02/21/2007 1:00AM

Mea Domina to be bred to Bernardini


ARCADIA, Calif. - Mea Domina, the Grade 1-winning turf mare who finished fourth as the favorite in the Grade 2 Buena Vista Handicap on Monday, has been retired and will be bred this spring to Bernardini, trainer Ron McAnally said Wednesday.

Owned and bred by Janis Whitham, Mea Domina won seven races and $744,628 from 16 starts, and was always tough on the front end. Mea Domina scored her biggest wins setting the pace - the Grade 1 Gamely Handicap at Hollywood Park, Grade 2 Palomar at Del Mar, and Grade 2 Las Palmas at Santa Anita. Tyler Baze was her regular rider.

Sired by Dance Brightly, 6-year-old Mea Domina set a fast pace and tired to fourth in the Buena Vista.

"The Whithams are in the breeding business, and they felt she had done enough," McAnally said.

Texcess's career may be over

An injury sustained during a routine gallop has likely ended the career of millionaire gelding Texcess, who fractured a bone in the stifle area while galloping last week at Hollywood Park. Although trainer Mike Mitchell said the injury was not life-threatening, it is unlikely Texcess would return to the races.

"There is a slight chance he'll make it back as a racehorse," Mitchell said. "If not, we'll retire him. That will be decided in about six months, and his quality of life will be fine."

Texcess won the 2006 California Cup Classic for owners Carl Van Burger, and Wayne and Scott Anastasi. They purchased Texcess for $300,000 in January 2006, days before he finished third in the $1 million Sunshine Millions Classic. Texcess won 3 of his first 4 starts as a 2-year-old, including the $1 million Delta Downs Jackpot. Overall, he won four races and more than $1.2 million from 22 starts.

Saint Paul, 3, on path to stakes

The Megahertz team of owner Michael Bello and jockey Alex Solis will enter spring with the 3-year-old gelding Saint Paul, a sleeper whose sharp recent works at Santa Anita suggest he is ready to jump into a stakes.

Bello purchased Saint Paul based on advice from trainer Bob Baffert and bloodstock agent Don Brauer, who was instrumental in purchasing 2002 Kentucky Derby winner War Emblem. Saint Paul was coming off an 8 1/4-length win Dec. 29 at Calder in his fifth career start, which also was his first in a dirt route, but he was slow to come around for Baffert in California.

This month, Saint Paul woke up. A 46-second half-mile workout Feb. 9 was the fastest of the morning; it was followed by five furlongs in 58.40 on Feb. 15. Solis worked him Wednesday, and Saint Paul dropped his head into the lane, left his workmate in the dust, and smoked seven furlongs in 1:24.80.

"Very nice," Solis said after the work. Added Baffert: "I'm excited."

Saint Paul, by Sweetsouthernsaint, will be nominated for upcoming 3-year-old stakes.

Maiden winner boosts mare's profile

A brilliant maiden win at Oaklawn Park by the talented California-bred 3-year-old Flying First Class has caused a ripple effect all the way to Southern California. Buddy Johnston owns and bred Flying First Class, who won a Feb. 19 maiden race for trainer Wayne Lukas by eight lengths with a 107 Beyer Figure.

Flying First Class is closely related to the stakes-placed mare Strut Your Stuff, who won a $50,000 claimer on Monday. Johnston said the win by Flying First Class increased the value of Strut Your Stuff, and was one reason the 5-for-19 mare was to be bred. Johnston said there is a small chance Strut Your Stuff could race this spring at Hollywood Park while in foal. Meanwhile, Johnston said Flying First Class could make his next start March 17 at Oaklawn in the $300,000 Rebel Stakes.

Mistical Plan to Fair Grounds Oaks

Mistical Plan, winner of the Sunshine Millions Oaks, will stretch out to two turns for the Grade 2 Fair Grounds Oaks on March 10. The Doug O'Neill-trained filly is owned by J. Paul Reddam, whose Liquidity is scheduled to run the same day at Fair Grounds in the Grade 2 Louisiana Derby.

* The Grade 1-placed 3-year-old filly Quick Little Miss has been turned out for three months. Trainer Mel Stute said the stakes-winning filly came out of her sixth-place finish in the Las Virgenes "a little bit sore."

* Midnight Lute, compromised by bad trips in the Grade 1 Malibu and Grade 2 San Fernando before finishing a flat fourth in the Grade 2 Strub, will make his next start April 14 at Keeneland in the Grade 2, seven-furlong Commonwealth. Midnight Lute won the Grade 3 Perryville Stakes at Keeneland in October.

* Selvatica is the filly to catch Saturday in the Grade 3 Las Flores Handicap, a six-furlong sprint for fillies and mares. The 6-for-10 speedball will be making her first start since going through a sale and transferring to trainer Julio Canani.