11/04/2004 12:00AM

Kela likely for Cigar Mile


INGLEWOOD, Calif. - Kela, the runner-up in the Breeders' Cup Sprint at Lone Star Park last weekend, is likely to make his next start in the $350,000 Cigar Mile at Aqueduct on Nov. 27, trainer Mike Mitchell said.

The winner of two major stakes at Del Mar during the summer, Kela resumed training with a jog at Hollywood Park on Thursday.

"He looked great," Mitchell said. "We just loosened him up."

If Kela is sent to Aqueduct for the Grade 1 Cigar, it would give California a very formidable raiding party. Pico Central, the winner of the Metropolitan Mile Handicap and three other major stakes this year, is also a candidate.

Kela has won 3 of 8 starts this year for owner Jay Manoogian, in a campaign highlighted by consecutive wins in the Grade 1 Bing Crosby Breeders' Cup Handicap and Grade 2 Pat O'Brien BC Handicap at Del Mar.

Kela's runner-up finish was Mitchell's best result on Breeders' Cup Day. Later in the day, Star Over the Bay led to the final turn before fading and finishing last of eight in the Turf.

Star Over the Bay has been turned out for approximately three weeks and will be pointed for the $500,000 Sunshine Millions Turf at 1 1/8 miles for California-breds and Florida-breds at Santa Anita on Jan. 29, Mitchell said.

Claimed for $80,000 last May, Star Over the Bay won three consecutive races before the Breeders' Cup Turf: the Sunset and Del Mar handicaps and the Grade 1 Clement Hirsch Turf Championship.

"I had to give him a little freshening," Mitchell said. "From the time I've claimed him, he's run in tough races."

Mandella's big shots back in training

Trainer Richard Mandella won four Breeders' Cup races in 2003, winning with Action This Day (Juvenile), Halfbridled (Juvenile Fillies), Johar (dead heat in Turf), and Pleasantly Perfect (Classic).

As of this week, with the retirements of Halfbridled and Pleasantly Perfect, only Action This Day remains in training from the quartet. Johar was retired because of injury in April.

This winter, Mandella is optimistic that Action This Day can regain the form that made him the champion 2-year-old colt of 2003.

After a disappointing early 2004 campaign that included three losses, Action This Day has resumed serious training. Thursday at Santa Anita, Action This Day worked a half-mile in 46.80 seconds, the fastest of 25 recorded works at the distance.

"Today, we kind of put him to the test," Mandella said. "He went well."

Action This Day has not started since finishing sixth in the Kentucky Derby. The Grade 1 Malibu Stakes for 3-year-olds at seven furlongs on Dec. 26 at Santa Anita is a possible next start.

Two other important 3-year-old males have resumed training for Mandella - Minister Eric and Siphonizer.

Minister Eric worked five furlongs on Monday and is likely to be ready more quickly than Action This Day or Siphonizer. Minister Eric, second in the 2003 Breeders' Cup Juvenile, has not started since finishing 16th in the Kentucky Derby. He emerged from the race with a breathing problem.

Siphonizer, the winner of the 2003 Del Mar Futurity, is galloping at San Luis Rey Downs under the direction of trainer Sam Semkin. Siphonizer will join Mandella's stable at Santa Anita later this fall.

Siphonizer won his only start this year, an allowance race at Churchill Downs in May. His career has been interrupted by respiratory and liver problems in recent months.

Asked which of them might be best suited for the $1 million Santa Anita Handicap next March, Mandella had a quick answer: "All of them."

Opening-day business down

Wednesday's opening day of the Hollywood Park fall meeting had business figures lower than the corresponding day in 2003.

The ontrack crowd of 4,636 was down 20 percent, while the all-sources handle of $6,778,369 was down 6 percent.

Track president Rick Baedeker said comparisons were not valid since the 2003 meeting began on Veterans Day.

"We opened on a Tuesday last year," he said. "It was a unique situation."

This fall, Hollywood Park is guaranteeing that the pick four will reach $200,000 daily and $400,000 on Saturdays. Wednesday's pool reached $291,505. The pool on the opening day of the 2003 meeting was $197,555.

Win points Belleski toward stakes

Belleski won Wednesday's feature, a $51,600 allowance race for fillies and mares at a mile on turf, and will make her next start in a major stakes at this meeting, trainer John Sadler said.

Belleski ($5.80) ran a mile in 1:36.37, finishing 2 1/2 lengths in front of Quero Quero. Ridden by Corey Nakatani, Belleski rallied from fifth to take the lead in early stretch.

"That was perfect," Sadler said. "She's getting better. Corey is getting her to settle."

Owned by Jerry and Ann Moss, Belleski could start in the $500,000 Matriarch Stakes at a mile on turf on Nov. 28 or the $150,000 Dahlia Handicap at 1 1/16 miles on turf on Dec. 20.

"We'll look at the Matriarch and see how monstrous it comes up," Sadler said.