11/23/2004 12:00AM

No Greek Sun, no favorite

Benoit & Associates
Greek Sun will be out of action for a few months because of ankle inflammation.

INGLEWOOD, Calif. - The surprise defection of Greek Sun from the Grade 1 Hollywood Derby on Sunday has thrown the race into disarray and left it without a legitimate favorite. Greek Sun, winner of the Grade 2 Oak Tree Derby in his most recent start and an apparent standout in the 1 1/4-mile Hollywood Derby, will instead be sidelined for several months, trainer Bobby Frankel said Tuesday.

"He's going to have a few months off, but he'll be back," Frankel said. "He just has a little problem. He'll be all right. He might have a good 4-year-old year."

Frankel said the setback to Greek Sun included inflammation around an ankle and that it would not require surgery. Greek Sun is a son of Danzig with four wins and earnings of $342,652 from six starts.

Blackdoun, trained by Julio Canani, may inherit favoritism in the Hollywood Derby despite questions about his ability to stay 1 1/4 miles. Blackdoun won the 1 1/8-mile Del Mar Derby in early September and in his most recent start finished seventh with a tough trip in the Breeders' Cup Mile. A field of 12 is expected when Hollywood Derby entries are drawn Thursday. In approximate order of odds, the likely field includes Blackdoun, Laura's Lucky Boy, Fast and Furious, Hendrix, Imperialism, Fight Club, Good Reward, Joursanvault, Terroplane, Timo, Willy, and On the Acorn.

Topweights out of Turf Express

The Grade 3 Hollywood Turf Express on Friday will be run without the two highweights - neither the 2003 Breeders' Cup Sprint winner, Cajun Beat, nor Kentucky-based Battle Won will enter the race, which is run at 5 1/2 furlongs. Cajun Beat, trained by Frankel, was assigned top weight of 122 pounds, an amount that Frankel said he will not accept for a $150,000 race. Battle Won, the second highweight at 120 pounds, is aiming for a race in Hong Kong.

The Turf Express is part of a graded stakes doubleheader Friday that kicks off the three-day Autumn Turf Festival. Geronimo and Hombre Rapido are expected to be the 117-pound co-highweights; De Valmont and Golden Arrow were assigned 115; and Only the Best was assigned 113.

The Friday card includes the Grade 3 Miesque Stakes for 2-year-old fillies, a mile turf race that is expected to attract a field of at least 10. More than half the field will be making their U.S. debut. The imports include Louvain, Mac Rhapsody, Royal Copenhagen, Lady Le Questne, and Witten. Familiar races include Oak Tree stakes winner Conveyor's Angel and Keeneland stakes winner Paddy's Daisy. Wise Investor and Kenza also will enter.

Skiable gives Frankel pleasant surprise

When the Juddmonte-owned Skiable retired in 1994 after winning one of seven U.S. starts for Frankel, Frankel recommended she not join the Juddmonte broodmare band. "She was a little tiny thing," he said. "She was half the size of Megahertz. I told them, 'This is one that I wouldn't breed.' Then she goes and throws a Group 1 winner. Shows you what I know about breeding. Since then, I don't say anything."

The Group 1 winner to which Frankel referred is Three Valleys, a 3-year-old son of Diesis out of the broodmare Skiable and a live longshot when he makes his U.S. debut Saturday in the Grade 1 Citation Handicap. Three Valleys was one of the highest rated 2-year-olds in England last year, though disqualified from a Group 1 win after testing positive for clenbuterol. A severe mucus problem allowed him to start only twice this year, but Frankel said Three Valleys has done well since arriving in the U.S. in September.

"He's a good horse, and he's fit," Frankel said, adding, "I don't know about the distance."

A 3-year-old, Three Valleys was never considered for the Hollywood Derby. Even at 1 1/16 miles, the Citation will be uncharted territory for a colt who has not gone beyond a mile.

Three Valleys got a break in the weights and will be the low weight at 113 pounds. He is one of three Frankel entrants in the Citation. Nothing to Lose, trained by Frankel, and Special Ring, trained by Canani, were assigned 120; Frankel's third starter is Leroidesanimaux, the third highweight at 117. Singletary was assigned top weight of 123 but will not run. The Citation field is expected to include Buckland Manor, Tsigane, Gondolieri, Mingun, A to the Z, Fairly Ransom, and Three Valleys. The Grade 3 Generous Stakes for 2-year-olds will also be run Saturday.

Musical Chimes to return next year

Musical Chimes, the likely favorite Sunday in the Grade 1 Matriarch, will stay in training as a 5-year-old next year, according to trainer Neil Drysdale. Meanwhile, two other 4-year-old fillies expected to make their swan song in the Matriarch worked a half-mile Tuesday. Juddmonte Farms-owned Intercontinental and Etoile Montante will run as an entry in the Matriarch and worked 48.60 and 49.20 seconds, respectively. The Matriarch field, listed in approximate order of odds, will include Musical Chimes, Denebola, Ticker Tape, Island Fashion, Intercontinental and Etoile Montante, Hoh Buzzard, Ocean Drive, and Quero Quero.

Revealed another prospect for Shirreffs

There is no hotter trainer at Hollywood Park than John Shirreffs, who has won six races from just 13 starters. "Horses that can run always make you look good," he said Tuesday. Soon enough, it will be clear just how fast his 2-year-old filly Revealed can run. A daughter of Old Trieste, Revealed scored an impressive one-length debut win Sunday at 6 1/2 furlongs, after which owner-breeder Marty Wygod said she may jump right into the Grade 1 Hollywood Starlet on Dec. 19.

Revealed earned an 83 Beyer even while failing to switch leads, running with her head in the air, and racing at a distance shorter than she prefers. She produced enough speed to press the pace along the rail, slipped between the pacesetter and the rail on the turn, and won by a length in 1:16.77.

Costume Designer won a turf allowance sprint for Shirreffs on Sunday and would run in the Grade 3 Monrovia Handicap during the winter meet at Santa Anita.

Hello Lucky bled in Moccasin

Hello Lucky, the 5-2 second favorite in the Moccasin Stakes on Sunday, had an excuse for her sixth-place finish. According to trainer Chris Paasch, she bled enough to cause her defeat.

"She was all wound up before the race, more than normal," Paasch said. "We're going to give her some time off. She won't run until the Sunshine Millions."