08/23/2002 11:00PM

Kachamandi still improving


DEL MAR, Calif. - Trainer Barry Abrams has a simple explanation for the progress that Kachamandi has shown this summer.

"On the turf, he became a good horse," Abrams said.

Friday, Kachamandi ($17.60) pulled an upset in the restricted $75,125 Harry Brubaker Stakes at Del Mar. The turf stakes was Kachamandi's first major win in 10 starts in this country. Last year, in Chile, Kachamandi won a Group 3 race on dirt.

Friday's win has Abrams thinking about a quick turnaround for the $250,000 Del Mar Handicap over 1 3/8 miles on turf on Sept. 1 or the $75,000 Live the Dream Handicap over a mile on turf on Sept. 11.

"It's coming back quick, but he certainly likes that track," Abrams said.

To run in the Del Mar Handicap, Kachamandi must be supplemented for $2,500, but he has financed that entry fee with his performances this summer.

The Brubaker was Kachamandi's third start at this meeting. Following a disappointing finish in an allowance race on dirt on July 27, he ran an improved race to finish second in an allowance race/optional claimer on turf on Aug. 11.

The 5-year-old Kachamandi, who races for a partnership, was not claimed for $80,000 on Aug. 11 and was dismissed at nearly 8-1 in the Brubaker. Ridden by leading rider Patrick Valenzuela, Kachamandi rallied from fourth in the stretch to win by a length over 26-1 Nicobar, finishing 1 1/16 miles on turf in 1:40.57. Fateful Dream, the 9-5 favorite, finished third in the field of eight.

Primacy's tail must be allowed to flap freely

Monday, Abrams starts Primacy in a sprint for $10,000 claimers, but he was upset on Saturday when he learned that he would not be allowed to tie her tail to her saddle.

In two wins earlier this summer for trainer Jeff Mullins at Hollywood Park, Primacy raced with her tail tied to the cinch of her saddle. Mullins said that Primacy concentrated during racing when her tail was tied, but otherwise was "like a kid who couldn't walk and chew gum at the same time."

On the overnight for Sunday, the stewards announced that no horse would be allowed to compete with his tail tied. Steward George Slender said that it was done as a matter of safety for jockeys.

Both Abrams and Mullins did not think the decision was fair to Primacy or the betting public.

"I'm going to put her in the race," Abrams said. "I have no choice."

'Buffy' heads probables for Debutante

The final Grade 1 of the meeting, the $250,000 Del Mar Debutante for 2-year-old fillies, is one of four stakes to be run on Labor Day weekend.

The seven-furlong Debutante on Saturday is led by Buffythecenterfold, the winner of the Landaluce Stakes at Hollywood Park and Sorrento Stakes. She has fought an illness since the Sorrento on Aug. 10, but is expected to make the Debutante.

The other probables include Ionia, Little Bit a Swiss, Miss Houdini, Santa Catarina, and Tricks Her.

The $250,000 Del Mar Handicap on Sunday over 1 3/8 miles on turf lacks a nationally prominent turf star. The probables include Adminniestrator, Continental Red, Dance Dreamer, Homeland, Lord Flasheart, and The Tin Man.

That race is not to be confused with the $250,000 Del Mar Breeders' Cup Handicap run over a mile on the main track on Sept. 2.

Congaree, who was third in the 2001 Kentucky Derby but well beaten in his last two starts, will attempt to restore his reputation. He will face a small field expected to include Euchre, Kela, and Reba's Gold.

The Sept. 2 program also includes the $125,000 Solana Beach Handicap for California-bred fillies and mares over a mile on turf. Smokin' Charlotte, the winner of the Fran's Valentine Stakes at Hollywood Park in April, faces Continental Lu, Elaine's Angel, Lil Sister Stich, and Super High.

Crowned Dancer out for the year

Crowned Dancer, the winner of the Hollywood Juvenile Championship, is out for the rest of the year due to illness, trainer Christopher Paasch said.

Unraced since winning the Hollywood Juvenile Championship on July 20, Crowned Dancer is suffering from a virus that has plagued many 2-year-olds at Del Mar and will not resume training until Paasch returns to Santa Anita in October.

No suspension for Pinfield

Tim Pinfield, the former California trainer who is currently based in Singapore, had a recent suspension for financial obligations set aside by Del Mar stewards on Thursday.

Pinfield settled the issue earlier this week. He left California to open a stable in Singapore in May. The suspension would have taken effect in Singapore because of a reciprocal agreement between the two racing organizations.

* A.C. Valenzuela, a former jockey and father of Del Mar leading rider Patrick Valenzuela, died on Saturday at San Antonio Hospital in Upland, Calif., after a lengthy illness. A.C. Valenzuela came from a family of jockeys, including brothers Ismael, Angel, and Mario. Funeral arrangements have not been finalized.

* Global Gait, once considered a Triple Crown prospect in 2001, collapsed and died near the eighth pole of Friday's fourth race for $16,000 claimers. Owned by Bob and Beverly Lewis and trained by Bob Baffert, Global Gait was purchased privately in the winter of 2001, but was winless in eight starts after the acquisition.