04/15/2002 11:00PM

In figuring Derby, toss these


LAS VEGAS - While the Kentucky Derby picture remains cloudy even though the major prep races are over, it's time to start eliminating the 3-year-olds who will have little or no chance in the Derby. Based on their pedigrees, the following 3-year-olds will be at a disadvantage, either because they not bred to handle 1 1/4 miles, or they are better bred for turf:

Came Home (Gone West). One of two colts (along with Castle Gandolfo) by speed influence Gone West, Came Home showed his class in winning the Santa Anita Derby even though his training leading up to that race was curtailed. There has never been any question about Came Home's high quality, and he will surely be a factor in the Derby, but only a pace factor. This is a colt bred to race best up to 1 1/8 miles, and his brilliance will be diminished with every furlong beyond one mile.

Easy Grades (Honor Grades). His sire, Honor Grades, was a half-brother to A.P. Indy and Summer Squall, but was never in the same league as his illustrious siblings. The late stallion, who died on March 31, was a solid sire of turf runners (Honor Glide, Whata Brainstorm, Gone Fishin, Kalu, Dr. Park), but his offspring have never been as successful on dirt. With such stout influences as Easy Goer, Nijinsky II, and Round Table in his pedigree, Easy Grades is bred to run all day, but his late kick will be more effective on grass.

Sunday Break (Forty Niner). Even under the masterful guidance of trainer Neil Drysdale, Sunday Break's chance to win the Derby is minimal. His sire, Forty Niner, was an accomplished stakes runner at 1 1/4 miles, winning the 1988 Travers Stakes and finishing second in the Kentucky Derby and Woodward Handicap. Aside from Belmont Stakes winner Editor's Note, however, the majority of Forty Niner's offspring prefer distances up to 1 1/8 miles. Sunday Break is a talented colt, but will be better served by middle distance races such as the Dwyer, Haskell Invitational, or Swaps Stakes.

Booklet (Notebook). Like so many 3-year-old runners every year, he has a world of speed but will be a only pace factor in the Derby. His successful sire line (Notebook, Well Decorated, and Raja Baba) is known for its brilliance (speed), not stamina.

Castle Gandolfo (Gone West). He may have finished second at the Derby distance in Europe, but that was on grass. He has a superior pedigree, as he is out of a full sister to El Gran Senor, Try My Best, and Compliance, but again, he's by Gone West, whose runners are best up to 1 1/8 miles.

Azillion (Alzao). Bred to get the Derby distance, Azillion is really bred for grass. His sire, Alzao, is by Lyphard (Northern Dancer) and is related to Tom Rolfe and Chieftain, while his dam is by Ela-Mana-Mou, a highly successful European group winner and sire.

U S S Tinosa (Foxhound). His sire, Foxhound, was bred in the United States and was group-placed in Europe. By Danzig, Foxhound is a full brother to Deerhound, the sire of champion 2-year-old filly Countess Diana, and is also a half-brother to stakes winners Wolfhound, Spectacular Spy, and 1992 broodmare of the year Weekend Surprise, the dam of A.P. Indy, Summer Squall, and Honor Grades. Foxhound, combined with Wolf Power, Exclusive Native, and Cougar in U S S Tinosa's pedigree suggest his real future is on turf.

Flying Dash (Dashing Blade). A grandson of Shirley Heights (Mill Reef), Flying Dash will never have a problem with distance, but his pedigree is all European turf. His sire, Dashing Blade, was a colt of quality, winning three Group 1 races - the Dewhurst Stakes, National Stakes and Gran Premio D'Italia - as well as the Group 2 Prix Eugene Adam. Those four stakes were run in four different countries. Flying Dash gets additional turf breeding from his damsire, Fabulous Dancer (Northern Dancer) and second damsire, two-time Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe champion Alleged (Hoist the Flag).

Request for Parole (Judge T C). His sire, Judge T C, won 11 of 28 starts, and was victorious in sprints and middle distance races. From the In Reality sire line (speed), Judge T C has as his second dam a half-sister to Dr. Fager and Ta Wee. Request for Parole's damsire is Deputy Minister, and although there is room in his pedigree to get 1 1/4 miles, it appears 1 1/8 miles may be his limit.

Ethan Man (Glitterman). The sire of Balto Star, Glitterman is widely acknowledged as a brilliant influence and rarely gets horses able to get the Derby distance.