03/13/2002 12:00AM

Came Home seems OK after mishap


ARCADIA, Calif. - Came Home, who was an impressive winner of the San Rafael Stakes on March 2, had his first workout since that race postponed on Wednesday because he became cast in his stall on Tuesday night, trainer Paco Gonzalez said Wednesday morning at Santa Anita.

"I just jogged him this morning to make sure he was okay," Gonzalez said at his barn. "The night watchman called me around 9 o'clock last night. [Came Home] gets cast a lot. He rolls a lot. He was fine this morning, but he seemed a little quiet. He's usually full of himself. So I jogged him. He jogged fine."

Gonzalez said he hoped to work Came Home this weekend, but would not commit to any work schedule until evaluating Came Home over the next few days. Came Home is not scheduled to race again until the $750,000 Santa Anita Derby April 6.

"There's always headaches," Gonzalez said, shaking his head.

Baze to be honored

Jockey Russell Baze will receive the George Woolf Memorial Jockey Award following the fourth race on Friday afternoon.

Baze, who is in the Hall of Fame, is the 53rd winner of the award. He beat out Robbie Davis, Larry Melancon, and Ray Sibille in voting among members of the Jockeys' Guild.

Baze, 43, is the fourth-winningest rider in racing history, with 7,728 victories entering the week. He will ride Redmond in Friday's $75,000 Some Sensation Stakes at Santa Anita.

The Woolf Award honors riders whose careers and personal character reflect positively on the sport. The yearly winner is usually surrounded by past winners, including the likes of Bill Shoemaker, during the ceremony. The ceremony is usually held on a weekend, so that a larger crowd can see it, but Baze was unable to commit to a weekend date.

Straight Flush returns to turf

Although he worked on the dirt Wednesday morning, South American star Straight Flush will return to the turf for Saturday's $250,000 San Luis Rey Stakes. Straight Flush was second to Lord Flasheart on the turf on Dec. 30 in his North American debut, then was sixth on the dirt in last month's San Antonio Handicap.

"I didn't train him right for his last race," Richard Mandella, the trainer of Straight Flush, said after the horse worked a half-mile in 50 seconds Wednesday morning at Santa Anita. "I worked him slow, like he was going to run on turf."

The San Luis Rey Stakes is at 1 1/2 miles on turf. Straight Flush won three 1 1/2-mile turf races in his native Brazil, twice in Group 1 company.

In addition to Straight Flush, others expected to be entered on Thursday for the Grade 2 San Luis Rey are Continental Red, Coyote Lakes, Denon, Keemoon, Kerrygold, Our Main Man, Ringaskiddy, and Speedy Pick. El Gran Papa is possible.

Denon, who was stopped cold in last month's San Luis Obispo Handicap, was assigned top weight of 118 pounds, four more than Straight Flush. Nazirali, the San Luis Obispo winner, is passing the San Luis Rey. He worked seven furlongs in 1:29.20 on the turf Wednesday morning. Orange cones, known as dogs, protected the inside portion of the course.

Trainer Neil Drysdale was considering two mares for the San Luis Rey, but had the choice made for him Wednesday. He will enter only Keemoon, who will be making her first start since September.

"She's in good nick," Drysdale said. "She's in good shape." Another Drysdale-trained mare, Kalypso Katie, has suffered an injury that likely will necessitate her being retired. Kalypso Katie had not raced since finishing sixth in last year's Breeders' Cup Filly and Mare Turf.

* Astra, preparing for the Grade 2, $150,000 Santa Ana Handicap on March 23, worked six furlongs on turf in 1:16 Wednesday morning. Two others expected to run in that race, Janet (six furlongs, 1:16.40) and Golden Apples (seven furlongs, 1:26.40) also worked on the turf.

* Trainer Ted H. West said he would wait until after Sunday's San Felipe Stakes before deciding who would ride Easy Grades in the Santa Anita Derby. Easy Grades finished second to Came Home in the San Rafael. His jockey, Eddie Delahoussaye, has a conflict on Santa Anita Derby Day, April 6, because he has a commitment to ride Affluent in the Apple Blossom Handicap at Oaklawn Park. "It's still up in the air," West said. "We've talked to Pat Day and Kent Desormeaux."

* Definite Edge, a well-regarded 3-year-old colt trained by David Hofmans, will miss several months because of a hairline fracture to a sesamoid bone in his right front ankle, Hofmans said.

* Bob Baffert said that Danthebluegrassman, runner-up in last weekend's El Camino Real Derby, would make his next start in the Santa Anita Derby. "I think the better 3-year-olds are out here, so we might as well see if he stacks up with them before going on," Baffert said.