08/31/2005 11:00PM

Futurity could have four maidens


DEL MAR, Calif. - It is possible that half of the starters in Wednesday's Grade 2, $250,000 Del Mar Futurity will be maidens.

As of Thursday, there were eight probable starters in the Futurity - for 2-year-olds over seven furlongs - and four are looking for their first victory. None of the probable starters is a stakes winner.

The field is led by Bashert, who has placed in two stakes this summer, and the maiden race winners A.P. Warrior, One Union, and Stevie Wonderboy. The maidens are Dinner Magic, El Senor Halo, Jealous Profit, and Plug Me In.

Bashert was second to the late What a Song in the Hollywood Juvenile Championship in July and the Best Pal Stakes on Aug. 14. Stevie Wonderboy was third in the Hollywood Juvenile, and Plug Me In was third in the Best Pal.

A.P. Warrior won a maiden race at Hollywood Park in July, but was scratched from the Best Pal after running off in the post parade.

The number of maidens is a reflection of the absence of a leader in California's 2-year-old male division. What a Song, who won the Hollywood Juvenile and Best Pal, was euthanized on Aug. 19 after suffering a leg injury.

Marcelo Polanco trains El Senor Halo and Plug Me In. He said the Futurity is too valuable to pass even if his hopefuls have yet to win.

"The money is very good, and my horses are training very good," he said. "I think the distance will be better."

Polanco said that El Senor Halo could pass the Futurity in favor of the Barretts Juvenile at Fairplex Park on Sept. 18.

Dinner Magic, a game second to One Union in a maiden race on Aug. 13, worked five furlongs in 1:00.20 on Thursday. Brian Koriner trains Dinner Magic.

Jealous Profit was recently acquired by Paul Reddam and sent to trainer Doug O'Neill. Jealous Profit has made one start, finishing second in a maiden race at Calder on Aug. 20.

Leg surgery for Tucked Away

Tucked Away, the winner of the Grade 2 Clement Hirsch Handicap on Aug. 7, is scheduled to undergo surgery this weekend to stabilize the sesamoids in her right foreleg.

Tucked Away injured the sesamoids during a workout on turf on Wednesday. Tucked Away was scheduled to start in Sunday's Solana Beach Handicap. Owner Nico Nierenberg said arrangements were being made Thursday regarding which veterinarian would conduct the operation.

"She's got a good chance at this point" to recover, Nierenberg said.

Trained by Paddy Gallagher, Tucked Away has won 5 of 29 starts and $582,956. The Clement Hirsch was her most prominent win.

"We were going to retire her in a few more starts," Nierenberg said. "It's a shame she couldn't play out the string."

Nierenberg was speaking while standing in front of Tucked Away's stall in trainer Paddy Gallagher's stable. At one point, Tucked Away leaned over the webbing and tried to bite Nierenberg's belt. "She's pretty playful," he said. "She seems in good spirits."

Sierra Sweetie homers as pinch-hitter

With his July stakes winner Devons Smokin sidelined with a minor injury, trainer Jeff Bonde went to his bench to win Wednesday's $100,000 Generous Portion Stakes with Sierra Sweetie.

Sierra Sweetie ($14.40) scored her first victory in the Generous Portion, rallying from fourth to win the six-furlong race for 2-year-old statebred fillies by three lengths. Ridden by Alex Solis, a morning substitute for injured Tyler Baze, Sierra Sweetie finished six furlongs in 1:11.46.

"Our other filly strained a muscle behind and we went to Plan B," Bonde said. "You don't often run a maiden in a stakes."

Sierra Sweetie was making her third start. She was second in the Solano County Juvenile Filly Stakes in Vallejo, Calif., on July 24 and second in a maiden race here Aug. 21.

"We took her back and got a better performance," Bonde said. "She's a strong filly. I think she wants to gather herself and make a run."

Bonde said that both Devons Smokin and Sierra Sweetie will be considered for the $75,000 Cover Gal Stakes for statebreds over seven furlongs at Santa Anita on Oct. 10.

No Filly and Mare Turf for Singhalese

Singhalese, the winner of the Del Mar Oaks on Aug. 20, will remain in the 3-year-old filly turf division and will not start in the $1 million Breeders' Cup Filly and Mare Turf this fall, trainer Jim Cassidy said.

Cassidy is pointing Singhalese to the $200,000 Pucker Up Stakes at Arlington Park on Sept. 17 and the $500,000 Queen Elizabeth II Challenge Cup at Keeneland on Oct. 15. Cassidy won both races in 2004 with Ticker Tape.

Wednesday, Cassidy said the presence of a security barn at New York tracks was one of the reasons he did not intend to send Singhalese to the Breeders' Cup at Belmont Park on Oct. 29.