10/19/2004 11:00PM

Cup contenders rained out

The defending Breeders' Cup Classic champ Pleasantly Perfect wasn't able to exercise Wednesday because the track was a mess.

ARCADIA, Calif. - Wednesday was not a fun morning at Santa Anita, particularly for the trainers with horses pointing for the Breeders' Cup at Lone Star Park on Oct. 30.

Overnight rain left the main track looking like chocolate mousse. The training track was inaccessible because an underground tunnel was flooded, and a downed tree knocked out power to the barn area around 4 a.m.

"It was a mess," said trainer Jim Cassidy, who has two hopefuls for the Breeders' Cup Filly and Mare Turf - Katdogawn and Moscow Burning.

Because the main track was sealed, the only exercise permitted was joggers along the far outside of the track. Many trainers passed on that, preferring to walk their top horses at the barn and miss a day of training.

The electricity outage only compounded the frustration. With no sunlight until almost 7 a.m., many barns were in the dark, the people doing nothing. Worse, there was no hot water for post-exercise baths for the horses.

For some, the lack of a training day was a cause for concern. Trainer Julio Canani has three horses pre-entered for the Breeders' Cup - Blackdoun and Special Ring for the Mile, and Sweet Catomine for the Juvenile Fillies - and is worried about missing any time in the build-up to the Oct. 30 races.

"I'm just walking all my horses," Canani said. "A horse needs to be galloping. They are supposed to work on Sunday."

One of the few Breeders' Cup horses to do anything substantial was Juvenile contender Roman Ruler. He jogged on the main track.

"We had to get him out," trainer Bob Baffert said.

Jogging was not on the schedule of Pleasantly Perfect, who will attempt to defend his title in the $4 million Breeders' Cup Classic. Trainer Richard Mandella inspected the sloppy main track and passed.

"I didn't like the look of it," he said. "I'd rather be safe than sorry."

Across town at Hollywood Park, the main track was closed but the training track - located on the backstretch - was open. Sharp Lisa, bound for the Juvenile Fillies, galloped. "We haven't missed a beat," trainer Doug O'Neill said. "The training track is good."

Other Hollywood Park trainers with Breeders' Cup entrants were not as enthusiastic. Mike Mitchell walked Kela (Sprint) and Star Over the Bay (Turf), as did Neil Drysdale with Sarafan (Turf) and Musical Chimes (Mile), and John Shirreffs with Hollywood Story (Distaff).

"I don't take them out in this stuff," Mitchell said.

Many of the horses based in California will have workouts from Saturday through Monday in advance of leaving for Lone Star Park at the beginning of the week. The weather could play a role in those plans. There is a chance of rain on Sunday and Monday.

Nakatani to test suspension dates

Jockey Corey Nakatani is expected to fight the dates of a 30-day suspension he received from Santa Anita stewards on Wednesday for an incident that resulted in a spill last March.

Nakatani was suspended for the first 30 days of the upcoming Santa Anita winter-spring meeting - Dec. 26 to Feb. 3. It marked the third time he has received dates for the suspension for causing interference in a turf race at Santa Anita.

Nakatani appealed the initial dates - March 18 to April 28 - but lost the appeal at a hearing at Del Mar in August. The penalty was reassigned by Santa Anita stewards from Oct. 10 through Nov. 7, with the exception of Breeders' Cup Day, but Nakatani received a temporary restraining order in Los Angeles Superior Court in early October allowing him to continue riding through Oct. 14. He lost a subsequent court action last week, which prompted the latest ruling.

According to his agent, Nick Cosato, Nakatani expected the suspension to begin last weekend, or this week. Cosato said he was surprised that the stewards issued the dates for the start of the Santa Anita meeting and not sooner, a time that would have included the Hollywood Park meeting.

"They said Hollywood is not a like meeting, even though they have the Turf Festival and six Grade 1's," Cosato said, referring to top races run at Hollywood Park in the fall. "It's ridiculous. I'm going to fight it."

Stewards Ingrid Fermin, Pete Pedersen, and Tom Ward issued the ruling. Ward said the decision was made to give Nakatani "like days" to the original penalty. Those dates primarily covered the final weeks of the 2003-04 Santa Anita winter-spring meeting.

Good last outs, but no Breeders' Cup

The Breeders' Cup will not include three longshots that placed in stakes at Santa Anita this month - Boston Glory, Memorette, and Supah Blitz.

Boston Glory, second to Roman Ruler in the Norfolk Stakes on Oct. 3, was considered for the Juvenile, but is out for the year, trainer Eoin Harty said.

"He's out of commission for a while," Harty said. "It will probably be earlier in the New Year before he's back."

Memorette, who finished a well-beaten third in the Oak Leaf Stakes on Oct. 2, emerged from the race with an illness and has only now resumed training, co-owner and trainer Bill Currin said.

"The next day she spiked a fever of 104," Currin said. "We treated her and she spiked again. After four or five days of observation in a hospital, they didn't find anything, but she had a huge medical bill.

"Eventually, she was fine. She's training every day."

Memorette was a candidate for the Juvenile Fillies in early October.

Currin said Memorette will be pointed for two races at Hollywood Park - the $100,000 Miesque Stakes over a mile on turf on Nov. 25 and the Grade 1 Hollywood Starlet over 1 1/16 miles on dirt on Dec. 19.

Supah Blitz, third in the Goodwood Breeders' Cup Handicap on Oct. 2, will be pointed for the Clark Handicap a $500,000 race at Churchill Downs over 1 1/8 miles on Nov. 26.

Trained by Doug O'Neill, Supah Blitz won the Del Mar Breeders' Cup Handicap on Sept. 5, his first start since being acquired by a partnership in late August.