07/09/2002 11:00PM

Mandella's Gold Cup one third full

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INGLEWOOD, Calif. - Five years ago, trainer Richard Mandella swept the first three positions in the Hollywood Gold Cup with Gentlemen, Siphon, and Sandpit. In the same race this Sunday, he would settle for a third-place finish by Out of Mind.

Mandella's older horse division is not as strong as it was in 1997 when those three combined for a remarkable record of six major stakes and earnings of $5,306,300.

"Believe me: I appreciated it at the time," he said on Wednesday.

Out of Mind will be a longshot in the $750,000 Gold Cup, which is led by Milwaukee Brew, the winner of the Santa Anita Handicap and Californian Stakes this year.

A victory by Out of Mind would be a major upset.

"I'd be shocked if he won, but I wouldn't be too surprised if he finished third," Mandella said. "I think he'll like 1 1/4 miles over this track and you don't get allowance races for him anyway. We're looking to pick up a few pieces. If it was a bigger field, I wouldn't do it."

Out of Mind is not in the same class as Gentlemen, Siphon, or Sandpit. A 7-year-old, he has won 5 of 19 starts and $364,753, but has been bothered by injuries in recent seasons. In 2000, he finished fourth in the Hollywood Gold Cup, his final start of the year after winning the Mervyn LeRoy Handicap and finishing second in the Massachusetts Handicap at Suffolk Downs.

"He bowed a tendon a couple of years ago, but you couldn't find it now," Mandella said. "He's had a lot of minor aches and pains."

After making only one start last year, a fourth in the Bel Air Handicap, Out of Mind has raced three times this year. He was second in the minor San Carlos Handicap at Bay Meadows on April 28, third in an allowance race on May 24, and sixth as the favorite in the All-American Handicap on that track on June 8.

Out of Mind breezed a half-mile in 48.80 seconds on Wednesday, working in company with Motto, who was given the same time.

"I gave him a fast half-mile before going to Bay Meadows, and I think it left him silly," Mandella said. "I didn't want him to go too fast."

Out of Mind is one of six probables for the Gold Cup. Aside from Milwaukee Brew, the hopefuls include Dollar Bill, Macaneo, Momentum, and Sky Jack.

The Gold Cup is the richest race of the meeting and one of three major stakes on Sunday's program, which includes the $500,000 Swaps Stakes for 3-year-olds and the $200,000 A Gleam Handicap for female sprinters.

Came Home, the winner of the Santa Anita Derby, will be favored in the Swaps, which is run over 1 1/8 miles. He will face Battler Bob, Fonz's Like a Hero, Sugar Babe, and Tracemark.

Adoration may face males

Adoration, the 3-year-old filly who has won two stakes at this meeting, is being considered for two races on July 20 - the $300,000 Ohio Derby against males at Thistledown and the $250,000 Delaware Oaks, trainer David Hofmans said.

A winner of 3 of 6 starts and $264,780 for Amerman Racing, Adoration won the Hollywood Breeders' Cup Oaks on dirt on June 15 and the Senorita Stakes on turf on May 4.

On Wednesday, Adoration worked seven furlongs in 1:28.

Hofmans said the potential field for the Ohio Derby will determine whether Adoration goes to Thistledown or Delaware Park.

"It would take Buddha and Harlan's Holiday to not go," he said of two possible Ohio Derby candidates.

Run over 1 1/8 miles, the Ohio Derby is expected to draw Magic Weisner and Wiseman's Ferry, who were fourth and ninth, respectively, in the Belmont Stakes on June 8.

Se Me Acabo's U.S. bow in A Gleam

Trainer Eduardo Inda had hoped to run his Chilean import, Se Me Acabo, in a classified allowance race, but getting a race of that type to fill on this circuit is virtually impossible, so Se Me Acabo will have to make her United States debut against the best female sprinters on the West Coast in Sunday's A Gleam Handicap.

"I've been waiting, waiting, waiting, but races like that just don't fill. I've got to run her," Inda said. "She's training very good, but she's out of conditions."

Se Me Acabo "ran with the best over there," Inda said, and she will face the best here, including top weight Kalookan Queen. Gary Stevens has the mount on Se Me Acabo, who set a track record for 1,300 meters, or 6 1/2 furlongs, in one of her races in Chile.

Nakatani back for Del Mar

Corey Nakatani will return to riding on July 24, the opening day at Del Mar. He has not ridden since he suffered head and neck injuries on May 2. On June 26, Nakatani resumed exercising horses in the mornings.

"I feel 100 percent," Nakatani said on Wednesday. "I want to start fresh at Del Mar. I've been breaking horses out of the gate and working horses to get my timing right."

* Good Journey, the winner of the Firecracker Breeders' Cup Handicap at Churchill Downs on July 4, has returned to trainer Wally Dollase's barn at Hollywood Park. A hopeful for the Breeders' Cup Mile at Arlington Park in October, Good journey will be pointed for the Atto Mile at Woodbine on Sept. 8, Dollase said.

- additional reporting by Jay Privman