09/03/2003 11:00PM

Endine sees Mandy's Gold sprinting again


It may be true that you can't teach an old dog new tricks. How about teaching a veteran mare to switch distances drastically in something of a flashback to her youth?

Mandy's Gold has run a mile or longer in nine of her last 10 starts, including 1 1/4 miles in her most recent start, the Delaware Handicap. Now, after five races in row of at least 1 1/16 miles, trainer Mike Gorham wants Mandy's Gold to sprint.

A 5-year-old millionaire, Mandy's Gold will attempt to cut back to six furlongs Saturday for the $200,000 Endine Handicap at Delaware Park. The Grade 3 race for fillies and mares is one of three stakes on a special 13-race card for Owners' Day. The undercard includes a pair of $75,000 stakes, the Owners' Day Handicap for older horses at 1 1/8 miles and the George Rosenberger Memorial, a 1 1/16-mile turf race for fillies and mares.

Early in her career, Mandy's Gold was strictly a sprinter. She is 6 for 8 at six furlongs and a three-time stakes winner at the distance, including the Grade 3 Honorable Miss at Saratoga last year.

Gorham said he intended to run Mandy's Gold in the Grade 1, seven-furlong Ballerina on Aug. 24, a race that featured such top filly and mare sprinters as Shine Again, You, and the upset winner, Harmony Lodge.

"She bruised her foot a little bit, just enough to keep her out of that race, but she should be fine for this race," Gorham said. "I'm not concerned about shortening her up in distance. My plan was to shorten her up for the Ballerina anyway, so if I thought she could handle that group going seven furlongs, she should be able to handle this group going six furlongs."

Mandy's Gold will face 13 rivals in the Endine, led by a New York-based filly, House Party. The 3-year-old House Party, who will be ridden by Jose Santos for trainer Allen Jerkens, will be racing on Lasix for the first time after finishing third behind Lady Tak in the Grade 1 Test at Saratoga. Previously, she won the Grade 1 Prioress by three lengths at Belmont Park.

Other contenders include Haunted Lass, who has been first or second in 8 of 9 starts at Delaware; Vicki Vallencourt, a 7 1/4-length winner with a career-best Beyer Speed Figure of 105 in the six-furlong Ellis Park Breeders' Cup Handicap last time out; and Forest Heiress, a Bill Mott-trained filly who won the five-furlong The Very One at Pimlico in May. Vicki Vallencourt also was entered at Turfway Park for Saturday.

Madeira Mist, Katzen meet again

Madeira Mist and Katzen, who finished noses apart in a four-other-than allowance race on July 30, are the prime threats in the Rosenberger.

Two starts ago, Madeira Mist got up by a nose to win the Grade 3 Dance Smartly Handicap at Woodbine going nine furlongs. She came back three weeks later to just miss against Katzen at Delaware.

Katzen, winner of last year's Christiana Handicap, nearly always fires on the turf, where she is 5 for 7 lifetime.

Classy veterans in Owners' Day 'Cap

A pair of 6-year-olds, Judge's Case and Country Be Gold, add a touch of class to the Owners' Day Handicap, a race restricted to horses who have started in a non-stakes race at Delaware this season.

Judge's Case has twice chased one of the country's top older horses, Mineshaft, finishing within four lengths of him in the Grade 1 Pimlico Special. He is 0 for 10 this year, however, including a second at 2-5 in a conditioned allowance at Delaware in June.

Country Be Gold most recently finished fifth, beaten only four lengths by Tenpins, in the Grade 3 Iselin Handicap at Monmouth Park. He won his season's debut in a optional claimer at Delaware - his only victory in his last 14 starts.

Sharp horses stepping up in class include Kernal K, winner of four of his last five for trainer Scott Lake; Ide Rather, a 4 1/2-length winner in a two-other-than allowance last month at Philadelphia Park; and New York-based Bag of Mischief, idle since finishing second in the $100,000 Carpenter Memorial at Delaware on July 19.

Laurel: Media Access taking drop

In four of her last five starts, Media Access has posted Beyer Speed Figures between 87 and 90, all on turf against open company. The drop into Saturday's $75,000 All Brandy at Pimlico, a 1 1/8-mile turf stakes restricted to Maryland-breds, may be all Media Access needs to win for the first time in nearly two years.

The 5-year-old Media Access is 2 for 4 over Pimlico's turf course and is trained by Larry Murray, who has won with 33 percent of his stakes runners the past two seasons. She is coupled with Cruise Along, third in last year's All Brandy.

Two other interesting horses are Shiny Sheet, a winner of three stakes, all on dirt, and Coquettish, who has finished out of the money only twice in nine lifetime starts, but has never tried turf.

* Jockey Clinton Potts, sidelined for more than three months while recuperating from severe injuries sustained in a training-hours accident in the stable area, returned to action Tuesday at Delaware Park. Potts, 32, had been out since breaking his collarbone and fracturing his pelvic bone on May 24.