11/08/2004 12:00AM

Derby a rough experience for disqualified Hendrix


ALBANY, Calif. - It's never fun when it happens.

Trainer Craig Dollase truly believes he ran the best horse in Saturday's Grade 3 , but he watched Hendrix finish third, then get disqualified to last.

"It's tough when you have the best horse," Dollase said.

Hendrix had room to move out and get in the clear on the second turn of the turf race, but jockey Garrett Gomez decided to wait for an opening, and an opening never developed.

When he realized he had nowhere to go, Gomez started to move out, but the eventual winner, Congressionalhonor, was right there. Gomez finally bulled Hendrix between runners, bumping both Kingdom Come and Big Squeeze. He finished well for third but was disqualified back to last.

"He came out of it none the worse for wear," Dollase said. "He did show some gameness."

Next up for Hendrix will be the Grade 1 Hollywood Derby, and here's a tip: Beware of a Dollase-trained runner in a Grade 1 after a prep at Bay Meadows.

Elloluv was third in her debut here as a 2-year-old and came right back to win her maiden in her next start and win the Grade 1 Hollywood Starlet in her third race.

Swept Overboard was second in the Bay Meadows Breeders' Cup Sprint in 2001 and won the Grade 1 Ancient Title in his next start, then ran third in the Bay Meadows BC Sprint in 2002 and won the Grade 1 Metropolitan Handicap.

Both Elloluv and Swept Overboard were owned by Paul Reddam, who spent $310,000 for Hendrix - then named Sand Hawk - as a 2-year-old. Yes, he renamed him after his favorite guitar player.

Week had ups and downs for Repp

For apprentice jockey Kate Repp, fortunes spun 180 degrees last week.

On Thursday, she picked up her first victory. On Friday, she finished first again, making another strong rail run with Warewolveoflondon, but this time she was disqualified and handed a three-day suspension as well.

"It was horrible," Repp said. She said that rival jockey Francisco Duran "gave me grief after we crossed the finish line, but I galloped back thinking I'd won. When I got on the phone with the stewards, it was kind of intimidating."

Paul Nicolo, a Bay Meadows official who holds film sessions for jockeys, told Repp that it was always helpful when an inquiry or objection is called to return near the inner rail to look at the horse's tracks down the lane to tell how straight a path the horse ran.

"Despite the DQ, I got some positive support for the ride and getting my horse through inside, but I looked like a 10-pound bug after I got through the hole and hit the horse left-handed," Repp said.

On Sunday, Repp had her first spill when Naskra's Cat went to his nose at the start of the seventh race. Repp was able to bounce right up, and walked off the track with only her pride hurt.

Best of the Bay

Singletary, winner of this year's Breeders' Cup Mile, was named Bay Meadows' top horse of 2004, top older horse, and top turf horse for the track's meeting that ended Sunday. Singletary won the San Francisco Breeders' Cup Handicap, northern California's only Grade 2 race.

Ceez the Minute, who won 6 of 7 races, including all four starts at the fall meet, was selected claimer of the year and top 3-year-old. Midwife was named top 3-year-old filly.

Marwood was an easy winner over A B Noodle as top older filly or mare, even though they split decisions in their four head-to-head matchups. The Bay Meadows Breeders' Cup Sprint winner, Court's in Session, was named the top sprinter. Wind Water was the top 2-year-old and Tense Wager the top 2-year-old filly.

Leading rider Russell Baze was named top jockey, with Hector Romero the top apprentice. Jerry Hollendorfer and Art Sherman tied in the voting for leading trainer.

Baze won his 32nd Bay Meadows jockey title, riding 92 winners, more than the next two riders - Dennis Carr with 41 and Francisco Duran with 40 - combined. Hollendorfer won his 29th straight title, with 47 winners to 31 for Sherman.

Eight nominated for turf handicap

Eight 3-year-old fillies, headed by turf monster Midwife, were entered for Saturday's $50,000-added Moment to Buy Handicap at 1 1/16 miles on the turf at Golden Gate Fields.

Midwife has won three straight since switching to the turf, including her last start, the Palo Alto Handicap, but three other stakes winners have also been nominated.

Wind Flow has won three straight stakes at three different tracks, including the Ahwatukee Express at Turf Paradise off a year's layoff on Oct. 23. See Me Through just won the Grade 3 Ballerina Breeders' Cup at Hastings and will make her U.S. debut in the race. Both will make their turf debuts.

Crozet, seventh in the Palo Alto, won the Bay Meadows Oaks on the turf last spring.

At a glance: Golden Gate

RACING SCHEDULE: 58 days - Nov. 10-Jan. 30. Dark Mondays and Tuesdays except Dec. 20, Dec. 27, Jan. 17. Dark on Dec. 22-25.

POST TIME: 12:45 p.m. daily, 11 a.m. on Nov. 27; 12:15 p.m. Dec. 26.

HIGHLIGHTS: Dec. 26 $100,000 Work The Crowd Handicap; Jan. 15 $100,000 Grade 3 Golden Gate Derby; Jan. 30 $$100,000 Brown Bess Handicap

ADMISSIONS: $3 grandstand; $4 clubhouse; $6 Top of the Stretch (no children); $10 turf club weekdays; $15 turf club weekend, holidays; clubhouse box seats $3.

PARKING: $4 general; $7 valet

LOCATION: 1100 Eastshore Hwy., Albany, CA.

PHONE: (510) 559-7300

INTERNET: www.goldengatefields.com