10/28/2003 1:00AM

Cajun Beat: Malibu next?

Kentucky-based Cajun Beat wins the BC Sprint under Cornelio Velasquez, showing an affinity for Santa Anita.

LOUISVILLE, Ky. - Cajun Beat, the Kentucky-based winner of the Breeders' Cup Sprint at Santa Anita, might return to California for his next race. Trainer Steve Margolis said Tuesday that Cajun Beat is being considered for the Grade 1 Malibu Stakes at Santa Anita on Dec. 26.

"It's seven-eighths, straight 3-year-olds, over a track he's won over," said Margolis, explaining the motives behind a return trip.

Regardless of whether Cajun Beat is shipped to California, he will likely be based in Florida for much of the winter. "Maybe we'll even look at that Dubai [sprint] - we'll have to see what happens," said Margolis.

Tuesday morning on the Churchill Downs backstretch, he was still savoring Cajun Beat's victory. Fellow horsemen rushed to congratulate him, and he found himself shaking more hands than a politician preparing for a November election. "It was the thrill of a lifetime," Margolis told one colleague.

Other Breeders' Cup races did not go as auspiciously for Kentucky horsemen. Trainer Steve Asmussen watched two of his three Breeders' Cup entrants, Cuvee and Lady Tak, finish last in their respective races. His third runner, Posse, was a fast-closing fourth in the Sprint. Plans for those three are undecided, pending how they train in the near future, but Asmussen said Tuesday he wouldn't expect them to race at Churchill Downs this fall.

One Breeders' Cup horse who might race at Churchill is Take Charge Lady. Sixth of seven in the Distaff, she might return in the Grade 2 Falls City Handicap on Nov. 27.

"We'll evaluate her over the next few days," said her trainer, Ken McPeek. "It's similar circumstances to last year. She didn't run well in the Cup, then came back [with a second] in the Falls City."

Asmussen works two 2-year-olds

Asmussen worked two promising 2-year-olds Tuesday morning, likely in preparation for this weekend's stakes action. Sweet Jo Jo and Korbyn Gold - probable starters for the Pocahontas and Iroquois stakes, respectively - each worked a half-mile. Sweet Jo Jo was timed in 49.60 seconds, and Korbyn Gold was clocked in 49 seconds.

Saturday's Pocahontas, which like the Iroquois is a $100,000 race at a mile, is shaping up as a softer race than Sunday's Iroquois. Donnie Richardson, Churchill Downs's senior vice president of racing, expects a field of approximately eight, led by Sweet Jo Jo, Secret Patriot, Marina De Chavon, In Rome, and Hot Mail. In Rome and Hot Mail breezed five furlongs Tuesday, with In Rome working in 1:02.80 and Hot Mail in 1:01.40.

The Iroquois, a Grade 3 race, should have a deep field. Considered likely starters along with Korbyn Gold are Affirmlode, Five Card Monty, Grand Score, Pro Prado, Super Cherokee, The Cliff's Edge, and War Image.

Graded winners work on turf

Turf horses had an opportunity to work on the Churchill Downs grass course Tuesday, and a couple graded stakes winners took advantage of it. Casual Look, winner of the Group 1 English Oaks, breezed six furlongs around the "dogs" in 1:17.40, and Lone Star Sky, winner of the Grade 3 Bashford Manor in 2002, went a half-mile in 52.60 seconds.

Casual Look, third in the Grade 1 Queen Elizabeth Challenge Cup in her United States debut on Oct. 11, is being pointed toward either the Grade 2 Mrs. Revere at Churchill Downs on Nov. 15 or the Grade 3 Cardinal at Churchill on Nov. 22.

Trainer Neil Howard said the 1 1/8-mile distance of the Cardinal is more desirable for Casual Look, but also noted that the Mrs. Revere is attractive in that it is restricted to 3-year-old fillies. Both turf races have a $150,000 purse.

Lone Star Sky, meanwhile, is on the comeback trail. Unraced since finishing second in the June 14 Northern Dancer Stakes at Churchill Downs in the spring, he was given a break after shedding the frog of one of his feet, trainer Tom Amoss said.

Lone Star Sky looked healthy and comfortable Tuesday morning, galloping with his ears pricked and necked arched before breaking off for a work under jockey Calvin Borel.

Amoss said the goal is to run him during the Churchill meet on dirt or turf.