09/26/2001 12:00AM

Mandella's alternate plans

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ARCADIA, Calif. - Trainer Richard Mandella may be left with an empty feeling if he wins a turf stakes at Santa Anita this weekend.

Mandella has starters in several important stakes at Santa Anita over the next two weekends, but is not using all those races as a springboard to the World Thoroughbred Championships at Belmont Park on Oct. 27.

Many of his hopes were bred in South America and are not nominated to the Breeders' Cup, meaning his clients would have to pay hefty six-figure supplemental fees to become eligible. It is not something Mandella wants horseowners to endure. "It's not a good bet," he said.

On Saturday, Mandella starts the Argentine-bred Bucarest in the $500,000 Yellow Ribbon Stakes. On Sunday, Cagney, a Brazilian-bred, and Kudos, who was bred in Kentucky, start in the $300,000 Clement Hirsch Memorial Turf Championship.

While Bucarest and Cagney are unlikely to be supplemented to the Breeders' Cup, Kudos could earn his way to New York with a strong performance in the Hirsch, which is run over 1 1/4 miles on turf.

"If he were to run well, I'd think about it," Mandella said.

Cagney won the Escondido Handicap at Del Mar on Aug. 1, but was a poor fifth in the Del Mar Handicap on Aug. 25, a race in which Kudos was sixth. Mandella blames himself for Cagney's performance.

"I think I got him fat and lazy," Mandella said. "I'd run him hard and I felt sorry for him. I think I've cranked on him now."

The Yellow Ribbon and Hirsch Championships are among five Breeders' Cup preps at Santa Anita this weekend.

Saturday's $200,000 Lady's Secret Breeders' Cup Handicap will include Tamara Princess and Cindy's Hero, who were first and second in the restricted Torrey Pines Stakes at Del Mar on Aug. 31. Tamara Princess will be favored in the Lady's Secret, run over 1 1/16 miles.

Cindy's Hero needs a big result to be considered for the Breeders' Cup Distaff, trainer David Hofmans said. Winless in six starts since the 2000 Del Mar Debutante, Cindy's Hero worked five furlongs in 1:01.60 at Hollywood Park on Wednesday.

"She's really coming around," Hofmans said. "I think she'll run a better race than her last two."

Collect Call out for the year

Collect Call, third in the Kentucky Oaks last May, is out of training until the start of the year after undergoing emergency surgery for colic last week, according to trainer Christopher Paasch.

Paasch is hopeful that she can return in time for the Santa Anita winter-spring meeting.

"Luckily, there was no damage inside," Paasch said. "It was a simple surgery to straighten things out. That's the good news; the bad news is we'll be out until the beginning of the year."

Paasch said Collect Call will be hospitalized until this weekend. She was being considered for Saturday's Lady's Secret Breeders' Cup Handicap at the time of the illness, which Paasch hoped to use as a springboard to the Breeders' Cup Distaff.

Paasch still has Breeders' Cup hopes. Kamsack, a maiden winner at Del Mar, is being pointed for the Lane's End Breeders' Futurity at Keeneland on Oct. 6.

This weekend, Paasch is starting Roman Dancer in Saturday's $250,000 Norfolk Stakes over a mile. Fourth in the Hopeful, Roman Dancer will be a longshot against a field that includes Came Home, the winner of the Hollywood Juvenile and Hopeful Stakes, and Essence of Dubai, who was third in the Best Pal Stakes at Del Mar.

*A brief ceremony honoring the victims and families of the World Trade Center disaster was held before the first race on Wednesday, the opening day of the Oak Tree meeting. Oak Tree, which operates the fall meeting at Santa Anita, announced last week that it will match up to $100,000 in donations collected from Santa Anita customers by the Arcadia and San Gabriel Valley chapters of the American Red Cross. Jockey Laffit Pincay, and his agent Bob Meldahl, said they would donate their earnings from Wednesday to the relief fund.