04/06/2004 12:00AM

Gill, Canani empty the barn


ARCADIA, Calif. - Owner Michael Gill and trainer Nick Canani have nine starters on Thursday's eight-race program at Santa Anita, but they wanted more.

"We entered 14 horses," Canani said.

But not all of the races in which Gill and Canani submitted entries are going on Thursday, leaving them with two-horse entries in the second, fifth, sixth, and seventh races, and one runner in the third race.

They have two starters in Thursday's top two races - Robert's Tribute and Adminniestrator in the sixth race, a $52,000 optional claimer over a mile on turf; and Amber Twilight and Alpine Singer in the seventh race, a $49,000 optional claimer for California-bred fillies and mares over six furlongs.

A big day could push Canani higher in the trainer standings. After Sunday, he was tied for 10th with 12 wins.

is Gill and Canani's best-known runner on Thursday. Last year, Adminniestrator, 7, won the $500,000 Sunshine Millions Turf for California-breds and Florida-breds while trained by Paddy Gallagher.

Gill and Canani claimed Adminniestrator for $80,000 on Jan. 4. The gelding is winless in three subsequent starts - an eighth in the Sunshine Millions Turf at Gulfstream Park on Jan. 24, a 12th in the Grade 2 San Luis Obispo Handicap here in February, and a second in a $62,500 claimer on March 7.

A winner of 9 of 40 starts and $752,821, Adminniestrator is eligible to be claimed for $40,000 on Thursday.

"He's an older horse and he's had his share of problems," Canani said. "It's the right spot for him. He ran second the other day and ran okay. With everything the way it is, I think $40,000 is the right level."

The Gill entry will be well backed. The front-running Oro Desert may attract support, having finished second in four consecutive races. He was claimed for $25,000 by trainer Ahmad Salih on March 20.

Oro Desert, 4, has not raced on turf since finishing a close third at Hollywood Park in December.

Amber Twilight and Alpine Singer are coming off wins on March 4, the day they were both claimed by Canani and Gill.

Amber Twilight beat $10,000 claimers over 5 1/2 furlongs. She is entered to be claimed for $32,000 on Thursday.

Alpine Singer, the stronger half of the entry, beat $40,000 claimers over 5 1/2 furlongs on March 4. She has won five races and is entered not to be claimed.

The likely favorite is Royal Kleven, a game third at this level on Feb. 28.