04/06/2007 12:00AM

Cassidy has his turf covered


ARCADIA, Calif. - Trainer Jim Cassidy has geared his stable to days such as Saturday at Santa Anita.

Cassidy has leading contenders in the day's two turf stakes, the $150,000 Arcadia Handicap over a mile and the $100,000 Providencia Stakes for 3-year-old fillies, also over a mile. He does not have a starter in the $750,000 Santa Anita Derby or $200,000 Potrero Grande Breeders' Cup Handicap for sprinters.

Cassidy's stable is made up almost entirely of turf specialists. In the Grade 2 Arcadia, Cassidy will start Milk It Mick, the winner of the Grade 1 Frank Kilroe Mile in March 2006. In the Providencia Stakes, he will start the stakes winners Passified and Princess Iris.

Milk It Mick was third in the 2006 Arcadia Handicap and has every chance to beat a weak group this year. None of the 10 entrants won or placed in a stakes in their last start.

Milk It Mick finished fifth in his 2007 debut in the Grade 1 Kilroe, finishing two lengths behind winner Kip Deville. Cassidy wanted to start Milk It Mick in the Thunder Road Handicap in February as a prep to the Kilroe, but was overruled by owner Paul Dixon. As a result, Cassidy is convinced that Milk It Mick was a tired horse.

"He finished well to the sixteenth pole and his head went up," Cassidy said.

The Arcadia was Milk It Mick's first start since a sixth-place finish in the Shoemaker Breeders' Cup Mile last May. He missed the second half of 2006 because of a cannon bone injury that required surgery.

A winner of 6 of 26 starts and $665,967, Milk it Mick's condition is closely followed by Cassidy and his staff.

"He's got his issues, but they don't seem to bother him," Cassidy said. "He's an old warrior. I don't train on any medication. He's on his own and he'll tell us if something is up."

Cassidy has trained such outstanding turf fillies and mares as Katdogawn, Moscow Burning, Singhalese, and Ticker Tape. He is hopeful that Passified and Princess Iris can earn a place on that list.

Passified won the China Doll Stakes in a 23-1 upset on March 3, leading throughout. Princess Iris finished a fast-closing fifth in a messy La Habra Stakes on the hillside turf course on March 4, but was promoted to fourth after a rival was disqualified.

The Providencia distance should work for both fillies, Cassidy said. The race may be on the outside of Passified's ideal trip, but should be within Princess Iris's ability.

Princess Iris won the Group 3 Firth of Clyde Stakes in Scotland last March.

"I think she wants to go farther," Cassidy said.

Bordonaro out of Potrero Grande

Bordonaro will not run in the $200,000 Potrero Grande Breeders' Cup.

Bordonaro drew the rail when entries were taken on Wednesday, and as soon as trainer Bill Spawr saw Bordonaro's post position, he said the horse would be withdrawn and redirected to the $150,000 Count Fleet Sprint Handicap at Oaklawn Park on April 13, a race he won last year.

"He's on his way to Oaklawn," Spawr said. "He's not running. I just called and made arrangements."

The defection of Bordonaro will leave the Grade 2 Potrero Grande with five entrants: My Guy, Greg's Gold, Smokey Stover, Gotaghostofachance and Sailors Sunset.

Smokey Stover, a two-time stakes winner this year, will be favored over Greg's Gold, who won the Gradeo1 Bing Crosby Handicap at Del Mar in 2005.

Spring at Last due back for O'Neill

Spring at Last, the winner of the $1omillion Godolphin Mile in Dubai last Saturday, is scheduled to return to trainer Doug O'Neill's stable at Hollywood Park on Friday.

O'Neill is eager to assess the 4-year-old's condition and plan a late-spring or early-summer campaign.

O'Neill said possible races for Spring at Last include the $600,000 Metropolitan Handicap at Belmont Park on May 28, the $750,000 Stephen Foster Handicap over 1 1/8 miles on June 16, and the $750,000 Hollywood Gold Cup over 1o1/4 miles on June 30. Plans will be discussed with co-owners Paul Reddam and WinStar Farm.

"That's the great thing about this horse - he has the versatility to try those options," O'Neill said.

Spring at Last was scheduled to arrive in Southern California early Thursday and spend two days in quarantine before returning to O'Neill's stable.

Spring at Last has won 3 of 10 starts and $795,650. Before the Godolphin Mile, Spring at Last had made four starts at the Santa Anita meeting, including a second in the Malibu Stakes and Strub Stakes and a fifth in the $1 million Santa Anita Handicap.

Two new riders coming

Jockeys Chris Landeros and Joel Rosario are relocating to Southern California this month, according to jockey agent Vince DeGregory, who will be their representative.

Landeros, second in the standings at Turf Paradise, will begin riding at Santa Anita this Sunday, DeGregory said.

Rosario, second in the standings at Bay Meadows, will begin riding at Hollywood Park when that meeting begins on April 24, DeGregory said.

Rosario, a native of the Dominican Republic, began riding in the United States last fall.

Earlier entries at Hollywood meet

Hollywood Park will have an entry schedule at the upcoming spring-summer meeting that is significantly different than one employed at the Santa Anita meeting.

Hollywood Park will draw races 72 and 96 hours before race days. Entries for Wednesday and Thursday programs will be held on Sundays, Friday's entries will be taken on Tuesdays, Saturday's entries will be taken on Wednesday and Sunday's entries on Thursday.

At Santa Anita, most racing programs are drawn 48 hours in advance, with some entries taken 72 hours before race day.

The earlier schedule was adopted at the request of the California Horse Racing Board, in an effort to help horsemen with planning and medication issues.