06/28/2001 11:00PM

McCarron's latest honor: A living doll


INGLEWOOD, Calif. - Jockey Chris McCarron has won two Kentucky Derbys and more than 7,000 races. His mounts have earned more than $253 million, more than any rider in history. He was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1989 and remains one of the leading riders in Southern California.

None of that quite compares to the honor awaiting him on Sunday, when 20,000 eight-inch bobble-headed dolls with McCarron's likeness are given away to paying customers at Hollywood Park.

"Now I know I've made it," McCarron said earlier this week with a laugh.

McCarron was approached earlier this year by Hollywood Park officials about the giveaway, and agreed to it after thinking it over.

The dolls have a body without moving parts, but a head on a spring that bobbles up and down. The silks are painted in the familiar pink and purple colors of Tiznow, whom McCarron rode to victory in the 2000 Breeders' Cup Classic. The doll itself, of course, bears a strong resemblance to McCarron, who is sporting a big smile.

"I know this is corny, but I had to get a complete understanding that I was worthy," he said. "I didn't say yes right away. I wasn't really excited about it, but I'm thrilled now. People are really talking about it."

On Sunday morning, McCarron will sign autographs for $5 each in the paddock. The money will go to the Don MacBeth Memorial Jockey Fund, a charity that McCarron has supported since it began.

McCarron rides Futural in Sunday's $750,000 Hollywood Gold Cup, a race he has not won in 18 tries. McCarron has been second nine times, most recently with Farma Way in 1991. The Gold Cup remains the only major race he has not won in Southern California.

Futural won the Grade 2 Mervyn LeRoy Handicap on May 5 and was second by a length to Skimming, a Gold Cup starter, in the Californian Stakes on June 10. The Gold Cup will be Futural's first start over 1 1/4 miles and his first race against Captain Steve, the Dubai World Cup winner.

"He hasn't shown me any signs he'll be limited to a mile and a sixteenth or a mile and an eighth," McCarron said of Futural. "He finished well the other day, but couldn't get to Skimming.

"I think the real question is whether he can handle the likes of Captain Steve. I thought Futural ran a big race the other day. He lost a lot of ground and Skimming was on the fence the whole way. That was at least three lengths."

Pick six is wide open

The Gold Cup is not part of the $1 million guaranteed pick six pool, which covers the sixth through 11th races.

The pick six includes a maiden race for 2-year-olds; a starter handicap over 1 1/8 miles on turf; a first-condition allowance race over 6 1/2 furlongs; the Grade 2 Honeymoon Handicap; the Grade 2 Triple Bend Handicap; and a maiden race on turf.

The pick six fields average 11 entrants, and there are no obvious horses to use as a key, leaving the possibility for a carryover into Wednesday's program.

First post time Sunday is 12:15 p.m.

Around the world in six weeks

David Flores, who through Thursday was eighth in the Hollywood Park standings with 21 winners, has trips planned in the next six weeks to New York, Iowa, England, and Sweden.

Flores rides Lido Palace for Bobby Frankel in Sunday's $500,000 Suburban Handicap at Belmont Park. On Wednesday, he rides Dixie Dot Com in the $400,000 Prairie Meadows Cornhusker Breeders' Cup Handicap.

In August, Flores will miss several days at Del Mar to ride in Europe. He is scheduled to ride at Ascot in the Shergar Cup on Aug. 11, a six-race competition of jockeys from around the world competing against riders from the U.K. and Ireland. The following day he is scheduled to ride at Taby Racecourse in Sweden.

Tiznow looks good in gallop

Tiznow, the 2000 Horse of the Year, who has not started since winning the Santa Anita Handicap in March, galloped at Santa Anita Friday. A 4-year-old, Tiznow's training has been affected by soreness in his back in recent weeks.

"This morning is about as good a gallop as he had," trainer Jay Robbins said. "He looks [bad] jogging and then warms up out of it."

Spain, winner of the Breeders' Cup Distaff last year, breezed three furlongs at Santa Anita in 37.20 seconds on Friday. Unraced since finishing fourth in the Apple Blossom Handicap in April, Spain recently returned to training with D. Wayne Lukas at Santa Anita following a two-month break.

Tuesday, simulcast day

There is no live racing at Hollywood Park on Tuesday, but there is simulcasting from several tracks.

The Alameda County Fair at Pleasanton, Calif., is running and will be simulcast on a full-card basis. A limited number of races from Calder, Lone Star, Philadelphia Park, and Prairie Meadows will be shown. In the evening, the harness races from Cal-Expo will be presented.

Live racing resumes Wednesday with the American Handicap, run over 1 1/8 miles on turf.