01/18/2002 1:00AM

Can Ayanna sprint to bigger things?

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ARCADIA, Calif. - The $150,000 Santa Ynez Stakes for 3-year-old fillies Monday at Santa Anita typically draws sprinters chasing a big prize and fillies using the seven-furlong race as a springboard to longer and richer races in coming months.

Ayanna, a two-time stakes winner in 2001 for Triple AAA Ranch and Kory Owens, fits firmly into the sprint category. After the Santa Ynez, Owens is hoping that Ayanna deserves a chance in longer races such as the $200,000 Las Virgenes Stakes at a mile on Feb. 10.

Ayanna has won half of her six starts and is in outstanding form, having scored impressive victories in the Moccasin Stakes at seven furlongs at Hollywood Park on Nov. 18 and the Christmas Futurity against males at 6 1/2 furlongs at Turf Paradise on Dec. 22.

Owens does not consider her a candidate for the Kentucky Oaks later this year, but he may be willing to try her around two turns at this meeting.

"She'll have to learn to shut herself down and take a break," Owens said. "She's getting there, but not by leaps and bounds."

Ayanna's strength is her blazing speed. She has led in all her starts, often setting opening quarter-mile fractions under 22 seconds. "I think it's just so natural," Owens said.

Ayanna would need to win the Grade 2 Santa Ynez for Owens to consider the Las Virgenes, which is expected to draw stakes winners Bella Bella Bella, Habibti, Tali'sluckybusride, and You. In her only attempt at a mile, she was eased in the Grade 1 Oak Leaf Stakes on Sept. 30 after leading early.

"She jumped something on the backside and I think it scared her," Owens said. "For a week or 10 days, she was jogging off. It wasn't anything permanent."

Ayanna drew post 4; Mike Smith will ride. She may be favored against Candor, Respectful, Dancing, Twice as Golden, Lady George, Ile de France, and Rich Musique.

Cee Dreams seriously injured

Cee Dreams, winner of the California Cup Matron Nov. 3, was seriously injured in a workout Friday.

According to trainer Peter Eurton, Cee Dreams suffered possible suspensory and sesamoid injuries to her right foreleg. Eurton said X-rays will be taken Saturday.

"I'm pretty optimistic that the vet will be able to save her," Eurton said.

Cee Dreams won 11 of 40 starts and $433,318. She finished fourth in the Grade 2 Bayakoa Handicap at Hollywood Park on Dec. 15.

Cindy's Hero is retired

Cindy's Hero, who won her maiden in the Grade 1 Del Mar Debutante in 2000, has been retired, according to trainer David Hofmans.

Owned by Tom and Elizabeth Baxter, Cindy's Hero ended her career with two wins in 12 starts and earnings of $371,975. Her other win came in the Harold Ramser Handicap on turf at the Oak Tree at Santa Anita meeting last October.

In her final start, she finished ninth in the La Brea Stakes on Dec. 29.

"We were very disappointed in the showing," Tom Baxter said. "She said, 'I don't like that track and I'm not going to run on it.' We didn't want to take a chance of damaging her reputation."

Baxter said Cindy's Hero will be bred to Deputy Minister. Cindy's Hero's dam, Cindazanno, will be bred to Storm Cat. "Both of the foals will be sold as yearlings at Keeneland, Baxter said.

Malabar Gold earns shot at Kilroe

Malabar Gold will be pointed for the $300,000 Frank Kilroe Mile at Santa Anita on March 2 following his victory in an allowance race on the hillside turf course Thursday.

Making his first start since April, Malabar Gold won by a length over Lake William, finishing about

6 1/2 furlongs on turf in 1:13.26. It was a reverse of the Grade 3 San Simeon Handicap last April when Lake William won and Malabar Gold finished fourth, ending a three-race winning streak.

"I thought he'd run well because he'd been training well," trainer Ron Ellis said of Thursday's race. "He didn't have much of an injury. He got sick. About a week after his last race, he had a bout with colic. I gave him a couple of weeks off. When I brought him back, he was sick again.

"He's too tough at Del Mar so I waited until we got back. He's much more relaxed now."

The Kilroe Mile is the championship for the turf milers at this meeting and may attract Val Royal, the 2001 Breeders' Cup Mile winner. Ellis trains Malabar Gold for B. Wayne Hughes.

Good Journey on the shelf

Good Journey, the winner of the Citation Handicap at Hollywood Park on Nov. 24, is out of training with a minor leg injury, trainer Wally Dollase said.

Dollase said Good Journey has been turned out for the last month. He hopes that the 6-year-old Good Journey can resume racing this summer in preparation for the Breeders' Cup Mile at Arlington Park in October.