12/13/2001 12:00AM

Carmouche loses mount on Hallowed Dreams


NEW ORLEANS - The unlikely partnership between Hallowed Dreams and her rider, Sylvester Carmouche, apparently has ended. Hallowed Dreams's co-owner and trainer, Lloyd Romero, said Carmouche would be replaced when Hallowed Dreams makes her next start.

Hallowed Dreams ran one of the worst races of her career Dec. 8 at Fair Grounds, when she finished ninth out of 10 horses in the Louisiana Champions Day Sprint, in which she was the heavy favorite. Hallowed Dreams failed to show her customary speed that day and was never a factor in a race that came just a week after Hallowed Dreams set a stakes record winning the A.B. Leggio Handicap here.

But Romero said that Carmouche's ride had nothing to do with the decision to replace him. "Well, we had a personal matter," said Romero.

"It's something that just cropped up, something that happened but shouldn't have happened. I don't want to hurt his career or anything."

Before he picked up the mount on Hallowed Dreams, Carmouche, who could not be reached for comment Wednesday or Thursday, was best known for an incident at Delta Downs where he hid his mount in dense fog and ran only a portion of a race. With Hallowed Dreams, Carmouche, a journeyman rider at smaller Louisiana racetracks, made a different sort of name for himself. He was aboard the filly from her third start through her race on Champions Day, a span of 26 starts, 23 of which were wins. Even when Hallowed Dreams gained national prominence, Romero stuck with her regular rider.

As for Hallowed Dreams, Romero said she is likely to run next on Feb. 9 in the Pan Zareta Handicap here.

"She's all right," said Romero. "She just didn't show up for the race."

Romero has not decided who will ride Hallowed Dreams in the Pan Zareta.

Bonapaw on schedule

The marks from a fall he took last week remain, but Bonapaw, top sprinter at Fair Grounds, is sound and comfortable, and is set to start Sunday in the $75,000 F.W. Gaudin Memorial Handicap.

Bonapaw, winner of the Thanksgiving Day Handicap here in his last start, slipped and fell Dec. 6 while his feet were being cleaned on an asphalt area outside trainer Tucker Alonzo's Fair Grounds barn. Bonapaw suffered cuts and bruising, and Alonzo did not send Bonapaw back to the track until Tuesday.

"Everything's fine. If it wasn't, I wouldn't be running him," Alonzo said. "He's healed up pretty well. He's feeling good, and I think he'll run good."

Sunday, Bonapaw will resume his rivalry with Abajo, who won two sprints stakes here last season and will be making his first start since March. A field of about six is expected for the Gaudin.

Sweet Prospect shut out of Pago Hop

Sweet Prospect might have been the horse to beat in Saturday's Pago Hop, but she was one of five horses excluded from the race. The Pago Hop field was capped at 14, and though 19 fillies were entered in the race, Fair Grounds chose not to split it into two divisions, citing, among other factors, the threat of wet weather moving the race to dirt.

Sweet Prospect finished third in the Grade 3 Athenia Handicap on Oct. 26, her only start in this country, and trainer Michael Dickinson shipped her to Fair Grounds for the Pago Hop. Despite her showing in a graded stakes, Sweet Prospect was one of the horses who did not qualify for the race based on eligibility conditions.

Also excluded from the race was Lakenheath, who won the Grade 3 Silverbulletday here last season. Lakenheath would have been among the favorites if the race were rained off turf.

Dickinson, who won with his only starter at the meet, has eight stalls at Fair Grounds, and he said that six horses were to ship here Monday, among them Bowman Mill, who will start in the Woodchopper Handicap. His winner at the meet, the 2-year-old turf filly Ntombi, ran impressively here on Dec. 7 to win her maiden race, and will start in an allowance race later this meet.

Sarah Lane's Oates to race again

Trainer Andy Leggio said that Sarah Lane's Oates, who might have been retired had she run terribly in the Louisiana Champions' Day Turf, will continue her racing career, and will make her next start in the Furl Sail Handicap here.

Sarah Lane's Oates finished sixth in the Turf, but ran well in the stretch and was beaten only two lengths by the winner, Mr. Sulu.

"If she hadn't been running at the end, we might have had to change our thinking," Leggio said.

Sarah Lane's Oates, one of the best Louisiana-bred turf horses ever, is nearing $900,000 in career earnings. Leggio and owner Glen Warren are aiming for $1 million in earnings with the 7-year-old Sarah Lane's Oates, who has won 20 of 60 turf starts.