11/27/2006 1:00AM

Edwardian's death casts pall


INGLEWOOD, Calif. - The hottest stable in Southern California over the Thanksgiving weekend was also the saddest.

From Wednesday through Sunday last week, trainer John Sadler won with 4 of his 6 starters, including Warning Zone in the first division of Friday's Generous Stakes. In the second division, the Sadler-trained Edwardian suffered a catastrophic breakdown on the backstretch and was euthanized.

The incident remained foremost on Sadler's mind on Sunday as he oversaw training and reflected on an otherwise successful weekend.

"It takes the fun out of the weekend," Sadler said of Edwardian's death. "You'd give it all back."

Through the holiday weekend, Sadler won with horses at all levels, from Warning Zone to Bettersweetmoment, a $32,000 claimer on Thursday.

Warning Zone rallied wide through the stretch to win the first division of the Generous Stakes by 2o1/4 lengths. Owned by Mark Takanaka, Warning Zone will be considered for the Hollywood Futurity at 1 1/16 miles on the main track on Dec. 16, Sadler said. Warning Zone has never run on the main track, but Sadler is eager to experiment.

"At some point with a 2- turning 3-year-old, you want to try it," Sadler said. "The way the calendar lays out we're kind of done with turf for the year. I think he's improving."

One of Sadler's most impressive winners of the weekend was Seaside Affair in a maiden race for 2-year-old fillies on Saturday. Making her first start for Sadler after being transferred from trainer Bobby Frankel, Seaside Affair won by 7 1/4 lengths.

She was part of a group of horses owned by Edmund Gann that Sadler began training this fall. Sadler said that Seaside Affair may develop into a stakes-caliber filly but that she is unlikely to try such a race until the Santa Anita winter-spring meeting.

This weekend, Sadler starts Zanzibar in the $100,000 Vernon Underwood Stakes at six furlongs on Saturday. Zanzibar has made one start this year, finishing last of six in the Grade 1 Ancient Title Breeders' Cup Stakes on Oct. 7.

"You couldn't close any ground that day," Sadler said.

The Ancient Title was Zanzibar's first start since finishing second in the 2005 Ancient Title, a layoff caused by a hock injury. Sadler feels that Zanzibar will thrive on Hollywood Park's synthetic track, in a field that will include Declan's Moon, Premium Saltine, Siren Lure, and Turnbolt.

"I know it's not an easy race, but I know he'll like the track," Sadler said of Zanzibar.

On Sunday, Sadler plans to start Exhale in a maiden race. By Millennium Wind, Exhale finished second to the well-regarded Notional in his debut at Santa Anita on Oct. 21.

Exhale is part of a group of young horses that Sadler said will keep his stable busy in the final weeks of the Hollywood Park meeting, which ends on Dec. 19. Through Sunday, he was second in the trainer standings with 15 wins, one behind Jeff Mullins and three in front of Doug O'Neill.

Colic causes Brother Derek's scratch

Brother Derek was scratched from Sunday's $500,000 Hollywood Derby because of a pre-dawn bout with colic, trainer Dan Hendricks said.

A multiple stakes winner, Brother Derek was treated with a tranquilizer and painkiller and his condition had stabilized by mid-morning, Hendricks said.

"He seems to be a lot more settled," Hendricks said Sunday morning. "It came up at 4 a.m. and the night watchman caught it."

A winner of 6 of 13 starts and $1,533,458, Brother Derek was fourth in the Kentucky Derby and Preakness Stakes and fifth in the Breeders' Cup Classic this year. Hendricks said on Sunday that Brother Derek would be rested with the goal of returning in the first weeks of the Santa Anita winter-spring meeting.

The options include the Malibu Stakes on Dec. 26 or the San Fernando Breeders' Cup Stakes on Jan. 13, the first two legs of the Strub Series for 4-year-olds of 2007.

Leave Me Alone is retired

Leave Me Alone, the winner of the Grade 1 Test Stakes at Saratoga in 2005, has been retired after a series of disappointing results, trainer Eric Kruljac said on Sunday.

A 4-year-old filly, Leave Me Alone finished last of eight in the $100,000 Cat's Cradle Handicap last Friday, her 10th consecutive loss. Owned by Steve Mitchell, the California-bred Leave Me Alone ends her career with 5 wins in 18 starts and earnings of $653,330. Leave Me Alone was the 2-1 second choice in the betting for the Cat's Cradle. She raced near the front for the first half-mile and faded quickly.

"She doesn't want to do it anymore," Kruljac said. "It's time we recognize that she's had enough of racing."

By Bold Badgett, Leave Me Alone won two other stakes in 2005 - the Melair Stakes for statebred 3-year-old fillies at Hollywood Park and the Grade 3 Azalea Breeders' Cup Stakes at Calder. Following her win in the Test Stakes, she placed in three other Grade 1 races, finishing second in the La Brea and Gazelle Stakes in 2005 and third in the Santa Monica Handicap earlier this year.

Kruljac said Mitchell will make breeding arrangements for Leave Me Alone "by the beginning of the year."

* There were 22 claims submitted for Romantic Rogue in Sunday's third race, a sprint for $16,000 claimers. The 3-year-old gelding finished second as the even-money favorite and was claimed by Jerry Hollendorfer.