10/30/2006 12:00AM

New surface attracts Eastern trainers


INGLEWOOD, Calif. - Seven years after Lisa Lewis brought a stable to Santa Anita for the winter, she has returned to California this winter with 16 horses.

A New York-based trainer, Lewis is based at Hollywood Park this time. She said the change in venue was greatly influenced by the track's recently installed synthetic surface.

Her presence is part of a wider trend of Eastern-based trainers coming to race in California.

By mid-November, Patrick Biancone, Christophe Clement, Richard Dutrow, Wally Dollase, and Todd Pletcher are expected to have stables at Hollywood Park. Biancone and Dollase are California regulars each winter, but the others will be regulars on the circuit for the first time.

Lewis's stable arrived last Thursday. She expects to have her first runner this weekend.

Earlier this year, Lewis said she decided to shift her New York-based stable to California for the winter months. When she saw the new synthetic surface at Hollywood Park during a scouting trip earlier this fall, she asked for stalls there.

"I was planning on coming to California, and the [synthetic surface] made it easier for owners to want to come here," Lewis said. "We're making a commitment to try it out here. Being able to keep them here and train in good weather, it's worth giving it a chance."

Lewis said she wanted to move to California instead of Florida this winter because California tracks do not charge stall rent, which she paid at Payson Park in Florida last year.

"I think racing in Florida is not worth the expense," Lewis said. "I wanted to come out here and give it another try."

Lewis had a small stable at Santa Anita in 1999, the year her barn was led by the 3-year-old Capsized. Capsized finished third in the 1999 San Rafael Stakes but was unplaced in the Santa Anita Derby.

Lewis said her current stable includes several unraced 2-year-olds, including the promising Mahlique Gold, who is by Malabar Gold.

Cambiocorsa eyeing synthetic track

Cambiocorsa, who lost on the Santa Anita hillside turf course for the first time in Saturday's California Cup Distaff, may start on the synthetic track at Hollywood Park this fall, trainer Doug O'Neill said Sunday.

In the California Cup Distaff, Cambiocorsa finished 1 1/2 lengths behind 18-1 River's Prayer. The loss ended an eight-race winning streak for Cambiocorsa on the hillside turf course.

Cambiocorsa trains on the synthetic surface, and O'Neill said, "It will be tempting to try her on it."

He said his long-range goal for Cambiocorsa is the Monrovia Handicap on the hillside course in late December.

Race winner River's Prayer is a candidate for the $100,000 Cat's Cradle Handicap for California-bred fillies and mares over 7 1/2 furlongs at Hollywood Park on Nov. 24, trainer Paula Capestro said.

River's Prayer led throughout the California Cup Distaff, her second stakes win of the year. In her previous start, she unseated jockey Clinton Potts at the start of the Torrey Pines Stakes at Del Mar in September and ran loose around the track before crashing through a temporary rail.

Capestro said that River's Prayer suffered minor injuries in the mishap, and added that the win was gratifying for her.

"I know how tough this filly is," Capestro said. "She was a bit of a freak as a 2-year-old. I think she's a better 3-year-old, and she might be even better as a 4-year-old. She's still growing and I think she has a bright future."

Plans for Giacomo and half-brothers

Last week, owner Jerry Moss had a special request for trainer John Shirreffs. He asked that a commemorative photo be taken of the half-brothers Giacomo, Falcon Scott, and Tiago, who at the time were all based at Shirreffs's Hollywood Park stable.

Giacomo, the 2005 Kentucky Derby winner, was scheduled to leave the barn Tuesday for a start in Saturday's Breeders' Cup Classic at Churchill Downs. Giacomo, who is by Holy Bull, will enter stud in Kentucky next year and will not return to California.

Falcon Scott, a 3-year-old by Swain, is being prepared for his stakes debut in the $500,000 Hollywood Derby on Nov. 26. Tiago, a 2-year-old by Pleasant Tap, has yet to start but is working.

Falcon Scott won an allowance race over 1 1/8 miles on turf at Santa Anita on Oct. 22. Shirreffs said he is optimistic that Falcon Scott can be competitive in a Hollywood Derby over 1 1/4 miles on turf. The derby is expected to include multiple stakes winner Showing Up and Oak Tree Derby winner Dark Islander.

"We needed to get that race; he needed a good performance," Shirreffs said of the Oct. 22 allowance. "Distance is his thing."

El Don had foot abscess

El Don, the winner of two stakes earlier this year, was scratched from Saturday's California Cup Mile because of an abscess that surfaced in his foot, trainer Marty Jones said. It was not clear how much training El Don would miss.

Owned by Harris Farms and Don Valpredo, El Don, 5, has won 7 of 23 starts and $420,601. He was considered a leading candidate for the California Cup Mile.

Moscow Burning to be sold Monday

Moscow Burning, the richest California-bred female in history with earnings of $1,417,800, was expected to be retired after finishing fourth in Saturday's California Cup Distance Handicap.

The 2004 California-bred horse of the year, Moscow Burning is scheduled to be sold Monday at Keeneland as a racing or broodmare prospect. Owner Don Van Kempen said that Moscow Burning will sell with a $1 million reserve.

* Saturday's pick six pool reached $1,075,151, surpassing the $1 million figure guaranteed by management. There was one winning ticket, worth $596,966.80.

* The 10-cent superfecta in Sunday's sixth race returned $23,392.10 to four 10-cent ticketholders. Pawnee ($54.20) finished 2 3/4 lengths in front of 45-1 Forward Commitment, who was followed by 24-1 Silent Soul and 75-1 Heza Legend in a seven-furlong race for 2-year-old maidens.