12/26/2001 12:00AM

Female talent fuels McAnally barn


ARCADIA, Calif. - There will not be many stakes for fillies and mares at Santa Anita this winter without the participation of trainer Ron McAnally.

McAnally's barn is loaded with top females who will compete in virtually every major race.

"That's the way it usually is," he said, referring to the number of breeders who keep top females in his stable.

The trainer's first attempt for a trophy with a filly comes Saturday when Affluent starts in the Grade 1 La Brea Stakes over seven furlongs. Later in the meeting, the South American import Ivory Tower and the recent maiden winners Fun House and Southern Oasis will start on dirt. The turf team includes Kalatiara, Tout Charmant, and the recent Australian import Old Money. It is a group of stars that can compete in long and short stakes on turf and dirt.

The La Brea will be Affluent's first start on the main track since she won the Hollywood Oaks last July. Unraced since winning the Queen Elizabeth II Challenge Cup at Keeneland in October on turf, Affluent was considered for the Grade 1 Matriarch Stakes at Hollywood Park in late November, but was not supplemented. Instead, she was pointed for the La Brea.

Aside from Affluent, Printemps is one of the most talented fillies in the barn. Printemps finished second in the Falls City Handicap at Churchill Downs on Nov. 22. The winner of the Grade 2 Hawthorne Handicap at Hollywood Park last May, Printemps may not start until the $200,000 Santa Maria Handicap on Feb. 17, a layoff that frustrated McAnally.

"We're just trying to keep her fit," McAnally said after watching her breeze five furlongs in 1:02.20 on Wednesday.

By the time Printemps starts, McAnally could be well on his way to an outstanding meeting with an all-star cast of fillies and mares.

D'wildcat back in training

*, one of the top 3-year-old sprinters of 2001, has returned to training for a late-winter comeback, trainer Bob Hess Jr. said on Wednesday.

Sidelined since March because of a shoulder injury and a summertime bout with colic, D'wildcat would have been a logical contender for Wednesday's Grade 1 Malibu Stakes.

"He would have made the race but he got colic," Hess said. "He didn't need surgery, but it set him back."

Owned by Fog City Stable, D'wildcat won the Grade 3 Swale Stakes by 10 1/2 lengths last March at Gulfstream Park. D'wildcat was being prepared for the Lone Star Derby when Hess detected a shoulder problem.

Hess said a long-term goal is the Metropolitan Handicap at Belmont Park on May 27 with a return at this meeting.

"I think we'll see him in late February," Hess said.

While D'wildcat missed the Malibu, Hess hopes to have a starter in the second leg of the Strub Series - the $200,000 San Fernando Breeders' Cup Stakes over 1 1/16 miles on Jan. 12 - with Stormin Heaven, the winner of an allowance race/optional claimer at Hollywood Park on Nov. 25.

Fancy As, another San Fernando contender, worked six furlongs in 1:10, the fastest of 29 works at the distance. A seven-time stakes winner in western Canada, Fancy As is trained by Bob Baffert.

Mangold in new role

Two years ago, Kevin Mangold was ready for a career change. After spending nearly 20 years as an actor and supplementing his income with a computer business, Mangold decided to become a jockey.

During the summer, the 28-year-old Mangold launched his career and moved to Southern California for the first time this month.

In his first six months of riding, Mangold has ridden seven winners at tracks in Arizona, California, and Oregon. He rode for the first time at Santa Anita on Wednesday, nine days after he scored at Hollywood Park.

As an actor, Mangold appeared in several situation comedies - among them "Saved by the Bell" and "Silver Spoons" - and appeared on Broadway in "Peter Pan."

"I did a lot of television movies and commercials," he said.

After he decided to make the career switch, Mangold attended the Frank Garza Jockey School in Somis, Calif. He later worked in the mornings for trainer D. Wayne Lukas before launching his career.

"I always wanted to ride and decided I should," Mangold said on Wednesday on the Santa Anita backstretch. "I figured I'd better do it now."


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