12/31/2002 12:00AM

Northerners fail at Santa Anita


ALBANY, Calif. - Northern California runners emerged from last week's invasion of Santa Anita with no victories.

D's Bertrando, northern California's top hope, was favored in the California Breeders' Champion Stakes for 2-year-olds at seven furlongs but ran a disappointing seventh.

"He didn't like the track at all," said jockey Russell Baze, who had a rare winless stretch over the last week. "He must have changed leads four times just coming out of the chute."

Trainer Jeff Bonde said the colt lost a shoe and bruised a foot when he hopped as he moved from the chute to the main track. He said the track was too hard for the colt, who will return in the Jan. 11 Golden Gate Derby if his foot is all right.

Erica's Smile, also trained by Bonde, finished third in the Grade 1 La Brea after setting the pace.

Bonde said the Florida-bred Erica's Smile would be pointed to one of the races in the upcoming Sunshine Millions matching Florida-breds and California-breds at Gulfstream and Santa Anita on Jan. 25.

Trainer Jerry Hollendorfer's previously undefeated Lacie Girl pressed the pace and faded to finish sixth, and his Lost at Sea rated early, never got on track, and finished eighth in the La Brea.

"I thought [Lacie Girl] ran okay," Hollendorfer said. He is considering the $750,000 Sunshine Millions Distaff for Lost at Sea's return.

U S S Tinosa finished seventh in the Grade 1 Malibu on Thursday in his first race since the Preakness.

Hollendorfer said no decision had been made on U S S Tinosa's next start, but it could come in the 1 1/16-mile San Fernando, the second race in the Strub Series, to be run on Jan. 11.

Denali Cat ran third in the California Breeders Champion Stakes for 2-year-old fillies. She sat behind early leader Humorous Lady and took the lead in the lane. She couldn't hold off Pocketfullofpesos and Long Term Wish but did hold third easily.

"She's a nice filly," trainer Brian Koriner said. "The first race" - in which she ran second to Watch Out World and finished ahead of Grade 1 winner Elloluv - "she wasn't really cranked up and drew the rail."

Koriner said Denali Cat is nominated to the Sunshine Millions but that she would probably run in the Jan. 19 Miss California, a $60,000-added race at six furlongs at Golden Gate Fields.

Watch Out World, who won her first two starts, bled and finished ninth in the Champion Stakes.

"I'd like to get an easy race for her next time out," trainer Armando Lage said. "We were thinking at first of the Sunshine Millions, but we want an easy place for her, so we may look at the Miss California."

The Bonde-trained Jaciro, coming off a victory in her debut, was seventh, fading late from the inside after possibly flipping her soft palate.

Aly Bubba ran fourth in the one-mile Sir Beaufort on the turf but finished fastest as he trailed the winning Inesperado by 1 1/2 lengths.

"He came back fine," trainer Holly Evans said. "We'll take it one day at a time. I'd love to run up here, but there are a couple races down there on the turf that we'll look at."