11/19/2004 12:00AM

Cajun Beat leans toward Turf Express


INGLEWOOD, Calif. - Cajun Beat, the winner of the 2003 Breeders' Cup Sprint and fifth in the 2004 Sprint last month, might start in Friday's $150,000 Hollywood Turf Express at Hollywood Park.

Trainer Bobby Frankel said he was encouraged by Cajun Beat's five-furlong workout in 1:01.40 at Hollywood Park on Friday and is leaning toward starting Cajun Beat in the Turf Express over 5 1/2 furlongs instead of the $100,000 Vernon Underwood Stakes over six furlongs on dirt on Dec. 5.

"It's $50,000 more," Frankel said.

The Turf Express would be Cajun Beat's second start on grass. He finished second, beaten a neck, in an allowance race for 3-year-olds over five furlongs on turf at Churchill Downs in June 2003. At the time, Cajun Beat was trained by Steve Margolis.

Owned by Padua Stable and Joe and John Iracane, Cajun Beat has not started in California since winning the 2003 Breeders' Cup Sprint at Santa Anita. He joined Frankel's stable earlier this year, following a fourth in the $2 million Golden Shaheen Sprint in Dubai.

With Frankel, Cajun Beat was fourth in the Grade 1 Vosburgh Stakes at Belmont Park on Oct. 2, and was beaten by 3 1/4 lengths by Speightstown in the BC Sprint last month, encountering trouble in the stretch.

"He ran all right, but he wasn't that lucky," Frankel said. "I think he likes the tracks out here better. He didn't work that well at Belmont."

The Turf Express is one of six races in the Autumn Turf Festival, which runs Friday through Sunday.

Sunday's program includes two Grade 1 races worth $500,000 - the Hollywood Derby over 1 1/4 miles and the Matriarch Stakes over a mile for fillies and mares.

Both will have large fields, but lost some international flavor when Irish trainer Dermot Weld said on Friday that Miss Mambo would not start in the Matriarch and Medicinal and Simple Exchange would not start in the derby.

The derby still might have the maximum field of 14. The probable starters are Blackdoun, Fast and Furious, Fight Club, Good Reward, Greek Sun, Hendrix, Imperialism, Joursanvault, Laura's Lucky Boy, On the Acorn, Salford City, Terroplane, Timo, and Whilly.

Imperialism, third in this year's Kentucky Derby and a fast-closing fourth in the Oak Tree Derby on turf last month, breezed six furlongs in 1:14.40 on Friday.

The likely favorite in the Hollywood Derby is Greek Sun, the winner of the Oak Tree Derby.

Ticker Tape goes for sixth stakes win

The Matriarch field will include Ticker Tape, the nation's top 3-year-old turf filly, who has won five stakes this year.

Trained by Jim Cassidy, Ticker Tape won the $750,000 American Oaks over 1 1/4 miles on turf here in July and the $500,000 Queen Elizabeth II Challenge Cup over 1 1/8 miles on turf at Keeneland last month.

Earlier this year, Ticker Tape won two minor stakes over a mile on turf, which gives Cassidy confidence that she can be effective at a distance shorter than her top stakes wins.

"I'm more concerned about the field than the distance," Cassidy said. "It will be as tough a field as she's ever faced."

Other probable Matriarch starters include Denebola, Etoile Montante, Hoh Buzzard, Intercontinental, Island Fashion, Musical Chimes, Ocean Drive, and Quero Quero.

Cassidy is likely to have starters in the two $100,000 Turf Festival races for 2-year-olds, both run at a mile - Friday's Miesque Stakes and Saturday's Generous Stakes.

For the Miesque, Cassidy has Mac Rhapsody, who was second in a stakes over 7 1/2 furlongs on turf in Italy in July. He has two candidates for the Generous - Forzeen and Moth Ball, both currently in England.

Forzeen has won 4 of 13 starts, including races on dirt and turf. Moth Ball was a minor stakes winner at six furlongs at York, England, last month. He was purchased for approximately $400,000 last month.

They will arrive from Europe on Tuesday. "That's the way we like to do it," Cassidy said. "You don't want them to have any down time."

The first Grade 1 of the Turf Festival is Saturday's $400,000 Citation Handicap over 1 1/16 miles.

The probable starters are A to the Z, Buckland Manor, Fairly Ransom, Gondolieri, Leroidesanimaux, Mananan McLir, Mingun, Nothing to Lose, Special Ring, Three Valleys, and Tsigane.

Icantgoforthat recovering from injury

Icantgoforthat, a multiple stakes winner and earner of $472,484, had surgery earlier this week after breaking both sesamoids in her left foreleg. Trainer Steve Knapp said Friday that the surgery was successful but that Icantgoforthat faces a lengthy recovery before she can be considered free of any potential complications. "Everything is so far, so good," he said.

Icantgoforthat was injured while galloping at Santa Anita on Nov. 12. A winner of 7 of 35 starts, she is being kept at the Chino Valley Equine Hospital in Chino, Calif.

Truly a Judge pointed to Native Diver

Truly a Judge will be pointed for the $100,000 Native Diver Handicap on Dec. 11 after leading throughout in an allowance race over 1 1/16 miles on Thursday.

Ridden by Martin Pedroza, Truly a Judge ($18.60) led by a length for the first half-mile and was never threatened, drawing off to score by 6 1/2 lengths. The win came in his first start since he ran fourth in the Grade 2 Goodwood Breeders' Cup Handicap at Santa Anita on Oct. 2.

"He just didn't break that day," trainer David Bernstein said. "He has to get out of the gate."

- A.P. Adventure, winner of the Las Virgenes Stakes at Santa Anita in February, will return from a seven-month break in the $150,000 Bayakoa Handicap at Hollywood Park on Dec. 12. Unraced since finishing sixth in the Kentucky Oaks on April 30, A.P. Adventure worked seven furlongs in 1:25.40 on Thursday.