04/08/2004 11:00PM

Castledale on Derby fence


ARCADIA, Calif. - Castledale has lost weight since his upset win in the Santa Anita Derby on April 3 and is not definite to travel to Churchill Downs for the Kentucky Derby on May 1, according to trainer Jeff Mullins.

Castledale resumed training Wednesday, but had only light exercise through Friday.

Mullins said he will wait to make a decision on Castledale's status for the Kentucky Derby until after Castledale has another week of exercise and after consulting with owners Greg Knee and Frank Lyons.

"I realize everybody wants to know, but we don't know yet," Mullins said. "I couldn't say I'm going when I'm not sure.

"He's a little horse," he said. "He lost some weight. If he doesn't pick it up, we'll have to wait."

When asked if Castledale was 50-50 for the Kentucky Derby, Mullins said, "I couldn't put a percentage on it right now. We'll do the right thing for the horse. We won't get caught up in the Derby deal. There's always the Preakness and the Belmont. If he tells us he's ready to go, we'll go. If not, we'll wait."

Mullins has had starters in the last two Kentucky Derbies: Lusty Latin finished 15th in 2002, and Buddy Gil was sixth last year.

Both needed lengthy layoffs following the Kentucky Derby to recover from injuries. Mullins said those setbacks are not influencing his decision on whether to send Castledale.

"I knew I didn't have much of a chance with Lusty Latin," he said. "Buddy Gil is a gelding. This is a colt, and we need to pick the right path."

St Averil okay to resume training

St Averil, sixth as the favorite in the Santa Anita Derby, has been cleared to resume full training after undergoing precautionary foot X-rays Thursday. Trainer Rafael Becerra said the X-rays showed no damage.

"You worry about the coffin bone, but everything looks good," he said.

Becerra has yet to commit St Averil to the Kentucky Derby. Becerra said a decision will be made after St Averil has a workout next weekend.

"The horse will tell me," he said. "I don't want to do it just to show up. I want to have a chance with the same horse I know."

Owned by Stan Fulton, St Averil won the Santa Catalina Stakes in January and was second in the San Felipe Stakes in March. In the Santa Anita Derby, St Averil was never in contention and finished 10 1/2 lengths behind Castledale.

"The race didn't take anything out of him," he said.

Friday, St Averil went to the track for the first time since the Santa Anita Derby.

"I just jogged him a couple of miles and he looked happy," Becerra said.

Rahy Dolly retired

Rahy Dolly, second in the Grade 1 Hollywood Starlet Stakes at Hollywood Park last December, has been retired, Becerra said. She will be sent to Kentucky later this month, although stud plans have not been finalized, Becerra said.

Owned by Fulton, Rahy Dolly had one win in five starts and earnings of $95,700. She finished sixth in an optional claiming sprint Wednesday, losing by 11 lengths.

Becerra said Rahy Dolly has been plagued by a breathing problem in recent months. Following the second in the Starlet Stakes, she finished fifth in the Grade 2 Santa Ynez Breeders' Cup Stakes on Jan. 19 and sixth in the Grade 1 Las Virgenes Stakes on Feb. 15.

Three turf stakes in final week

Following Sunday's program, one week remains in the Santa Anita spring-summer meeting, which ends April 18. Hollywood Park opens on April 21.

The final week at Santa Anita is highlighted by three turf stakes, including the $200,000 Santa Barbara Handicap for fillies and mares over 1 1/4 miles Saturday. There are two stakes Sunday - the $250,000 San Juan Capistrano Invitational Handicap over about 1 3/4 miles, and the $100,000 San Simeon Handicap over about 6 1/2 furlongs.

The San Juan Capistrano field is led by Meteor Storm, who won the San Luis Rey Handicap on March 20. Other candidates include All the Boys, Continuously, Diplomatic Bag, Gene de Campaeo, Gigli, Ringaskiddy, Special Matter, and White Buck.

Meridiana, the winner of the Orchid Handicap at Gulfstream Park on March 21, is a candidate for the Grade 2 Santa Barbara. Trainer Christophe Clement has asked that she be invited to the San Juan Capistrano.

Stallion gets first winner

Capt. Mc Craiger gave freshman stallion Gen Stormin'norman his first winner in Thursday's first race.

Ridden by Gary Boag, Capt. Mc Craiger ran two furlongs in 21.79 seconds, finishing 1 1/2 lengths in front of Semi Queen. Capt. Mc Craiger is owned by Galley Farms and trained by Paul Aguirre.

Aguirre said Capt. Mc Craiger will be pointed for the $75,000 Willard Proctor Memorial Stakes over five furlongs May 23, the first stakes in Southern California for the 2-year-old male division.

Capt. Mc Craiger is entered in the Barretts May sale of 2-year-olds in training on May 11.

Gen Stormin'norman stands at JEH Stallion Station in Pilot Point, Texas, for $1,500, live foal. In a four-year racing career, Gen Stormin'norman won twice and placed in five stakes.

Semi Queen pulled up on the clubhouse turn and was vanned off. Santa Anita stewards said Semi Queen was reported to be unsound.

* Buddy Gil, winless since the 2003 Santa Anita Derby, worked six furlongs in 1:12.60 on Friday.