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No BC for Santa Catarina
DEL MAR, Calif. - Santa Catarina, the winner of the Hollywood Oaks and the runner-up in the Kentucky Oaks, has been taken out of serious training and will not start in the Breeders' Cup Distaff at Santa Anita in October, trainer Bob Baffert said.
During the first round of the Breeders' Cup Future Bet in late July, Santa Catarina closed at 24-1 in betting for the Distaff.
"I'll freshen her up," Baffert said. "She's had little physical problems. She'd have to run against Azeri, and I want her to grow up. She needs the time."
Owned by Bob and Beverly Lewis, Santa Catarina has won 3 of 10 starts and earned $645,260. The Hollywood Oaks is her lone stakes win. Aside from the Kentucky Oaks, Santa Catarina has placed third in the Black-Eyed Susan Stakes at Pimlico in May and fourth in the American Oaks as the favorite at Hollywood Park on July 5, her lone start on turf.
Baffert is planning to have Santa Catarina ready for the three-race La Canada series for 4-year-old fillies of 2004 at Santa Anita. The series starts with the La Brea Stakes over seven furlongs in late December.
Small Pacific Classic field likely
Only five horses are likely for Sunday's $1 million Pacific Classic, which would equal the smallest field in the history of the 12-year-old race. In 1997, Gentlemen beat four opponents. On three other occasions, the race has drawn six runners.
Candy Ride, Fleetstreet Dancer, Kudos, Medaglia d'Oro, and Milwaukee Brew are probable. Medaglia d'Oro, the winner of the Whitney and Oaklawn handicaps this year, is expected to be favored over the undefeated Candy Ride, who won the Grade 2 American Handicap at Hollywood Park on turf in his last start on July 4.
There were 14 nominations for the Pacific Classic, and there is a chance that a longshot could join the field. Grand Hombre, a 3-year-old trained in New Jersey by Dennis Manning, is under consideration for the race, while trainer Dan Hendricks has not ruled out Reba's Gold, the third-place finisher in the San Diego Handicap on Aug. 3.
"He's just doing super," Hendricks said. "The track was so biased that day I feel like I won. I nominated because you have to have an option if two horses get sick. You've got to cover yourself.'
Taste of Paradise won the San Diego Handicap, leading throughout. Although he was nominated for the Pacific Classic, Taste of Paradise is more likely to start in the $250,000 Del Mar Breeders' Cup Handicap over a mile on Sept. 1.
French import due in for Oaks
Hendricks will start Well Done My Love in Sunday's $300,000 Del Mar Oaks over 1 1/8 miles on turf for 3-year-old fillies. Arrangements were being finalized over the weekend for owner Cecil Peacock to acquire Well Done My Love from owners in France.
In her final start in that country, Well Done My Love finished second to males in a handicap at Deauville on Aug. 10.
The Grade 1 Oaks will include Atlantic Ocean, Cassis, Dessert, Katdogawn, Personal Legend, Solar Echo, and Star Vega. Cassis won the Musidora Stakes in England in May and is making her U.S. debut. Katdogawn won the San Clemente Handicap on Aug. 2.
Peacock owns Don'tsellmeshort, the winner of the Graduation Stakes on Aug. 1.
Olivares scores comeback win
Jockey Frank Olivares, who returned to riding after a 12-year break last month, won the first race of his comeback on Thursday aboard the front-running Tacticalfortyniner in a maiden claimer.
Olivares, 53, returned to riding on July 6. Tacticalfortyniner was his 10th mount of the year and his 1,776th career winner. Olivares retired from riding in 1990 after a 22-year career.
Tacticalfortyniner led by a length on the backstretch and widened through the stretch to score by a comfortable 5 1/2 lengths.
"It felt good to have some horse turning for home," Olivares said.
Olivares trained Tacticalfortyniner, who was making his seventh career start and first in a year. Tacticalfortyniner, 4, was turned over to Bill Spawr after Olivares announced in June that he was disbanding his public stable to return to riding.
"He's had some minor problems, and that kept him from doing his best," Olivares said of Tacticalfortyniner. "When we gelded him he changed almost overnight. I always thought he could run. I thought he would be a good 3-year-old.
Olivares had one mount on Sunday but none Monday.
"I knew this would be tough, but I thought I'd have more opportunities," he said. "I thought I'd get more shots. Maybe now."
Arabic Song may start in Palomar
Arabic Song, the upset winner of the $79,975 Osunitas Handicap last Wednesday, will be considered for the $150,000 Palomar Breeders' Cup Handicap on Sept. 7, trainer Neil Drysdale said.
Arabic Song won her first stakes in the Osunitas, benefiting from an ideal trip under jockey Corey Nakatani and overcoming the trouble that plagued some runners.
Arabic Song ($21.20) ran 1 1/16 miles on turf in 1:40.61. The final time was only .60 seconds off the course record on a surface that has played fast throughout the meeting. The Grade 2 Palomar Handicap is run over the same distance.
Arabic Song finished a half-length in front of Belleski, who had set the pace to the top of the stretch. Spring Star, the race's 8-5 favorite, finished a troubled third.
When the field crossed from the infield chute onto the main turf course, Southern Oasis leapt into the air and veered out, bothering Spring Star and the longshot Voz de Colegiala.
Arabic Song was racing to the inside and avoided the trouble.
Owned by Anthony Speelman, Arabic Song, 4, has won 4 of 15 starts and $218,323.
Three headed to Longacres Mile
As many as three Southern California-based horses will start in Sunday's $250,000 Longacres Mile at Emerald Downs. Sky Jack, the winner of the 2000 California Cup Classic and an allowance race last month at Hollywood Park, is the 122-pound topweight. Russell Baze has the mount, according to trainer Doug O'Neill.
Gondolieri, a troubled second in the San Diego, and Daunting, the winner of the Claiming Crown Jewel last month at Canterbury Park, are the other California-based starters.