08/21/2007 11:00PM

Crossing the Line not likely for Cup


DEL MAR, Calif. - Crossing the Line, the impressive winner of the $400,000 Del Mar Mile last Sunday, is not being considered as a candidate for the Breeders' Cup Mile at Monmouth Park on Oct. 27, trainer John Sadler said on Wednesday.

Crossing the Line won his first stakes in the Grade 2 Del Mar Mile and would need to be supplemented to the Breeders' Cup program for $300,000, according to Sadler and Breeders' Cup officials.

"Right now, I'd say we wouldn't put up the money," Sadler said.

Sadler said that Crossing the Line would be pointed for the $250,000 Oak Tree Mile at Santa Anita on Oct. 7, which is typically a leading California prep to the BC Mile. Instead of the BC Mile, another goal for the autumn, is the Grade 1 Citation Handicap over 1 1/16 miles on turf at Hollywood Park in late November.

Crossing the Line earned an automatic berth to the BC Mile with his win in the Del Mar Mile as part of a new Breeders' Cup program. The automatic berth does not, though, cover the costs of supplemental nominations for horses who were not made eligible to the Breeders' Cup earlier in their lives.

Crossing the Line is owned by Richard Templer of Boca Raton, Fla., and Mary Wilson, who bred the gelding in New Zealand.

Crossing the Line has won 5 of 6 starts and $257,168. He is unbeaten in three starts in the United States, including two allowance races at Hollywood Park earlier this year.

Colt euthanized after workout injury

Necessary Hero, an unraced 2year-old colt by Cozzene, was euthanized on Wednesday after suffering a sesamoid injury after a workout, Sadler said.

Necessary Hero had finished a half-mile workout in 49.80 seconds when he was injured.

Necessary Hero is the second horse to be euthanized after suffering an injury during morning training on Del Mar's Polytrack synthetic surface. Four horses have been euthanized as a result of injuries suffered during racing or training on turf. Last year, there were 18 horses euthanized as a result of injuries suffered during racing or training at Del Mar.

Board still seeks three-year plan

The California Horse Racing Board has instructed racing executives throughout the state to submit proposed racing dates for the 2008 through 2010 seasons by early September as part of the racing board's efforts to solidify a three-year calendar for the state's racetracks

The racing board's strategic planning committee, which focuses on racing dates, met for 3 1/2 hours with racing officials on Wednesday at Del Mar to discuss the future of the state's northern and southern Thoroughbred circuits.

While no specific dates were discussed for the next three years, the meeting concentrated on how long Bay Meadows and Hollywood Park would remain in business. Terry Fancher, the president of the Bay Meadows Land Co., which owns both tracks, said that Hollywood Park would remain open through 2008 and that Bay Meadows would be open until at least the summer of 2008 and as a training center until the fall.

"We'd love to keep Bay Meadows operating, but the racing business has deteriorated," Fancher said.

Fancher said that the acquisition of real estate entitlements that would allow for the development of Hollywood Park "is going quickly," leaving doubt as to whether the track would operate in 2009.

If Bay Meadows ceases to exist for racing, dates on the northern California circuit are expected to shift to Pleasanton. In Southern California, the racing calendar is expected to undergo substantial changes, with dates likely to be added at Santa Anita, Del Mar, and Fairplex Park and gaps to be added to the schedule, according to a person familiar with the preliminary discussions.

Fairplex Park officials say they would like to give the facility a $100 million remodeling, but would need 30 months to complete the project. No start date has been discussed.

The racing board's chairman, Richard Shapiro, said the strategic planning committee would reconvene in the second week of September to continue talks. He said it unlikely that any major changes would take place in 2008 for the Southern California circuit.

Shapiro has said he would like 2008 dates for all California tracks to be finalized by the board's next monthly meeting on Sept. 27.

Classic 2-3 headed to Goodwood

Awesome Gem and Hello Sunday, who finished second and third behind Student Council in the $1 million Pacific Classic last Sunday, are being pointed for the $500,000 Goodwood Stakes at the Oak Tree at Santa Anita meeting on Sept. 29.

After that, they could take divergent paths. Trainer Craig Dollase said that Awesome Gem remains a candidate for the $5 million Breeders' Cup Classic. Awesome Gem finished a half-length behind Student Council.

Trainer Bobby Frankel, speaking by phone from New York, does not consider Hello Sunday as a probable starter for the BC Classic.

"The horses back here would dust him," Frankel said of the East Coast handicap division.

Hello Sunday finished 4 1/2 lengths behind Student Council after holding the lead turning for home.

"I though he ran all right," Frankel said. "He was the only one that laid up close and ran well."

Salute the Sarge works for Futurity

Salute the Sarge, the leading 2-year-old male in California, worked a half-mile in 51 seconds on Wednesday, preparing for the $250,000 Del Mar Futurity on Sept. 5.

Salute the Sarge was ridden in the workout by jockey David Flores. In the Grade 1 Futurity over seven furlongs, jockey Kent Desormeaux will ride Salute the Sarge.

Trainer Eric Guillot clocked Salute the Sarge in 52 seconds, with an opening quarter-mile in 26.80 seconds and three furlongs in 38.20 seconds.

Salute the Sarge won the Hollywood Juvenile Championship on July 4 and the Best Pal Stakes on Aug. 12.

Pussycat Doll set for Ballerina

Pussycat Doll, who finished fourth in the Grade 3 Rancho Bernardo Handicap on Aug. 18, will make a quick comeback for the $250,000 Ballerina Breeders' Cup Stakes at Saratoga on Aug. 26, trainer Bob Baffert said.

Pussycat Doll never threatened race winner River's Prayer in the Rancho Bernardo. "She didn't run at all," Baffert said.

Baffert said on Wednesday that he would have only a limited number of starters in the last two weeks of the Del Mar meeting, which ends on Sept. 5. He said he has "a few maidens" left to start.