12/18/2002 12:00AM

Futurity field gets a boost


INGLEWOOD, Calif. - As quickly as it appeared that Saturday's $375,000 Hollywood Futurity would have a small field, there has been renewed support for the circuit's richest race for 2-year-olds.

Ghostzapper, a recent maiden winner trained by Bobby Frankel, and Domestic Dispute, who was stakes-placed at Santa Anita in October for trainer Bob Baffert, were added to the list of probables on Wednesday. Ghostzapper was previously considered doubtful, while Domestic Dispute had been removed from consideration by Baffert last weekend.

Baffert already is starting the favorite, Kafwain, who finished second in the Breeders' Cup Juvenile at Arlington Park on Oct. 26. The race is also expected to draw Toccet, a three-time stakes winner this year. Other probables include Roll Hennessy Roll, Coax Kid, and Hell Cat. Roll Hennessy Roll won the seven-furlong Hollywood Prevue Stakes on Nov. 23. Coax Kid and Hell Cat are maiden winners, and Hell Cat also is stakes-placed.

Baffert said the recent rains led to the change in Domestic Dispute's status for the Futurity.

Domestic Dispute finished ninth in the Kentucky Jockey Club Stakes at Churchill Downs on Nov. 30, but Baffert wants to give the colt another chance in a top race and he thinks Domestic Dispute will like a wet Hollywood track.

"I sent him over there to school and I think I'll run him in the Futurity," Baffert said. "I think the track is going to be better with the rain. Mother Nature seems to help the track out. We might as well try it."

Ghostzapper will be making his stakes debut in the Futurity. He won a maiden race by nine lengths over 6 1/2 furlongs on Nov. 16, stalking the pace on the backstretch before making a wide rally.

"If the track is in good condition, I'll run him there," Frankel said.

Frankel was critical of track management on Tuesday for not keeping the track open for training after rain fell on Monday. He praised the condition of the surface Wednesday.

"The track is in excellent condition," he said. "If the track is like today, I'm definitely running."

If it's turf, Tates Creek will run

Frankel remains $360,930 shy of surpassing trainer D. Wayne Lukas's 1988 single-season earnings record of $17,842,358.

Frankel does not have any runners on Friday and scratched his only starter on Wednesday, Nunatall in the seventh race.

Saturday, Frankel may start Tates Creek or Surya in the $150,000 Dahlia Handicap, depending on the weather conditions.

Tates Creek will start if the race remains on turf. If it is transferred to the main track because of wet weather, Frankel will prefer Surya, who won the Ballston Spa Handicap on a sloppy track at Saratoga last summer.

Other probables include Alozaina, Double Cat, Miss Gazon, Reine de Romance, Terna, and Tout Charmant.

Fall doesn't stop McCordnskuba

Owner Gordon Severson and trainer Ron Sticka feared the worst when McCordnskuba fell in the California Cup Sprint last month at Santa Anita.

The 6-year-old McCordnskuba was in the wrong place at the wrong time, racing behind Rio Oro, who broke down on the turn. McCordnskuba was not seriously injured in the spill, but emerged with cuts and body soreness.

Friday, McCordnskuba returns in a $46,000 optional claimer over 5 1/2 furlongs on turf at Hollywood Park. Sticka is just happy to have McCordnskuba back to the races.

"At the time, I thought that might be it," Sticka said. "He wasn't all that anxious in his training, but in the last two or three weeks he's gotten more into it.

"We still don't know if he'll run past that spot [where he fell]. Friday will be the test. You never know if they'll run past a spot like that when they have a spill. He's such a competitor I think he'll be fine, but you don't know for sure."

Friday's race marks McCordnskuba's 48th start. He has earned $348,708 for owner-breeder Severson. "He's been such a good horse," Sticka said. "We don't want to do anything wrong with him. He's been a wonderful horse to be around."

* Jockey Jorge Chavez rode Runnin' on Nitro to an easy win in Wednesday's fourth race, a sprint for maidens. It was Chavez's first victory at Hollywood Park since the spring of 2000. Chavez is riding here this week in advance of Toccet's start in Saturday's Hollywood Futurity.

* Jockey Iggy Puglisi took off his mounts on Wednesday due to food poisoning. He was booked to ride three horses.