05/15/2002 11:00PM

Golden Apples will miss Gamely

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INGLEWOOD, Calif. - Golden Apples, the winner of the Santa Ana Handicap at Santa Anita in March, will miss the $500,000 Gamely Breeders' Cup Handicap at Hollywood Park on May 27 because of the aftereffects of a throat abscess, her trainer, Ben Cecil said.

The 4-year-old Golden Apples will be turned out "for two to three weeks," Cecil said and be pointed for the Ramona Handicap at Del Mar on July 27.

Golden Apples was diagnosed with the throat abscess earlier this month. Cecil said he was not pleased with her workouts following a second-place finish to Astra in the Santa Barbara Handicap at Santa Anita last month. His opinion was confirmed with the discovery of the throat abscess and blood tests that revealed that Golden Apples had yet to recover from the illness.

"We decided not to push her for this race," he said. "It's not a serious thing, but something that needs a rest."

Without Golden Apples, Astra is the likely favorite. She will face Starine, who won the Matriarch Stakes here last November and was second behind Golden Apples in the Santa Ana.

Gonzalez thinking Affirmed for Came Home

Came Home, the Santa Anita Derby winner who finished sixth in the Kentucky Derby, is being considered for the $100,000 Affirmed Handicap at Hollywood Park on June 23, trainer Paco Gonzalez said.

"That would give him six weeks between races," Gonzalez said. "Everything looks pretty good."

Gonzalez kicked around the idea of running Came Home in the $150,000 Laz Barrera Memorial Handicap over seven furlongs on May 27, but has dismissed the idea. He wants to have Came Home ready for the $500,000 Swaps Stakes on July 14, the meeting's top race for 3-year-olds.

On Wednesday at Santa Anita, Came Home worked five furlongs in 1:01.

Fair Apache gets it done

The circumstances were unexpected, but Fair Apache rallied through the stretch to win a $70,800 allowance race for female turf sprinters on Wednesday.

Expected to lead, she followed pacesetters Channing Way and Salty Helen to the top of the stretch, snuck through along the rail in midstretch, and held off a late run from Kalatiara to win by a half-length.

"I think this should get her confidence back up," her trainer, Christopher Paasch, said.

Ridden by Pat Valenzuela, the 6-year-old Fair Apache ran 5 1/2 furlongs in 1:01.97 after tracking wicked fractions of 20.97 and 43.95 seconds.

"We were surprised she wasn't on the lead," said Bonnie Lord, Paasch's wife. "It's a good thing we weren't on the lead."

Neither of the pacesetters was involved in the finish. Brocky's Dream closed from last to finish third, followed by Salty Helen, Twin Set (the even-money favorite), and Channing Way.

Wednesday's victory was the first for Fair Apache since the Valkyr Handicap at California-breds in a turf sprint last July. She will be retired at the end of the year, according to Paasch and will be pointed for the $75,000 Great Lady M. Handicap on July 7.

Global Finance going to Cinderella

Global Finance is bound for the $75,000 Cinderella Stakes over 5 1/2 furlongs on June 2, following her win in the Nursery Stakes on May 11, trainer Jerry Dutton said.

Dutton last won the Cinderella Stakes in 1996 with Starry Ice. In 2000, Golden Ballet won the Cinderella Stakes for trainer Jenine Sahadi in her first start since being sold out of Dutton's barn.

Dutton thinks Global Finance could be as good as Golden Ballet and Starry Ice.

"I think going a little farther will help her," Dutton said.