04/24/2003 11:00PM

Godolphin brings in 14 older horses


ARCADIA, Calif. - Trainer Eoin Harty turned loose the 36-horse contingent of Godolphin imports Friday morning at Santa Anita, the first time they had trained since arriving Monday from Dubai. Based on energetic and lively mannerisms - many were prancing and jumping - the horses were happy to be back under tack after spending four days in quarantine.

Harty's cast has a slightly different makeup this year. Of the 36 horses, 14 are older horses and only 22 are 2-year-olds. The trainer expects to be in action at Hollywood Park right off the bat. "The older horses, I will put a couple works into them and run them," he said.

He said the 2-year-olds are a little more than a month away from running. "By the end of May and early June, I will be cracking with the 2-year-olds," Harty said.

Among the older-horse contingent are Firth of Lorn, a 4-year-old Danehill filly who placed in a Group 1 last spring in France; Chercheuse, an older mare who has won five starts; and Savonarola, a 3-year-old who scored a recent comeback win in Dubai after throat surgery to correct a breathing problem. As for the babies, Godolphin is once again loaded with potential.

The most striking of the 2-year-olds Friday, largely because he practically was jumping out of his skin, was a colt named Rosberg. A $1.5 million yearling, he was sired by A.P. Indy and produced by Grade 1-winning mare Bosra Sham. Saleek is a $1.5 million colt by Unbridled, and Lutyens is a $1.6 million colt by Dixieland Band. Godolphin also sent over a 2-year-old filly whose name resembles that of her famous older brother. Tizdubai is a full sister to Horse of the Year and two-time Breeders' Cup Classic winner Tiznow. Tizdubai was purchased as a weanling for $950,000.

Stein gets pleasant surprise

She was not the most fancied of the 2-year-old maiden fillies in race 1 Thursday, but Dirty Diana left no doubt who was best in the 4 1/2-furlong Cal-bred race. While most of the wagering action centered on 1-2 favorite Go Bye Bye, it was Dirty Diana and Pat Valenzuela who broke on top and widened to a seven-length romp in a commendable 51.91 seconds.

"Going into the race, I was honestly hoping for a second or third," trainer Roger Stein said. "But when she got to the front, I was rubbing my hands together . . . they were not going to get by her."

Stein had plenty reason to smile. Besides training Dirty Diana, a daughter of Flying Continental, he also bred and owns her. Dirty Diana is the first foal to race out of Chelsea Fields, who won 2 of 7 in California after Stein imported her from New Zealand.

Stein bought out Chelsea Fields's owners when she retired.

"I would have liked to have bred her to A.P. Indy, but they would have laughed at me even if I could come up with the stud fee," he said.

Instead, Stein bred her to Flying Continental, and ended up with a rocket of a filly. She won't be his for long. Stein said he has received at least five offers from "serious" buyers and expects her to be sold by early next week.

Inglewood, Railbird next on stakes schedule

The Hollywood Park weekend stakes schedule hits one of its infrequent low points next weekend. A Grade 3 turf route for older runners, and a Grade 3 dirt sprint for 3-year-old fillies are the featured races on a weekend when most of racing focuses attention on the Kentucky Derby.

The $100,000 Inglewood Handicap at 1 1/16 miles on grass attracted 19 nominees, including Bayou the Moon, Blue Steller, Cagney, Freefourinternet, Gondolieri, Kela, Sarafan, and Touch of the Blues.

The $100,000 Railbird Stakes at seven furlongs attracted 12 nominees. The 3-year-old fillies who could run include Buffythecenterfold, Christmas Time, Dash for Money, and Nancys Magic Brush.

* The good 3-year-old sprinting filly Watching You, runner-up to Buffythecenterfold March 23 in the Santa Paula at Santa Anita, will be out until next year. She cracked a cannon bone, according to trainer Warren Stute. Buffythecenterfold is the likely favorite in the Railbird.