10/17/2007 11:00PM

'Dustyroad' coming back, but not in Cup

EmailARCADIA, Calif. - The $55,000 Pine Tree Lane Stakes at the Oak Tree at Santa Anita meeting on Saturday arrives at a perfect time for Downthedustyroad. The Breeders' Cup at Monmouth Park next week is a different story.

Unraced since winning the Grade 1 La Brea Stakes last December, Downthedustyroad has been sidelined by a hind leg injury that has kept her sidelined this year. The injury will prevent her from starting in the $1 million Breeders' Cup Filly and Mare Sprint at Monmouth Park next Friday, trainer Bob Baffert said.

"She's still exceptionally fast," Baffert said. "I was thinking of the Breeders' Cup [Filly and Mare] Sprint, but that was too quick to get her ready. If it was another month or so, I could have thought of it."

Downthedustyroad will get a thorough test in the Pine Tree Lane, a restricted race at 6 1/2 furlongs. The field includes three 2007 stakes winners - Theverythoughtof U, Ashley's Kitty, and Selvatica.

Downthedustyroad won the seven-furlong La Brea, dueling for the early lead and pulling clear to win by 4 1/4 lengths. In recent weeks, she has shown several quick works on Santa Anita's synthetic track.

"She's training well," Baffert said. "She's never run on a synthetic track, but she trains on it. She's pretty fast. I haven't really jammed on her."

Selvatica won the 2006 Pine Tree Lane Stakes. She has won two stakes in 2007, the Desert Stormer Handicap at Hollywood Park in May and the Bangles and Beads Stakes at Fairplex Park in September.

Gomez to finish year in California

Garrett Gomez, the nation's leading rider in earnings this year, will ride in Southern California for the final two months of the year, according to his agent, Ron Anderson.

Gomez, who is currently riding at Belmont Park, will begin riding at the Oak Tree meeting on Oct. 28 or 31, after the Breeders' Cup. Gomez has not ridden in California on a regular basis since early April.

Through Sunday, Gomez, 35, had won 206 races and his mounts had earned $17,472,417.

Nine tickets take carryover pool

Wednesday's pick six, which began with a two-day carryover of $617,007 from last weekend, returned $211,405 to nine ticket holders. Bettors added $2,318,327 to the pool on Wednesday.

The winners of Wednesday's pick-six races were Oceanus ($4.60) and Smoocher ($6.20) in a dead heat in the third race, Shootist ($5.60), Reel Prime ($42), Currency Trader ($14.40), Cathrine's Hope ($10), and Seattle Avenue ($8.80). Shootist was the only winning favorite.

Cathrine's Hope will attempt to win her first stakes in the $150,000 California Cup Distaff for statebred fillies and mares at about 6 1/2 furlongs on turf on Nov. 3, trainer Lewis Cenicola said Thursday.

In Wednesday's seventh race, Cathrine's Hope rallied from fourth to win an optional claimer on the hillside turf course by a half-length for her third win in her last five starts.

Cenicola said the 3-year-old filly needs at least 6 1/2 furlongs to be effective.

Sindy Jacobson skips Anoakia

Sindy Jacobson, an undefeated 2-year-old filly, was not entered for Saturday's $75,000 Anoakia Stakes. She was bought earlier this month by Team Valor Racing and Gary Barber, and trainer John Sadler said he wanted more time to train her.

Sindy Jacobson had been owned by Tommy Hutton's Dream Stable and trained by Mike Mitchell. Unbeaten in two starts, Sindy Jacobson will be pointed to the $60,000 Hidden Light Stakes at a mile on turf on Oct. 26, Sadler said.

Starter handicaps for lower levels

Starter handicap races for lower-class claiming horses, such as Saturday's 10th race, may become more commonplace at Santa Anita, according to racing secretary Rick Hammerle.

Saturday's race is a $24,000 starter handicap for horses that have started for a claiming price of $16,000 or less in 2006 or 2007. The race drew a field of 10.

In recent seasons, the lowest-class turf races (aside from maiden races) were for $32,000 claimers.

Because Saturday's race was a starter handicap, horsemen were required to make nominations. The nominees were assigned weights.

"This way, I can give them some weight if there is a monster in the field," Hammerle said. "This is kind of a trial balloon for this meeting."

On Saturday, the assigned weights range from 110 to 118 pounds.