03/20/2006 12:00AM

Full disclosure of first-time geldings a goal

Jim Cassidy is unsure whether to run Moscow Burning in the Santa Ana or take her to Golden Gate Fields.

ARCADIA, Calif. - Just as with blinker changes, horses who have been gelded since their last starts are supposed to be denoted in the official program. But at Santa Anita this meet, the reporting of such information has been haphazard, and has left officials seeking solutions.

The latest incidents happened on Sunday. Three horses - Bereguedez in the second race, Nodoubletouch in the fifth, and Parker Valley in the seventh - had been gelded since their last starts. Yet the information was processed in three different ways.

Parker Valley was properly denoted in the program as having been gelded since his last start. Nodoubletouch was announced as a first-time gelding before and during the races, both over the public address system and via text on closed-circuit television. But Bereguedez was neither denoted as a first-time gelding in the program, nor announced to the public as such.

Nodoubletouch ($14) won his race. Parker Valley finished third at 8-1. Bereguedez finished last of six.

All three horses were listed as geldings in Daily Racing Form, and a cursory glance of previous past performances of those horses by anyone in the racing office or stewards' stand would have uncovered all three changes. In addition, trainers are required to turn in paperwork of horses having been gelded when it occurs.

Bill Spawr, the trainer of Bereguedez, had three horses gelded around the same time last fall, including Bereguedez. That information, according to Spawr, was sent via fax to the horse identifier. Yet somewhere in the chain of command - which includes the racing office - the information never made it into the program when Bereguedez made his next start Sunday. In addition, stewards George Slender and Tom Ward were made aware of the possible discrepancy with Bereguedez by a bettor one hour before Sunday's races, but Ward said he could not reach Spawr prior to the race to confirm the information. Spawr saddled Bereguedez, but no steward came to the paddock to question him.

"I don't know where the problem is, but I did my job," Spawr said after Bereguedez left the walking ring for the race.

"We couldn't get a hold of Spawr, so we didn't announce it," Ward said later in the day. "We did speak to him later. He said he reported the information to the identifier. There's a gap in the system, no question. The racing office is trying to create software to, if not eliminate the problem, at least lessen it."

"We've mentioned to the racing office that someone should be designated to follow up on first-time geldings and check it," Slender said.

Hallowed Dream learns how to win

When the meet began on Dec. 26, Hallowed Dream was a maiden with 12 losses on her ledger. Since then, however, Hallowed Dream has won three straight races, and now may be headed to the Grade 2, $200,000 Santa Barbara Handicap on April 22 following her narrow victory in a second-level allowance field on Friday.

Hallowed Dream, 4 - not to be confused with the retired sprinter Hallowed Dreams - is an Irish-bred daughter of Alhaarth. Though winless when she arrived in this country, she had finished second in last year's Group 1 Italian Oaks.

"It's helped being able to work her on the turf since her maiden win," said Ben Cecil, the trainer of Hallowed Dream. "We've had to be careful with her because of her conformation. She still has room for improvement. We still need to get her properly fit. She's still quite heavy."

The Santa Barbara is at 1 1/4 miles, the same distance at which Hallowed Dream won despite some traffic trouble on Friday.

"I think a mile and a quarter is certainly her game," Cecil said. "She had to wait quite a while before she got out, or she might have won by a more impressive margin."

Espinoza reaches 2,000 milestone

Jockey Victor Espinoza won the 2,000th race of his career when Fear No Darkness defeated maidens in Sunday's fourth race.

Espinoza's biggest victory came in the 2002 Kentucky Derby with War Emblem.

He has a busy week ahead of him. Espinoza will fly to the Middle East to ride the Dubai World Cup card on Saturday at Nad Al Sheba, then will immediately return to California to ride Silver Cup in the Grade 2, $150,000 Santa Ana Handicap on Sunday at Santa Anita.

Moscow Burning iffy for Santa Ana

Trainer Jim Cassidy said Moscow Burning was possible and Ticker Tape was definite for the Santa Ana, a Grade 2 1 1/8-mile grass race for older fillies and mares on Sunday.

Moscow Burning is "50-50," said Cassidy, who said he was also considering a race at Golden Gate, the $100,000 Work the Crowd for California-breds on April 1.

"I actually prefer the race up north, but if I skip the Santa Ana, and it rains up north the next week, then I'm [in trouble]," Cassidy said.

In addition to Moscow Burning, Silver Cup, and Ticker Tape, others pointing for the Santa Ana include Argentina, Eternal Melody, Katdogawn, and Beautyandthebeast, who was not nominated last week but was expected to be supplemented by the deadline on Tuesday.

Argentina, a highly regarded European import trained by Bobby Frankel, worked six furlongs in 1:13.40 on Sunday morning at Hollywood Park. Katdogawn worked five furlongs in 1:01.20 on Sunday at Hollywood for trainer Wally Dollase.

Saturday's feature is the Grade 2, $200,000 San Luis Rey Stakes at 1 1/2 miles on turf. Atlando, Bullistic, King's Drama, T.H. Approval, and Wild Buddy are expected for the race. One Off, who was not an original nominee, was expected to be supplemented by Tuesday's deadline. Mike Harlow, Santa Anita's director of racing, said it was possible that the Irish runner Simple Exchange could ship in for the San Luis Rey for trainer Dermot Weld.

King's Drama worked six furlongs in 1:13.60 on Sunday at Hollywood Park for Frankel.

Ailments can't stop Fly to the Wire

Fly to the Wire has a nasty tendon that makes trainers wary of claiming him, but trainer Bob Hess Jr. held his breath and went in for him at Hollywood Park on Dec. 3. Fly to the Wire got beat as the 2-5 favorite that day, and Hess wasn't quite sure he wanted to win a three-way shake to get the horse for $20,000.

Hess won the shake, and that began a lengthy winning streak with Fly to the Wire, who has won four straight races at this meet, including a starter allowance on Friday.

"He did better when we got him away from Hollywood Park," Hess said. "He needs it real firm. I'd much rather have him run on the 210 freeway than at the beach. He's a wonderful horse with problems that have been well documented. His left front tendon looks like two bananas glued together. We've taken care of him, and he's taken care of us."

Fly to the Wire, 6, won his most recent start last Friday in 1:15.22 for 6 1/2 furlongs. The victory was his seventh in his last eight starts, ranging in claiming prices from $10,000 to $40,000.

* Jockey Patrick Valenzuela has been suspended for three days, beginning Friday, as the result of his mount Belong to Parfait being disqualified from victory in Thursday's eighth race.

* Trainer Sandy Shulman was fined $300 because his horse Dancing Rose needed to be scratched from Thursday's first race for wearing improper shoes for turf racing.