed the Windy Sands Handicap at Del Mar on Sept. 3 because of illness. Earlier this year, he won the Grade 2 Californian Stakes at Hollywood Park, which has a Cushion Track synthetic surface similar to the one in place at Santa Anita.

The Clark Handicap is one of the top late-season races for males on dirt.

"Fitness-wise, this will get him up to it well," Ellis said of the Clark. "If he wants to do it, he can do it. It's a matter of getting him to be a little tougher racehorse."

Buzzards Bay is owned by Gary Broad, who swept the early double on Friday. Broad's Early Anna, trained by Jennie Green, won a $25,000 claimer for sprinters in the first race.

Steroid use to be curtailed next year

Anabolic steroids will be greatly restricted for use in racehorses in California in 2008 under rules being implemented by the California Horse Racing Board, according to testimony given at Thursday's monthly meeting by equine medical director Rick Arthur.

The rules could be implemented by next summer, Arthur said. The new regulations would be in place before the Breeders' Cup is conducted at the Oak Tree at Santa Anita meeting next October.

"The Breeders' Cup will be anabolic steroid-free, which will be a first in American racing," Arthur told the racing board.

"We're looking at ways to ease into this. We're doing tests for withdrawal time in blood and urine."

The proposed rules have been discussed throughout the year and are part of national movement to restrict the use of anabolic steroids. Last month, the Indiana Horse Racing Commission approved a rule that will prohibit four steroids - stanozolol, boldenone, nandrolone, and testosterone - from being administered within a month of a race, starting in 2008. Indiana was the first state to enact such a rule.

The rule was part of a regulation formed by the Association of Racing Commissioners International. Anabolic steroids are used to recover from exercise, build muscle, and aid appetites.

Arthur said that suggested withdrawal times are being studied for two steroids. He said that the withdrawal time for Stanozolol, known by the trade name Winstrol V, is 15 to 45 days, while the withdrawal time for Boldenone, known as Equipoise, is 30 to 60 days.

In an e-mail, Arthur indicated that post-race tests would allow the medications to appear at trace levels since boldenone "is naturally produced at low levels in non-gelded males, so the permitted level will be higher for colts and ridgelings than for fillies and geldings."

He said that stanozolol can appear at residue levels, with a minimum withdrawal time of 15 days.

The rules must go through a regulatory process through state government and may be in place by July 1, Arthur said.

Daytona races to Hollywood Derby

Daytona, the winner of the Oak Tree Derby on Oct. 13, is bound for the $500,000 Hollywood Derby on Nov. 25, trainer Dan Hendricks said.

The Oak Tree Derby over 1 1/8 miles on turf was Daytona's first stakes win and came in his ninth start. Daytona pulled clear in early stretch to win by 4 1/4 lengths.

"It didn't surprise me that he won, but it surprised me the way he won," Hendricks said.

Daytona began his career in England and joined Hendricks's barn in the spring.

"We nominated for the Hollywood Derby last June, so it's not like the race is an afterthought," Hendricks said.

Owner Rene Lambert dies at 88

Rene Lambert, who owned Sky Jack, the winner of the 2000 California Cup Classic and 2002 Hollywood Gold Cup, died at his home in Toluca Lake, Calif., of natural causes on Oct. 12, according to his daughter-in-law, Cathy Lambert.

Lambert was 88. Funeral services were scheduled for Saturday.

Lambert and his wife, Margie, operated Ren-Mar Thoroughbreds over the last 20 years. The couple owned a ranch in Temecula, Calif., where they bred horses, including Sky Jack, the most successful horse they campaigned. They also owned the successful turf sprinter F J's Pace.

Sky Jack won 10 of 18 starts and $1,115,127, including the Longacres Mile at Emerald Downs in 2003, his final start.

The Lamberts opened a moving and storage business in the 1940s, and later owned a film studio. The couple bought their Temecula ranch in the early 1990s, Cathy Lambert said.

"They've always loved horses, Lambert said. "They had horses from the day they got married, and they always had the dream of having their own Thoroughbreds."

Ren-Mar Thoroughbreds has eight 2-year-olds in-training.

Lambert is survived by his wife and three sons - Russell, Rene Jr., and Ricky. In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations be made to St. Jude's Children's Research Hospital in Memphis or the United Pegasus Foundation for retired Thoroughbreds.