09/02/2005 11:00PM

Castledale is forced to retire


DEL MAR, Calif. - Castledale, the winner of Grade 1 races in 2004 and this year, has been retired because of recurring ankle problems, trainer Jeff Mullins said Saturday.

Owned by Greg Knee and Frank Lyons, Castledale, 4, won 5 of 17 starts and $864,423 in a three-year career. The highlights were a 30-1 upset in the Grade 1 Santa Anita Derby in 2004 and a victory in the Grade 1 Shoemaker Breeders' Cup Mile at Hollywood Park in May. In his final start, Castledale finished fourth in the Grade 1 Eddie Read Handicap at Del Mar on July 24.

Castledale won three other stakes, including the six-furlong Blenheim Stakes in Ireland in 2003. He finished 14th in the 2004 Kentucky Derby.

"He had problems with his ankles and feet," Mullins said. "All good things have to end. He's been plagued with issues the whole time.

Mullins said that Castledale has been sent to Tommy Town Thoroughbreds in Santa Ynez, Calif., but that stud plans have not been finalized.

Baffert closes in on Whittingham record

By the end of racing on Monday, Bob Baffert may have passed Charles Whittingham as the winningest stakes trainer in Del Mar history.

Friday, Baffert won his 72nd career stakes at Del Mar - with Pussycat Doll, who took the $100,000 Torrey Pines Stakes for 3-year-old fillies. It left Baffert one win shy of Whittingham's record.

"That can't be," Baffert said, when told of the possible milestone. "I didn't know that."

Baffert started Chips are Down and Follow the Rainbow in Saturday's El Cajon Stakes. Monday, he runs Da Stoops in the $100,000 I'm Smokin Stakes and Preachinatthebar in the $80,000 Windy Sails Handicap.

Da Stoops is among four leading candidates in the I'm Smokin Stakes, run over six furlongs for statebred 2-year-olds. Baffert considered Wednesday's $250,000 Del Mar Futurity for Da Stoops but opted for the easier spot.

"I don't know about the seven-eighths," Baffert said, referring to the Futurity distance.

Da Stoops won a maiden race by 8 1/4 lengths on Aug. 7 in his third start. On July 20, Da Stoops ran a distant second to Bro Lo in a maiden race for statebreds. Trained by Doug O'Neill, Bro Lo will be favored in the I'm Smokin.

There will also be support for Brother Derek, who beat maidens in his lone start on May 14.

Total Impact returns from hiatus

Total Impact, the winner of the 2004 Hollywood Gold Cup, makes his first start in seven months in the Windy Sails Handicap, run over a mile on the main track.

Trained by Laura de Seroux, Total Impact is winless in six starts since the Hollywood Gold Cup. He was fifth in the Grade 2 San Antonio Handicap at Santa Anita in February.

"He went 13 straight months and he needed a break," de Seroux said. "Clinically, there was nothing wrong. He was flat.

"I suppose he could win," she said. "You always wish you had another week."

Also in the race is the Baffert-trained Preachinatthebar, who won an optional claimer over a mile on Aug. 13; Truly a Judge, the winner of two Grade 3 handicaps last winter; and Anziyan Royalty, who was second in the Grade 2 Californian at Hollywood Park in June.

Baffert liked Pussycat Doll's chances

Pussycat Doll won her first stakes in the Torrey Pines, run over a mile. She tracked pacesetter Bella Banissa and pulled clear to win by four lengths in 1:36.21. Owned by Mike Pegram, Pussycat Doll has won 2 of 5 starts and $114,520. The Torrey Pines was her first start since a second in the Grade 3 Santa Ysabel Stakes in January.

"She'd been working pretty awesome," Baffert said. "I was have been disappointed if I hadn't won."

Bashert among nine in futurity field

Bashert, second in two stakes this summer, worked three furlongs in 35.80 seconds from the gate on Saturday, preparing for Wednesday's $250,000 Del Mar Futurity. The Grade 2 futurity over seven furlongs is the closing-day feature of the meeting.

Bashert is one of nine probable starters in the Futurity field. The others are A.P. Warrior, Dinner Magic, El Senor Halo, Jealous Profit, One Union, Plug Me In, Stevie Wonderboy, and The Pharaoh.

On Saturday, The Pharaoh worked a half-mile in 46.40 seconds, the fastest of 37 recorded works at the distance.

Raising money for Katrina victims

Fund-raisers for victims of Hurricane Katrina will be held at many California racing venues and simulcast locations on Monday.

Bay Meadows will accept donations for the Red Cross in a specially provided tent

Jockeys at Del Mar participated in a dunk tank, which began on Saturday, with proceeds going to hurricane-related charities.

The Del Mar Thoroughbred Club will donate at least $25,000 to charities. Other organizations have stated they will make donations.

* Rock Hard Ten, unraced since winning the Santa Anita Handicap in March, worked a mile in 1:41.40 on Saturday. He is being prepared to run next in the Goodwood Breeders' Cup Handicap at Santa Anita on Oct. 1.