08/21/2001 11:00PM

Injury forces Futural out until winter

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DEL MAR, Calif. - A hind end problem will keep Futural out of action until the Santa Anita meeting this winter, trainer Craig Dollase said on Wednesday.

A three-time stakes winner this year, Futural finished last of six in the $1 million Pacific Classic on Sunday, the first time he had failed to finish first or second in seven starts since January. On July 1, Futural finished first in the Hollywood Gold Cup, but was placed third for causing interference.

"He has a little problem behind," Dollase said. "I'll give him a little vacation at the farm. We'll probably see him back for Santa Anita. He deserves a vacation."

A 5-year-old, Futural will be pointed for the $1 million Santa Anita Handicap in early March.

Plans for the other runners from the Pacific Classic are taking shape. Skimming, who gave trainer Bobby Frankel his sixth winner in the 11-year history of the Pacific Classic, is likely to start in the $500,000 Goodwood Breeders' Cup Handicap at Santa Anita on Oct. 7.

The Goodwood may draw Dixie Dot Com and Dig for It, who were second and third in the Pacific Classic. Trainer Bill Morey said Dixie Dot Com is also being considered for races at Belmont Park and The Meadowlands.

Captain Steve and Until Sundown are off the Breeders' Cup trail. Trainer Bob Baffert said earlier this week that Captain Steve will be given a vacation, while trainer Laura de Seroux is pointing Until Sundown for turf races.

"I'm thinking about trying him on turf, maybe the Oak Tree Derby or Hollywood Derby," de Seroux said. "He didn't handle the track the other day. He did try so hard that I'm inclined to give him some time off."

Good work for Tiznow

Tiznow worked a mile in 1:35.20 on Wednesday, a workout that left trainer Jay Robbins and jockey Chris McCarron thrilled with his progress as he nears a start in the $500,000 Woodward Stakes at Belmont Park on Sept. 8.

Working alone, Tiznow ran the opening quarter-mile in 23.79 seconds and a half-mile in 47.68, according to Robbins's stopwatch. The 4-year-old Tiznow hit the three-quarter mark in 1:11.57 and finished in 1:35.34. McCarron timed Tiznow on his wristwatch in 1:35.49.

"He was a little lazy this morning," McCarron wisecracked to Robbins when he returned to the barn.

Unraced since the Santa Anita Handicap last March because of back problems, Tiznow is scheduled to ship to New York on Aug. 30, giving him time for one more workout at Del Mar.

The Woodward is the first of two expected preps for the Breeders' Cup Classic that Tiznow will have this fall.

"How he does depends on a number of things - the shipping and how he takes to the surface," Robbins said. "I think he'll like the wide turns."

Cecil ponders Golden Apples's future

Ben Cecil, who saddled European import Golden Apples to an upset victory in Saturday's Del Mar Oaks, said she could make her next start in next month's Garden City Breeders' Cup Handicap at Belmont Park, or await the Queen Elizabeth Challenge Cup in October at Keeneland. Both, like the Del Mar Oaks, are Grade 1 races.

The Garden City is on Sept. 9, which Cecil said he fears might be too soon after the Oaks. The Queen Elizabeth is Oct. 13.

"It's not impossible that she would run in the Garden City," Cecil said. "It depends on how she acts when she goes back to the track."

Cecil was delighted to win the race for owner Gary Tanaka, who had split briefly with Cecil earlier this year. "It was the first start back for an old client," Cecil said. "We bought the filly specifically for that race, because the 3-year-old fillies on grass seemed to be a weak division."

'Lasting' antihistamine trouble

Lasting Tribute ran his record on turf, and with trainer Scott Hansen, to 2 for 2 in an allowance race on Sunday, but Hansen fears he could lose the purse from the first victory, on Aug. 3, because Lasting Tribute is one of the horses who apparently tested positive for an antihistamine after using an herbal supplement.

About 15 horses have tested positive. None has yet been announced by the California Horse Racing Board because split samples have yet to be confirmed by a second laboratory. Both Hansen and trainer Cliff Sise have confirmed that horses under their care tested positive after using the herbal supplement, which was distributed by an owner, Greg Long, who the trainers said did not have a vendor's license to dispense the product.

"Unfortunately, I think I'm going to lose the purse, but I hope I don't," Hansen said. "Antihistamines are a no-no, but we didn't know it was in there. All the literature said it was thoroughly tested. How could you assume something would be wrong? And he's not supposed to even be back here selling stuff without approval from the CHRB or Dr. Bell," Hansen said, referring to B. William Bell, the CHRB's veterinarian at Del Mar.

"They didn't even know he was back here selling the stuff, because he was getting back here using an owner's license," Hansen said. "When you see a guy back here, you figure he's legit, because guys like that who sell products have to guy through Dr. Bell."

Hansen claimed Lasting Tribute for $32,000 out of a maiden-claiming race on July 5 at the behest of owner Richard Englander. He won a $50,000 claiming race - as a maiden facing winners - here on Aug. 3.

Headley takes his pick

Trainer Bruce Headley made a trip last weekend to the Ocala, Fla., farm of Frank Stronach, who invited Headley to select some 2-year-olds. Joe Orseno is Stronach's main trainer on the East Coast, but trainers such as Bobby Frankel have had a handful of horses in California for Stronach.

"They told me to pick out five horses," said Headley, who met with Stronach's farm manager, Danny Vella. "I don't know if I'm going to get those horses or not, but it's exciting. This could be a way to get to the Kentucky Derby."

Headley said he believed he was selected by Stronach because of his long-playing success with the champion sprinter Kona Gold. "This is what happens when you train a Kona Gold," Headley said.

- additional reporting by Jay Privman

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