11/30/2007 1:00AM

Dixie Chatter injures ankle

EmailINGLEWOOD, Calif. - Dixie Chatter, the winner of the Norfolk Stakes at the Oak Tree at Santa Anita meeting in September, is out of training because of an injury to a hind ankle, trainer Richard Mandella said on Friday.

Mandella said that Dixie Chatter recently underwent a nuclear scan that showed damage to a hind ankle. The injury does not require surgery, but will keep Dixie Chatter out of training for two months

Owned by breeder Herman Sarkowsky, Dixie Chatter has not started since the Norfolk. He was entered for the Breeders' Cup Juvenile at Monmouth Park on Oct. 27, but became ill before the race and did not start.

"We scanned him and he lit up in a hind ankle," Mandella said. "I don't know if he kicked the wall during his resting period or what. We'll have to take it easy with him for about 60 days."

Mandella had hoped to point Dixie Chatter to the Kentucky Derby, but said the timing of the injury makes a start in the Derby "a pretty good longshot."

Dixie Chatter has won 2 of 4 starts and $191,400.

Mandella said his stable will be represented in the CashCall Futurity on Dec. 22 by Into Mischief, the runner-up in the Hollywood Prevue Stakes on Nov. 22.

Tracks holds up through the rain

Steady morning rain did little to affect the Hollywood Park Cushion Track, according to jockeys who rode the first race on the eight-race program. Rain began falling before dawn and did not slow until lunchtime when conditions remained showery and cool.

The first race, an optional claimer for fillies and mares over 6 1/2 furlongs, was run in 1:14.76, a time comparable to what would have been run in dry conditions. The track record for the distance is 1:14.03, set by Johnny Eves last Sunday.

The first race had only four starters after the morning scratch of Pat the Cool Cat. Jockey Aaron Gryder, who rode last-place finisher Gothic Beauty, said the course "was the best dirt track in America."

Jose Valdivia Jr., who was aboard third-place finisher Kalookan Year, called the track "good."

Dawn After Dawn led by a length at the eighth pole and was fully extended to hold off a late run from Swiss Diva and win by a head.

Trained by John Sadler for Ike and Dawn Thrash, Dawn After Dawn was making her first start in California. Earlier this year, she finished third in the Grade 1 Ashland Stakes at Keeneland.

Dawn After Dawn will be pointed for the $250,000 La Brea Stakes for 3-year-old fillies over seven furlongs at Santa Anita on Dec. 29.

"She waits on horses," Sadler said. "She got to the front really easily. Now we know we can have her farther back."

In the second race, Italian Rules led throughout a maiden race for California-breds, finishing 6 1/2 furlongs in 1:15.11.

The third race, a 1 1/16-mile starter allowance, was scheduled for the turf but transferred to the main track. All seven entrants remained in the race. The race was marred by the fatal breakdown on the backstretch of the longshot Ms. Tuna Kahuna. Her jockey, Agapito Delgadillo, took off his last two mounts of the day.

Onebadkitty pressed into action

Onebadkitty, who beat maidens in her debut on Nov. 7, will face winners for the first time in an optional claimer in Sunday's third race over 6o1/2 furlongs. Trainer Brian Koriner hopes to run her next in the $125,000 California Breeders' Champion Stakes at Santa Anita on Dec. 29.

Onebadkitty won her debut by a half-length, closing from third. Koriner wants Gryder to employ the same tactics on Sunday to teach the filly to rate in the first half-mile.

"We'll take her back and try to teach her something" for the Breeders' Champion Stakes, he said.

Initially, Koriner did not intend to run Onebadkitty in Sunday's race, which is restricted to California-bred 2-year-old fillies, but entered at the request of the racing office, he said.

"They needed a horse," Koriner said. "She's doing really good. It would have been a long time to wait" for the stakes.

Onebadkitty is the only starter in the field of six that has not started in a stakes. Of the other five, Shes a Lucky Wager has the best result in a stakes, having finished second in the Wine Country Juvenile Stakes at Santa Rosa in July. The other fillies - Cantina's Rose, Clever Lady, Stormy Racer, and Waveline - have yet to place in a stakes.

Waveline has started in the most prestigious races. She finished seventh in the Grade 3 Albany Stakes at Royal Ascot in June. Owned by breeder Paul Reddam, Waveline joined trainer Ben Cecil's barn in September.

"She got here straight from Canada where she broke badly and was rushed up," Cecil said. "I'm not convinced a mile is what she wants to do. I think she'll be more [suited] to shorter distances. She's been working fairly well."

Cecil has schooled Waveline at the gate.

"When I worked her from the gate the other day, she broke well, sat off a couple, and went by them pretty easily," he said. "I don't think she'll be on the lead. We've schooled her a bit in the gate and she came out pretty well. Hopefully, she'll do the same on Sunday."

The Tin Man healing nicely

The Tin Man, the 9-year-old multi-millionaire, continues to heal from a fractured knee suffered in late October, and is being walked briefly each day as part of his rehabilitation, said Mandella, who trained him.

"He's getting better all the time," Mandella said. "We've got him walking short walks a couple of times a day. We're doing very little and it seems to be helping."

Mandella said that The Tin Man "started getting sour being tied up so much."

"He's sounder and happier every week," Mandella said. "We X-ray him every week and it shows knitting every week."

A winner of 13 of 31 starts and $3,663,780, The Tin Man suffered the injury while recovering from ankle surgery. As a result of the injury, The Tin Man was retired but remains at Mandella's stable at Santa Anita while recovering.