11/15/2006 12:00AM

Darley buys fast debut winner


INGLEWOOD, Calif. - Zada Belle, a nine-length winner of a maiden race at the Oak Tree at Santa Anita meeting on Oct. 13, has been purchased privately by Sheikh Mohammed's Darley Stable and transferred to trainer Eoin Harty's stable at Palm Meadows, Fla., Harty said Wednesday.

The transaction was completed in late October. Harty said he was not sure when Zada Belle would make her next start.

By Indian Charlie, Zada Belle has made one start. She ran 5 1/2 furlongs in 1:03.04, earning a 98 Beyer Speed Figure. She was previously owned by William Peeples and trained by Adam Kitchingman. Peeples paid $95,000 for Zada Belle at the Barretts March sale of 2-year-olds in training.

Kitchingman and Harty did not disclose the purchase price, but Kitchingman said the loss of Zada Belle was a blow to his stable. He trains 15 horses at Santa Anita.

"We have mixed feelings," he said. "I've only got 15 in my barn. She could be any kind of filly. Who knows what kind of publicity I could have gotten and how my barn could have grown."

Sheikh Mohammed's stable had an outstanding year in North America this year, led by Bernardini, the leading candidate for champion 3-year-old following a campaign highlighted by wins in the Preakness, Travers, and Jockey Club Gold Cup and a runner-up finish in the Breeders' Cup Classic.

Shirreffs hoping 2-year-olds fill void

Considering the horses that have been retired from his stable in recent months, it is a credit to trainer John Shirreffs that he even comes to work in the morning.

Since the summer, Shirreffs has lost the graded stakes winner Giacomo (the 2005 Kentucky Derby winner), Proposed, Hollywood Story, and A.P. Warrior.

"That's why we have 2-year-olds," Shirreffs said on a recent morning at his Hollywood Park stable. "You're always rebuilding. It's the nature of the business."

Hollywood Story, who won the Grade 1 Vanity Handicap at Hollywood Park in July, finished 10th in the Breeders' Cup Distaff at Churchill Downs on Nov. 4, which was her final start. Owned by George Krikorian, Hollywood Story won 4 of 27 starts and $1,171,105. She now resides at Hill 'n' Dale Farm in Kentucky and will be bred to Storm Cat in 2007.

Proposed, who won two Grade 2 races this year - the El Encino Stakes in January and the Milady Breeders' Cup Handicap in May - was retired in the summer after suffering a knee injury. She will be bred in 2007.

Giacomo, who won the San Diego Handicap earlier this year at Del Mar, finished fourth in the Breeders' Cup Classic in his final start. He goes to stud in Kentucky next year, as does A.P. Warrior, who won the San Felipe Stakes and La Jolla Handicap this year.

Their absence has left Shirreffs without a clear stable leader, though some prospects could develop.

On Nov. 26, Shirreffs starts Giacomo's half-brother Falcon Scott in the Grade 1, $500,000 Hollywood Derby. The derby will be Falcon Scott's stakes debut.

Among 2-year-olds, Shirreffs has a promising filly in Indy's Windy, a half-sister to Banshee Breeze. Indy's Windy finished third in her debut at Santa Anita on Oct. 22, galloping out extremely well. She is expected to start next in a two-turn maiden race.

"I'm excited to run her back," Shirreffs said.

Shirreffs said his stable is behind schedule with some of its 2-year-olds.

During the summer, Shirreffs said, he is reluctant to switch training surfaces for his 2-year-olds, because they are beginning to train more seriously, or even making their first starts. With his base at Hollywood Park closed earlier this year for the installation of a synthetic track, Shirreffs said he did not press his 2-year-olds during the summer.

"Del Mar comes at an inopportune time for me," he said. "We're hoping to get them going at this meeting and at Santa Anita."

That doesn't mean Shirreffs is ready to nominate any prospects as horses to watch for the spring classics.

"Being superstitious, I'm not mentioning any names," he said.

One 2-year-old in the stable does have a built-in reputation. Shirreffs has a 2-year-old half-brother to Giacomo named Tiago, by Pleasant Tap. Tiago is only galloping and will start during the Santa Anita meeting, Shirreffs said.

Notional jumps to stakes in Prevue

Notional ran a nearly perfect race when he won a six-furlong maiden race at Santa Anita on Oct. 21. How that form translates to stakes will be known in Saturday's Grade 3, $100,000 Hollywood Prevue Stakes for 2-year-olds over seven furlongs.

Notional rallied from fifth to win his maiden by 2 1/2 lengths, finishing in 1:09.09 and earning a Beyer Speed Figure of 105. Owned by Paul Reddam, Notional was well-regarded in advance of the race, and he still impressed trainer Doug O'Neill.

"He's not a horse that uses himself up," O'Neill said. "When you ask him to run, he goes. He's very mature for having one start.

Notional has drawn post 6 in a field of eight 2-year-olds. The race has drawn Belgravia, a $2 million purchase at a 2-year-olds in training sale earlier this year who won his debut at Keeneland last month, and Dilemma, the winner of the Sunny Slope Stakes at Santa Anita last month.

Nagler joins HRTV team

Television producer Stephen Nagler has joined HorseRacing TV as a senior producer for live programming, effective Dec. 1.

HRTV, based at Santa Anita Park, is a horse racing channel owned by Magna Entertainment, the parent company of Santa Anita.

Nagler, who has won six Emmy Awards, will oversee the network's live racing coverage and studio shows. He has an extensive background in sports television, including ABC Sports, where he produced Triple Crown programs and worked on the "Monday Night Football" program, and at CBS Sports, where he produced the "NTRA Champions" series.