10/10/2001 11:00PM

Came Home in shouting distance


ARCADIA, Calif. - An audible by jockey Chris McCarron helped trainer Paco Gonzalez time a workout by the 2-year-old star Came Home on Thursday at Santa Anita.

Because of a dense fog that settled on the racetrack shortly after 8 a.m., visibility was limited. As a result, McCarron revived an old method he used in the 1970's to alert Gonzalez when the workout began.

"You couldn't see more than an eighth of a mile," McCarron said. "I told the outrider, 'Don't be surprised when I pull out on the backstretch if I use one of my old tricks that I did from Bowie.' About two jumps before I hit the three-quarter pole, I turned to the grandstand and yelled, 'Hey!'"

The shout was Gonzalez's cue that the workout started and was clearly heard. It took McCarron 1:11 to reach the finish after shouting to Gonzalez, an exercise that left both men pleased. "He went very nicely," McCarron said.

McCarron is nearing a decision about the $1 million Breeders' Cup Juvenile at Belmont Park on Oct. 27. He has the ride on both Came Home and Siphonic, the runaway winner of the Breeders' Futurity at Keeneland last weekend.

The Breeders' Cup will be Came Home's first start since winning the Grade 1 Hopeful Stakes at Saratoga.

Came Home was scheduled to start in the Norfolk Stakes on Sept. 29 but an inflamed ankle kept him in the barn. After undergoing a veterinary exam, he resumed training earlier this month.

Because of the fog, Gonzalez was able to witness only the stretch run of Came Home's workout, which did not appear on the official workout sheet.

"He looked pretty good," said Gonzalez. "When he came back, he wasn't blowing hard."

Habibti works for Baffert

Habibti, the winner of the Del Mar Debutante who missed the Oak Leaf Stakes on Sept. 30 because of illness, worked a half-mile in 48.40 seconds on Thursday. Trainer Bob Baffert pronounced her on schedule for the Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies.

"She looked good and was full of herself," Baffert said. "We're back. We're lucky she didn't get really sick."

Officer, Baffert's top hope for the Breeders' Cup, returned to the track on Thursday for the first time since winning the Champagne Stakes at Belmont Park last Saturday. The heavy favorite in the future book for the Breeders' Cup Juvenile, Officer galloped at 9:45 a.m. after the fog had cleared.

No Cup for Kamsack

Kamsack, second to Officer in the Del Mar Futurity on Sept. 5, will not contest the Breeders' Cup Juvenile, according to trainer Christopher Paasch.

Seventh in the Breeders' Futurity at Keeneland last Saturday as the 3-2 favorite, Kamsack will be pointed for the Hollywood Park fall meeting, Paasch said. Earlier this week, precautionary X-rays taken on one of Kamsack's knees revealed no damage after the colt sustained cuts during the race.

"He scraped his knee but the X-rays were negative," Paasch said. "One race does not make the career of a horse. He's got his whole life ahead of him. We'll take our time with him. We think he's a nice horse."

Paasch may consider the Hollywood Prevue Stakes on Nov. 17 or the Hollywood Futurity on Dec. 15 for Kamsack.

Momentum passes on Oak Tree Derby

Momentum, a stakes winner from England, is passing the $150,000 Oak Tree Derby on Saturday after trainer Craig Dollase decided the colt was not ready. Momentum arrived in the United States on Oct. 3 and has been at Dollase's barn since clearing quarantine on Oct. 5. Dollase said a new goal of starting in the $500,000 Hollywood Derby on Nov. 25 in in place.

"He came over a little later than I expected," Dollase said.

Recently purchased by Paul Reddam, Momentum has won 3 of 7 starts, including the Strensall Stakes in September against Summoner, who later won the Group 1 Queen Elizabeth II Stakes against Breeders' Cup Mile hopeful Noverre.

Indulging in fantasy

A horse racing fantasy league centered on the California Cup on Nov. 3 is being conducted by the California Thoroughbred Breeders Association and the Oak Tree Racing Association, which operates the fall meeting at Santa Anita.

The 2001 California Cup Fantasy Challenge will require players to select a "stable" of seven California-breds. The stables will have one runner in each Cal Cup race. Points will be alloted to the first three finishers in each race to determine contest standings.

The top 10 finishers in the contest will be awarded merchandise provided by the CTBA and Oak Tree. Players can sign up on ctba.com

* Tiznow, third in the Goodwood Breeders' Cup Handicap last Sunday, returned to the track on Thursday, jogging 1 1/2 miles on the training track. He is on schedule for a defense of his Breeders' Cup Classic title at Belmont Park.