06/03/2001 11:00PM

Come fall, Bienamado wants to be fresh


INGLEWOOD, Calif. - With his reputation established as the nation's top-ranked turf horse, Bienamado's campaign is being geared toward the division's most lucrative races.

Bienamado will start as the 124-pound highweight in Sunday's $350,000 Charles Whittingham Handicap over 1 1/4 miles on turf at Hollywood Park. Despite the presence of White Heart, the winner of the Woodford Reserve Stakes at Churchill Downs on May 5, Bienamado will be a heavy favorite as he tries for his third major stakes win of 2001.

"It's a good year to have a turf horse," said co-owner Trudy McCaffery.

Bienamado is using the Grade 1 Whittingham as a prep to the $1 million Arlington Million on Aug. 18. He is not expected to start in the Sunset Handicap at Hollywood Park on July 15.

After the Million, McCaffery said the 5-year-old Bienamado will not start until the $2 million Breeders' Cup Turf at Belmont Park on Oct. 27.

This is the third year that McCaffery, along with co-owners John Toffan and Robert Sangster, have attempted to get Bienamado to the Breeders' Cup Turf. A leg injury forced him to the sidelines at 3, while last year he was derailed by a back problem.

This year, Bienamado is unbeaten in two starts on turf - the Grade 2 San Marcos Handicap on Jan. 20 and the Grade 1 San Juan Capistrano Handicap on April 14. In between, he finished ninth in the $1 million Santa Anita Handicap, his first start on dirt, but was eliminated at the start after stumbling.

Despite his status as the 124-pound highweight, Bienamado will have plenty of competition in the Grade 1 Whittingham. Aside from White Heart, who was assigned 120 pounds, Bienamado will face Senure (117), Timboroa (116), Falcon Flight (115), Cagney (113), Catchacoma (113), Bombard (112), and Raypour (112).

Any concern about Bienamado's recent condition has been dismissed by the ease of his works. Last Thursday, Bienamado worked seven furlongs on turf to the satisfaction of trainer Paco Gonzalez.

"He's so relaxed," McCaffery said. "He takes everything in stride and is such an easy horse to train. He's not goofy."

Californian on undercard

Sunday's program also features the $500,000 Californian Stakes over 1 1/8 miles, a key prep to the $750,000 Hollywood Gold Cup on July 1.

While Wednesday's restricted Ack Ack Stakes features the 2001 debut of Early Pioneer, the 2000 Gold Cup winner, the Grade 2 Californian is not lacking in depth. The probables include City West, Futural, Skimming, Aptitude, and Irisheyesareflying.

Futural will be trying for his fourth consecutive stakes win. A 5-year-old gelding trained by Craig Dollase, Futural won the Tokyo City and San Bernardino handicaps at Santa Anita and the Mervyn LeRoy Handicap here on May 5.

Jamaican Rum returns on turf

There are three other stakes this weekend. Saturday, Jamaican Rum, who finished sixth in the Kentucky Derby, will be a heavy favorite in the $100,000 California Sire Stakes over 1 1/16 miles on turf. Saturday's card also features the $75,000 Cinderella Stakes over 5 1/2 furlongs.

Sunday, Separata will be a short-priced favorite in the $75,000 Great Lady M. Handicap over 5 1/2 furlongs on turf. Trained by Richard Mandella, Separata set a turf course record of 55.92 seconds over five furlongs with her win in the Mamzelle Stakes at Churchill Downs on May 3.

Solis surges to lead

Alex Solis took a four-race lead in the jockey's standings with a four-win day on Sunday.

Solis began Sunday's nine-race program tied with Laffit Pincay on 35 wins. Solis won the third race on The Seven Seas ($3), the fifth on Brisquette ($4.20), the sixth on Dancing Marci ($9.80), and the ninth aboard Romantic Won ($6.80). Pincay was winless on Sunday.

Solis is seeking his first riding title since he won the title at this meeting in 1999.

Frankel hearing delayed

A hearing regarding two positive tests for morphine found last year in starters trained by Bobby Frankel has been postponed from Wednesday until July 25.

The hearing will be conducted at Del Mar.

The delay was requested by Robert Harkness, a deputy district attorney who will argue the case on behalf of the California Horse Racing Board.

Frankel's case is the second of two morphine positives currently before the stewards. In April at Santa Anita, eight days of hearings were held after morphine was found in one of trainer Bob Baffert's runners at Hollywood Park in May 2000. Stewards Ingrid Fermin, Dave Samuel, and Tom Ward are expected to issue a ruling by the end of June in that case.