05/28/2003 12:00AM

Grade 1 winner Ladies Din retired

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ARCADIA, Calif. - The turf division in California will hardly be the same without Ladies Din, the popular 8-year-old gelding who has been retired following a sixth-place finish in the Shoemaker Mile at Hollywood Park Monday.

"Racing's going to miss him, but he just doesn't have the strength to go anymore," co-owner Bernie Schiappa said, adding, "it's been a phenomenal ride."

Ladies Din was owned by Schiappa and Terri Lanni, who claimed the then-2-year-old Ladies Din out of a $32,000 maiden claiming race at Del Mar in 1997 and watched him win 12 races and more than $1.9 million from 37 starts, including Grade 1 wins in the 2002 Shoemaker Mile and 2000 Eddie Read Handicap at Del Mar.

A mainstay in middle-distance turf stakes races in California, Ladies Din was trained for most of his career by Julio Canani, and swept the turf stakes races for 3-year-olds in 1998 at Del Mar (Oceanside, La Jolla, and Del Mar Derby). Ladies Din also won the Grade 2 Oak Tree Derby that year, and in 2000 captured the Grade 2 San Francisco Mile. Ladies Din's career began to slow after suffering an ankle injury last year, and he was subsequently transferred to trainer Frank Monteleone. By then, age had caught up. He lost his only two starts this year.

"Watching him run was like watching your own children play," Schiappa said. "He was a special horse for all of us. It shows you don't have to spend a lot of money to have fun in this game. That's what it's all about."

Schiappa added Ladies Din was likely to be retired at Valley Creek Farm in Southern California. The 8-year-old will remain at Monteleone's Santa Anita stable two more weeks before shipping out.

Sharp Redattore could try Grade 1 on dirt

Now that he is reestablished as the top turf miler in California at age 8, Shoemaker Mile winner Redattore is being considered for the biggest dirt race of the season. Trainer Richard Mandella said Wednesday that Redattore could start in the Grade 1 Hollywood Gold Cup July 13. "He's just as good on the dirt, so I'm going to sure think about it," Mandella said.

Redattore has won 3 of 8 starts on dirt, including the Grade 2 San Antonio Handicap in 2002. That race was at 1 1/8 miles, and though Mandella admits the 1 1/4-mile Gold Cup distance would be some concern, he said, "I think he could do it, he gives you the feeling that another eighth-mile wouldn't make any difference. Redattore and Kudos would make a good combination [for the Gold Cup] - one on the lead, and one back."

Kudos runs first June 14 in the Grade 2 Californian.

Mandella said Shoemaker fourth-place finisher Medicis also may switch surfaces. The 4-year-old, sired by Machiavellian, trains so well on dirt that Mandella may run him in the Grade 1, Triple Bend at seven furlongs July 5. "He's just awesome working on dirt, he's as good as anyone in the morning," Mandella said.

Bluesthestandard will get back to sprints

Bluesthestandard, whose five-race win streak was snapped Monday at Lone Star, will return to the sprint division and aim for the seven-furlong Triple Bend at Hollywood Park. Bluesthestandard finished in a dead heat for second in the Lone Star Park Handicap, and returned to California Tuesday. Ted West, who trains the 6-year-old gelding with his son Ted H. West, said, "We'll go back into sprints with him. If a mile is a horse's breaking point, then a mile and a sixteenth is too far."

The Lone Star race was Bluesthestandard's first loss in five starts since West and owner Jeffrey Sengara claimed him Dec. 31 for $50,000. He has earned more than $375,000 since the claim. West said that Islander, unplaced in a $100,000 turf sprint Monday at Lone Star, was uncomfortable with the wet course.

Slight stifle injury for Congaree

A stifle injury was not the only thing that went wrong for the Bob Baffert-trained Congaree in the Grade 1 Metropolitan Mile Handicap at Belmont Park. Congaree carried 124 pounds and spotted five or more pounds to his rivals on the wet track at Belmont. Congaree also engaged in a speed duel with Najran, who in his previous start raced one mile in 1:32.24. Finally, the unforeseen.

"I don't think it was the whole deal, but he hit his [left] stifle coming out of the gate," Baffert said Wednesday. "And, the speed duel with a world record-holder. When I saw the 44-[second half-mile time], I knew we were in trouble."

The direction of Congaree's campaign will be determined after he returns Monday to California, and recovers from the stifle injury which is believed to be minor.

Indian Express, runner-up in the Santa Anita Derby before a tough trip finishing 14th in the Kentucky Derby, has undergone a nuclear scan, the results of which were expected late Wednesday. "He got jarred up, and his hind end is funky," Baffert said. "I don't think [the nuclear scan] will find anything, I think it is just muscle stuff."

Baffert said Senor Swinger will return to turf in the Grade 3 Jefferson Cup at Churchill Downs June 7; the 2-year-old filly Dirty Diana will make her first start for Baffert in the $75,000 Cinderella Stakes at Hollywood Park June 8; and Chief Planner is pointing for the Grade 3 Affirmed Handicap at Hollywood Park June 22.