05/19/2002 11:00PM

Coast-to-coast swap for holiday features


INGLEWOOD, Calif. - California trainers are sending five main-track milers to New York for Monday's Met Mile at Belmont Park. Eastern trainers are sending two turf fillies to California for Monday's Grade 1 Gamely Breeders' Cup Handicap at Hollywood Park.

It appears to be a good trade for both teams.

The traveling group of milers are Aldebaran, Crafty C.T., Grey Memo, Redattore, and Swept Overboard, a strong team. In return, Snow Dance (trained by John Ward) and Voodoo Dancer (Christophe Clement) are scheduled to arrive her later this week.

The pair add national credentials to a Gamely that features Grade 1 winners Astra and Starine.

Snow Dance has won graded stakes over four courses in the last year, but has yet to win a Grade 1 race. She was third in the Grade 1 Queen Elizabeth II Challenge Cup at Keeneland last October.

Voodoo Dancer was seventh in the Queen Elizabeth Cup, but won the Grade 1 Garden City Breeders' Cup Handicap at Belmont Park last September. In her 2002 debut, she was an easy winner of the Grade 3 Beaugay Handicap at Aqueduct on May 5.

Voodoo Dancer carries 119, the same assignment she was given for the Beaugay. The Gamely will be her first start in a Grade 1 race outside her own age group.

Astra, who defended her title in the Santa Barbara Handicap last month at Santa Anita, carries highweight of 123 pounds and will face Starine (122), Snow Dance (118), Crazy Ensign (115), and Old Money (113).

The Gamely is one of three Grade 1 stakes at Hollywood this weekend. On Saturday, Azeri, the winner of two Grade 1 races this year, will start as the favorite in the $200,000 Milady Breeders' Cup Handicap over 1 1/16 miles. She is trained by Laura de Seroux, who also trains Astra.

Azeri, who was assigned 122 pounds, will face a small field, including Affluent (119), Ask Me No Secrets (117), Alexine (116), Collect Call (114), and Cashmina (113).

Monday's program also features the $500,000 Shoemaker Breeders' Cup Mile on turf, a race that annually tips the West Coast horses to follow for the Breeders' Cup Mile.

Trainer Neil Drysdale has a strong team with defending champion Irish Prize and Touch of the Blues. Irish Prize was second in the Arcadia Handicap in his last start, while Touch of the Blues won the Maker's Mark Mile at Keeneland last month.

Awaiting them are seven others: Casey Griffin, Decarchy, Ladies Din, Orientate, Special Ring, Thady Quill, and The Tin Man.

Above Perfection injured

Above Perfection, a two-time stakes winner at Santa Anita earlier this year, is out of training with an injury, said her owner, David Milch.

The 4-year-old Above Perfection has not been retired. Milch did not disclose the nature of the injury, but said, "It's serious enough that we'll have to give her four or five months off."

Trained by Darrell Vienna, Above Perfection was second to Xtra Heat in the Grade 1 Prioress Stakes at Belmont Park last year. She has won four stakes in her career, including the Grade 3 Las Flores Handicap on dirt in February and the Irish O'Brien Stakes for statebreds on the hillside turf course in March.

Farda Amiga iffy for American Oaks

Farda Amiga, the upset winner of the Kentucky Oaks on May 3, returned to trainer Paulo Lobo's stable at Hollywood on Sunday after spending two weeks at Churchill Downs recovering from illness.

Because of the missed training, Lobo said it is questionable whether Farda Amiga will be ready for the $500,000 American Oaks over 1 1/4 miles on turf on July 6.

"She was treated with antibiotics for seven days," Lobo said. "The blood count has come back to normal, and she's fine now. I want to wait now and see how she improves."

Swiss Yodeler's offspring on a roll

The progeny of freshman stallion Swiss Yodeler continue to dominate 2-year-old racing at Hollywood. Over the weekend, Swiss Yodeler had two winners to bring his total to six in the first month of the meeting. On Saturday, Oberwald won a maiden race for California-breds by 2 1/2 lengths. Sunday, Luzern, a California-bred, won a maiden race against open company. Both are trained by Mike Harrington.

Swiss Yodeler will be represented by starters on Wednesday and Thursday. Swiss Count, second in his debut on May 8, starts in Wednesday's third race; Nanjing and Our Lucky Swiss start in Thursday's third; and Swiss Attire starts in Thursday's eighth

* Kent Desormeaux will be gone from Wednesday through Saturday to ride in the Japan Derby at Tokyo Racecourse.