12/15/2006 12:00AM

Mitchell horses get 45 days of detention


INGLEWOOD, Calif. - Horses trained by Mike Mitchell will be quarantined in a detention barn before their races for 45 days beginning Sunday after one of his starters tested in excess of the permitted level of total carbon dioxide at Hollywood Park on Nov. 19.

In accordance with an agreement between racetracks and horsemen, Mitchell's starters will spend the 24 hours before their races in a detention barn prior to racing. The detention period runs through Jan. 30. At the conclusion of the detention period, Mitchell's stable may be subjected to additional surveillance by California Horse Racing Board investigators for a 15-day period.

The excessive level of carbon dioxide was found in a blood test taken from Dynout, the runner-up in an optional claimer that carried a purse of $47,200.

It is the second time in the last 18 months that Mitchell has had a horse in violation of the testing limit of total carbon dioxide. A Mitchell horse tested in excess of permitted levels during the 2005 Hollywood Park spring-summer meeting.

As a result of the November finding, Mitchell faces possible sanctions from the CHRB, since excessive amounts of total carbon dioxide are classified as a Class 3 medical violation. Violations in classes 1, 2, and 3 are subject to purse redistribution and a possible fine and/or suspension for a trainer.

At the beginning of the year, the CHRB took over testing for carbon dioxide levels from a consortium of racetracks and horsemen's organizations. The 45-day detention period is the longest penalty handed out since the consortium began testing horses in early 2005.

Earlier this month, Mitchell was critical of the CHRB's testing procedures, saying that he was concerned about the absence of a mandatory split-sample procedure for trainers after they are notified that a horse tested in excess of the permitted levels.

Trainers who want a split sample of a test for total carbon dioxide must make those intentions known when a blood sample is taken before a race. Mitchell said that a split sample was not taken from Dynout.

Excess amounts of total carbon dioxide, administered through a process known as a milkshake, are thought to give horses more stamina and reduce fatigue.

Brother Derek drills for Malibu

Brother Derek, the winner of the Santa Anita Derby in April and the fifth-place finisher in the Breeders' Cup Classic at Churchill Downs on Nov. 4, worked six furlongs in 1:10.80 on Friday, preparing for the $250,000 Malibu Stakes at Santa Anita on Dec. 26.

The Malibu is the feature race on the opening day of the Santa Anita meeting. The Hollywood Park fall meeting ends on Monday.

As of Friday, it was unclear who will ride Brother Derek in the Grade 1 Malibu. His regular rider, Alex Solis, also rides Arson Squad, the winner of the Swaps Breeders' Cup Stakes at Hollywood Park in July, who is a probable starter in the Malibu.

Dan Hendricks, the trainer of Brother Derek, said he would use Garrett Gomez on Brother Derek if Solis opts to ride Arson Squad.

Solis worked Brother Derek on Friday and said afterward that he has not made a decision.

"It's aggravating," he said. "I've got two of my best horses in the same race. They're both great horses."

Solis has ridden Brother Derek in his eight starts this year, which includes three wins and earnings of $1,031,378. Hendricks said that Solis could lose the mount on a long-term basis if Gomez rides Brother Derek in the Malibu.

"I don't switch around my riders," he said. "If Garrett rides him well, I'll stick with him."

Brother Derek had the fastest of three recorded works at six furlongs.

"He worked strong going off and was as strong when he finished," Hendricks said.

Great Hunter to get a break until March

Great Hunter, who finished third in the Breeders' Cup Juvenile last month, would have been a leading contender if he had been entered in Saturday's Grade 1 Hollywood Futurity. But trainer Doug O'Neill and owner Paul Reddam have opted to give Great Hunter most of the winter off.

O'Neill said on Friday that Great Hunter is only tack-walking and will continue to do so until next week.

"I started him back and he got way too eager," O'Neill said. "He's about on Day 5 of two weeks of walking."

The tentative goal for Great Hunter is the $200,000 Robert Lewis Stakes at 1 1/16 miles at Santa Anita on March 3, the day of the $1omillion Santa Anita Handicap. The Lewis Stakes was formerly known as the Santa Catalina Stakes, and is named in honor of the late Eclipse Award-winning owner.

O'Neill and Reddam expect Great Hunter to play a major role in the Kentucky Derby preps.

"We might run in the Lewis Stakes," O'Neill said. "We'd be in it to win it, but it would be phase one of the ultimate goal of the first Saturday in May."

Allowance could put a 2-year-old on the map

Sunday's 10-race program begins with a $46,000 allowance race for 2-year-olds that could produce a few starters for Triple Crown preps.

The 1 1/16-mile race has drawn six entrants, including the recent maiden special weight winners Black Hills, Boutros, and Colonel Chick.

Black Hills was an impressive winner at 6o1/2 furlongs here on Nov. 26, overcoming an outside post in a field of 14 to win by 3 1/4 lengths. He is trained by Jeff Mullins, who also starts Colonel Chick.

Black Hills will be favored, even though he was fifth in a one-mile maiden race at Del Mar in September, his only two-turn race.

"We tried two turns, but I think it was a little premature," trainer Jeff Mullins said. "The horse is doing pretty good."

Colonel Chick won a six-furlong maiden race on Nov. 11 as the favorite in his third start. "He's a runner," Mullins said.

Mullins said Colonel Chick was considered for a race at Bay Meadows until conditions deteriorated there because of poor weather, leading to Thursday's program to be canceled after two races.

"When the track got muddy and the races got canceled, I decided to route him down here," he said.

Boutrous, by Tiznow, returns following a maiden win at 1 1/16 miles here on Nov. 12. Other starters are Man to Man, third in the Generous on Nov. 24; Dee Rain, the winner of a maiden claimer on Nov. 9; and Baltimore Drive, fifth in an optional claimer on Nov. 16.