10/14/2003 11:00PM

Musical Chimes to wear blinkers


ARCADIA, Calif. - Musical Chimes, a French stakes winner now trained by Neil Drysdale, will be fitted with blinkers when she starts in the $1 million Breeders' Cup Filly and Mare Turf at Santa Anita on Oct. 25.

On Wednesday, Musical Chimes worked a half-mile in 49.20 seconds, going in company with two other horses from Drysdale's stable. Musical Chimes was one of several Breeders' Cup candidates to breeze at Santa Anita on Wednesday as training activity has begun to intensify.

Another Filly and Mare Turf starter, Dimitrova, breezed six furlongs in 1:16.80. Trained by Irishman Dermot Weld, Dimitrova won the American Oaks at Hollywood Park in July and the Flower Bowl Handicap at Belmont Park last month.

Neither Dimitrova nor Musical Chimes was asked for much in her workout.

Musical Chimes started third in the team and rallied wide around Mediator and Arabic Song, but she finished in a line with those two, who were timed in 49.80 seconds.

The French 1000 Guineas winner, Musical Chimes ran second in her U.S. debut on Sept. 28, closing late in the Grade 1 Yellow Ribbon Stakes and finishing a half-length behind Tates Creek. Gary Stevens rode Musical Chimes in the Yellow Ribbon and watched Wednesday's workout from the stands with Drysdale.

"Gary felt that she wasn't as focused as she should have been the other day," Drysdale said of the decision to add blinkers.

Dimitrova worked with Domestic Dispute, the winner of the Grade 2 Santa Catalina Stakes last January. Starting six lengths behind Domestic Dispute, Dimitrova caught her stablemate on the turn and ran with him to the wire without being extended.

Dimitrova has been at Santa Anita since her win in the Flower Bowl in late September.

"She's done well since July," said Joey Mulholland, an exercise rider and assistant trainer who has traveled with Dimitrova this year. "She seems to get better with every run."

Congaree gallops, but outlook uncertain

Congaree, a Breeders' Cup Classic contender who was found to have a quarter crack late last week, returned to the racetrack on Wednesday for a gallop, but trainer Bob Baffert remains guarded on his outlook.

Baffert is hoping that Congaree's quarter crack does not flare up after a workout scheduled for Friday or Saturday. "There's no such thing as a good quarter crack," Baffert said. "It's not painful right now, and that's good. I've got to get a good work into him on Friday and Saturday, and then we'll know."

A nine-time stakes winner owned by Stonerside Stable, Congaree was found to have a quarter crack in a hind hoof last weekend and missed two days of training. Baffert doesn't think the injury will keep Congaree out of the Breeders' Cup, but he said the situation can change quickly.

"Those things are day to day," he said.

Reba's Gold out with hock injury

Reba's Gold, the winner of the Seabiscuit Handicap at Bay Meadows in May, has been taken out of training for four months after a recent nuclear scan revealed a hock injury, trainer Dan Hendricks said.

Reba's Gold finished sixth in the Goodwood Breeders' Cup Handicap at Santa Anita on Oct. 4. He placed in three stakes during the summer, finishing second in the Del Mar Breeders' Cup Handicap and third in the San Diego Handicap and Californian Stakes.

"He's got an issue with a hock," Hendricks said. "It's wear and tear over four years of racing. He won't have a problem coming back from that.

"The schedule gets light after the Breeders' Cup," he said. "I'll pass and give him time."

Owned by Alex Trebek, Reba's Gold, 6, has won 8 of 34 starts and $694,922.

- Most Breeders' Cup shippers have yet to arrive at Santa Anita. Europeans are expected to arrive Saturday and Sunday, while many from the Midwest and East will arrive from the weekend through next Wednesday.