03/27/2007 11:00PM

Oak Tree bids for 2008 Breeders' Cup


ARCADIA, Calif. - The Oak Tree Racing Association submitted a proposal on Wednesday to host the 2008 Breeders' Cup at Santa Anita, according to Oak Tree executive vice-president Sherwood Chillingworth.

Chillingworth said he hopes to learn whether the bid is successful by mid-April, after a meeting of the Breeders' Cup board of directors.

If successful, it would mark the fourth time that Oak Tree will host the Breeders' Cup, having done so in 1986, 1993, and 2003.

"I think we've put together an outstanding and thorough proposal," Chillingworth said. "We've done this three times already and we have a senior, experienced staff. We gave them a narrative from each department head for how things would be accomplished."

No dates have been finalized for the 2008 Breeders' Cup, Chillingworth said, but one possibility is Oct. 24-25. The Breeders' Cup is moving to a two-day format for the 2007 running at Monmouth Park, adding three $1 million races to the Friday program of that weekend.

A 2008 Breeders' Cup at the Oak Tree at Santa Anita meeting would be the first run on a synthetic track. California's major racetracks must install a synthetic surface by the end of this year to retain racing dates for 2008.

Santa Anita officials have said they will install such a surface this summer but have not announced which type of surface will be used.

Four surfaces are being considered - Cushion Track, currently in place at Hollywood Park; Polytrack, which is used at Keeneland, Turfway Park, and Woodbine and is being installed at Del Mar; Tapeta Footings, which will be installed at Golden Gate Fields this summer; and Pro-Ride, a surface manufactured in Australia.

Chillingworth said the Oak Tree proposal for the 2008 Breeders' Cup includes four $75,000 allowance races and three $250,000 races on Oct. 24 and four $75,000 allowance races on Oct. 25 in addition to the eight Breeders' Cup races.

Chillingworth said the addition of the allowance races will give locally-based horses lucrative opportunities on the Breeders' Cup weekend.

Gomez won't be around much

Garrett Gomez, the leading rider of the Santa Anita meeting, will ride sparingly here before the meeting ends on April 22, according to his agent, Ron Anderson.

Through Saturday, Gomez is in Dubai, where he has mounts in four seven-figure races on the Dubai World Cup undercard, including Friendly Island in the $2 million Golden Shaheen for sprinters.

He returns to Santa Anita on Sunday to ride Coco Belle in the Santa Paula Stakes, his only mount that day. Gomez is serving a five-day suspension this week for a riding infraction earlier at this meeting, but is able to ride the Santa Paula because it is graded and exempt from suspension.

Because he is riding more than one race on Saturday, Gomez's suspension will be extended to include next Wednesday's program. He will be eligible to ride next Thursday's Santa Anita program, Anderson said. Gomez will ride at Keeneland on April 6-7 and at Santa Anita on April 8, a day when Keeneland does not have a program because of the Easter holiday.

Anderson said that Gomez will relocate to Kentucky for the remainder of the Keeneland meeting, effective April 11. Gomez is not expected to ride at Santa Anita during the final two weeks of the meeting.

Through Sunday, Gomez led all riders at the meet with 80 wins. He has a 17-race lead on Victor Espinoza, who will miss the next three Saturday programs at Santa Anita to ride stakes at Gulfstream Park, Hawthorne, and Oaklawn Park.

Allowance better fit for Out of Control

Trainer Bobby Frankel briefly considered sending Out of Control to Dubai for Saturday's $2 million United Arab Emirates Derby.

Even though the Brazilian-bred Out of Control is a 4-year-old in the Northern Hemisphere, he is a still a 3-year-old by Southern Hemisphere standards and is eligible for the UAE Derby.

Frankel said he passed on the UAE Derby because of concern over the toll the trip could take. As a consolation, Out of Control starts in a $59,000 allowance race over 1 1/16 miles in Friday's first race.

"I think he's a really nice horse," Frankel said. "I want him to have a nice year. He just turned 3 in October."

Out of Control has won 2 of 5 starts, the most recent of which was an allowance race over a mile here on Feb. 23.

Friday's race drew only five entrants. Out of Control's biggest threat is C'Mon Tiger, a half-brother to 2000 Horse of the Year Tiznow. Trained by Bob Baffert, C'Mon Tiger was second in the Santana Mile on dirt here on March 11.

One Off's flop can be discounted

One Off, who finished last of seven in the Grade 2 San Luis Rey Handicap last Saturday, may return in the $250,000 San Juan Capistrano Handicap, a race in which he finished second in 2006.

Sent off favored, One Off ran on the inside throughout the San Luis Rey, a position that may not have suited the 7-year-old, according to John O'Donoghue, the assistant trainer to trainer Neil Drysdale.

"He hates to be pinned on the inside," O'Donoghue said. "You can throw that race out."

Drysdale won the San Luis Rey with Fourty Niners Son, giving the stable its third consecutive win in a turf distance stakes at the meeting. The Drysdale team won the San Marcos Stakes in January with One Off and the San Luis Obispo Handicap in February with Obrigado.

Sorenson on crutches

Jockey Danny Sorenson will be sidelined indefinitely while recovering from a broken hip sustained in a training accident at Hollywood Park last weekend.

Sorenson, 49, attended training at Santa Anita Park on Wednesday morning, getting around with the aid of crutches.

"The time frame is up in the air," Sorenson said of his return. "I'll know more in a few weeks."

Sorenson said he had two stabilizing rods inserted in the leg for support during a surgery last weekend and is hoping to learn more from doctors in April about his long-term prognosis.