10/07/2001 11:00PM

Officer to train for Cup in California


ELMONT, N.Y. - Officer, who kept his perfect record intact with a dominant victory in Saturday's Champagne Stakes at Belmont Park, will do the bulk of his training for the Breeders' Cup in Southern California, trainer Bob Baffert said.

Officer was scheduled to ship back to California on Tuesday and will train at Santa Anita before flying back to New York on Oct. 23 for the Breeders' Cup Juvenile, which will be run here on Oct. 27.

"I'd rather have him here with me," Baffert said Monday from Southern California. "The weather [in New York] changes like that and it sort of scares me. I want him here with me. I know everything about him."

After dominating his rivals in California, Officer did the same in New York, winning the Champagne by 3 3/4 lengths while being eased across the finish line by jockey Victor Espinoza.

As awesome as Officer was, Baffert was somewhat melancholy discussing Officer. There was a noticeable lack of excitement at Belmont on Saturday, where only 13,653 attended the stakes-filled card. Baffert attributed it to the effect of the terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center last month.

"It was hard to get excited about that win," Baffert said. "It was nice to win, but the excitement wasn't there. The Champagne is supposed to be a great race but there was no buzz, there was no excitement."

On Friday, Baffert visited the World Trade Center site, known as Ground Zero. "You see that and you think 'How can this happen in America?' "Baffert said. "Right now, they're still mourning in New York; this is not the time to get excited."

Hap likely for BC Turf

Despite winning Sunday's Shadwell Keeneland Turf Mile impressively, Hap is expected to be pointed to the $2 million Breeders' Cup Turf at 12 furlongs, trainer Bill Mott said Monday.

"I'm still leaning to the 1 1/2-mile Turf," Mott said. "That's what the plan was going into it. We don't have to decide today. I'm sure a lot of people will think I'm crazy going to the mile-and-a-half."

Before Sunday, Hap was 0 for 4 at a mile, including a ninth-place finish in last year's Mile. Before that, he finished fifth in the Kelso, a mile stakes run at Belmont.

"He's tried a flat mile at Belmont and hasn't won," Mott said. "I think the Kelso was his flattest race. I just don't think it suits him."

Hap is unbeaten at nine furlongs and he showed Mott he could get a distance of ground with a solid second-place finish in the Arlington Million at 1 1/4 miles. "The thing is, he's he pretty kind, he'll rate," Mott said.

Cashier's Dream unlikely for Cup

Cashier's Dream, who finished second to You in Saturday's Grade 1 Frizette, probably will not be supplemented to the Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies and most likely will be given the rest of the year off, her connections said Monday.

It would cost $90,000 to supplement Cashier's Dream to the race and her connections - specifically Team Valor - lost money the last time they supplemented a horse to the Breeders' Cup, despite finishing third.

Barry Irwin, president of Team Valor which owns the filly in partnership with Helligbrodt Racing, felt Cashier's Dream was compromised in the Frizette by the wind, the rail, and the fact that speed was not holding.

"We had no shot," Irwin said. "I still think the filly can run a mile and a sixteenth, I don't think that's her best distance. As [trainer] Steve Asmussen said, I think we got Safely Kept and a couple of bonus races out of her. The only thing that sticks in my mind is the track could be completely different on Breeders' Cup Day. If speed is king on a day like that we can be competitive."

Irwin said that Cashier's Dream would probably be put away for the rest of the year and brought back in the spring to point for races like the Acorn and Test, both Grade 1's run around one turn.

"Then we'll make a Breeders' Cup Sprint horse out of her for the rest of her life," Irwin said.

Concussion sidelines Davis

Jockey Robbie Davis suffered a mild concussion as the result of a spill in Sunday's fifth race and will be out indefinitely.

Davis was aboard Prime Pine, the 7-5 favorite, who clipped heels with Hallucinogen entering the far turn. Davis was unseated and hit the ground hard. He lay on the ground for several minutes before being taken off the track on a stretcher. He was taken to North Shore Hospital where he was treated and released.

"I've got a headache and I'm pretty sore, so I'll just lay low for a couple of days," Davis said. "My neck really hurts; I think I had a kind of whiplash."

Davis said he couldn't remember anything that happened.

Decisions, decisions

Several trainers will have some serious thinking to do before Oct. 24, the day entries are taken for the Breeders' Cup.

After watching City Zip run a respectable third in Saturday's Kelso Handicap, trainer Linda Rice and her owners must decide whether to point him to the Breeders' Cup Mile or the Sprint. Rice said City Zip will be pre-entered in both races, giving her more time to decide. Pre-entries are due next Monday.

"We were very pleased with his effort," Rice said of the Kelso. "Jorge Chavez after the race said if the turf had been firm he felt we would have had a better outcome. We'll leave our options open for the Sprint and the Mile. We're going to need this week to decide."

Meanwhile, Pat Reynolds must decide whether to run Peeping Tom in the Breeders' Cup or the Sport Page Handicap the day before. Peeping Tom finished fourth, 5 1/2 lengths behind Delaware Township in Sunday's Forest Hills Handicap. It was his first start since July 4.

"He didn't run badly, he just needed a race," Reynolds said. "If he were an easier horse to train, it would have been easier to get him ready for this."

Regarding the Breeders' Cup, Reynolds said, "Where do you get a chance to run for a million dollars?"

* Kid Miraglia was ordered scratched from Monday's fifth race by the stewards after someone affiliated with the horse was spotted feeding him unidentified yellow and black capsules in the paddock. Kid Miraglia is a 4-year-old gelding who had yet to race. He is owned by Ron Curraro, Frank Albanese, and Ed Barker, who is also the trainer. The horse was ordered to the test barn to have a urine sample taken, according to Jockey Club steward Ted Hill.