12/16/2006 12:00AM

Changes seem to have helped Cabo's Dawn


SAN MATEO, Calif. - Trainer Allen Severinsen switched Cabo's Dawn to the main track and removed the 4-year-old gelding's blinkers for his last start, and the changes nearly paid off in a victory. Severinsen hopes Cabo's Dawn can improve even more on Monday and defeat seven rivals in a one-mile $32,000 optional claiming race, the closing-day feature at Bay Meadows.

Cabo's Dawn, who is 1 for 21 in his career, finished a close third in a Golden Gate Fields allowance race on the turf in September when he was trained by Paddy Gallagher. Ivan Shoemaker, the brother of Bill Shoemaker who manages St. Georges Farm for Cabo's Dawn's owner, sent the horse north to Severinsen in hopes of getting him a win.

Severinsen ran Cabo's Dawn on dirt for only the fourth time in his career.

"It was worth giving him a try on dirt," Severinsen said. "He hadn't run on dirt for a while. It was an experiment. He was training well, so we said let's give it a try."

It was the same with the removal of blinkers.

"He did not train like a horse that needs blinkers," Severinsen said. "The whole race was an experiment, but any time you learn something from a race, it's important."

Severinsen admits he's not sure how Cabo's Dawn will handle the track if it's wet. However, Cabo's Dawn did earn a bullet while working in the slop since his last start.

Saratoga Magic, just claimed from a $50,000 victory in a turf sprint at Hollywood Park, is also making some changes as he stretches out for new trainer Jerry Hollendorfer. He won a one-turn mile at Churchill Downs in his last start at the distance and ran second in his previous try at a mile at Turfway this spring.

Veteran Attack Force, who has five wins over the track, and Careless Candidate, stepping up off a win at Hollywood Park, add depth to the field.

* After the Bay Meadows Debutante failed to draw enough entries for Saturday, racing secretary Tom Doutrich tried to get the stakes for 2-year-old fillies to go on Monday, but he was unsuccessful. Neither of Bay Meadows' scheduled 2-year-old sprint stakes this month, including the open Winners Foundation, were able to fill.