04/12/2002 12:00AM

Overachiever Budroyale retired at 9


ARCADIA, Calif. - Budroyale, the gelding who went from a $50,000 claimer to the runner-up in the 1999 Breeders' Cup Classic, has been retired due to a minor injury, trainer Ted H. West said.

Earlier this week, the 9-year-old Budroyale was shipped to a farm in British Columbia, near the home of owner Jeffrey Sengara. Budroyale retires with 17 wins in 52 starts and earnings of $2,840,810. He made his final start last September, finishing fourth in the Pomona Invitational at Fairplex Park.

Following that race, he was given a lengthy vacation due to injury. He rejoined West at Santa Anita during the winter, but the attempt at a comeback ended last week.

"We said if he had any little thing, we wouldn't go on," West said. "He had a little filling in a leg, and we always said if he came back, we wanted him to be perfect."

A full brother to 2000 Horse of the Year Tiznow, Budroyale was claimed by Sengara for $50,000 at Santa Anita in February 1998. Later that year, Budroyale won the Grade 2 San Bernardino Handicap and California Cup Classic. Budroyale was at his best in 1999, winning four stakes in 11 starts - the Goodwood Breeders' Cup, Mervyn LeRoy, Longacres Mile, and Super Diamond handicaps. In the Breeders' Cup Classic at Gulfstream Park, he was sent off at 26-1 and finished 1 1/4 lengths behind Cat Thief.

In 2000, Budroyale won the Grade 2 San Antonio Handicap at Santa Anita, his final stakes victory, and finished second in the $1 million Santa Anita Handicap to General Challenge. His form tailed off later in 2000. Last year, he failed to finish in the first three in three starts.

"He took us a lot of places we never thought we'd be," West said.

The 1999 California-bred Horse of the Year, Budroyale ends his racing career in seventh-place on the all-time list of California-bred money earners.

Bute overage for Officer

Trainer Bob Baffert was fined $500 on Friday after a post-race test conducted last November revealed that Officer raced with an excessive amount of Butazolidin when he finished second in the California Cup Juvenile.

Officer was Baffert's top 2-year-old of 2001, winning the Champagne Stakes and Del Mar Futurity.

Baffert was fined $300 earlier at this meeting after Favorite Funtime, the winner of the Santa Maria Handicap in February, was found to have raced with an excessive amount of Bute.

Jack is back

Hall of Fame trainer Jack Van Berg has had his license restored following the settlement of an outstanding financial agreement, the stewards ruled on Friday.

Van Berg had been suspended since mid-March for failing to make a series of payments to a veterinarian. In his absence, his son Tim had operated the stable, which won two races last Sunday at Santa Anita.

Usual suspects in San Juan

Continental Red, the winner of the San Luis Rey Stakes on March 16, heads the list of probables for the $400,000 San Juan Capistrano Invitational Handicap on April 21, the closing day of the Santa Anita winter-spring meeting.

The field for the San Juan is expected to include Cagney, Chelsea Barracks, Keemoon, Ringaskiddy, Staging Post, and White Cloud. Run over about 1 3/4 miles on turf, the San Juan is the longest Grade 1 stakes in the United States.

Ringaskiddy, who was fourth in the San Luis Rey Stakes, may pass the San Juan Capistrano in favor of the $100,000 Quicken Tree Stakes for California-breds at Hollywood Park on April 28, trainer Juan Garcia said.

This year's running of the San Juan lacks a nationally prominent turf horse.

Conversely, the $250,000 Santa Barbara Handicap next Saturday will include two of the nation's leading turf females - Golden Apples and Astra. They were first and third, respectively, in the Santa Ana Handicap on March 23. Blue Moon, who won the Buena Vista Handicap over a mile on turf in February, is also expected to start in the Grade 2 Santa Barbara, run over 1 1/4 miles on turf.

The Santa Ana was Astra's first start since last August.

"There's no doubt" she'll be better with the race, trainer Laura de Seroux said.

Plans for Azeri

De Seroux also trains Azeri, the winner of the Santa Margarita and Apple Blossom handicaps this year, and who is considered the nation's top female on dirt. Azeri will run next in the $200,000 Milady Breeders' Cup Handicap over 1 1/16 miles at Hollywood Park on May 25, de Seroux said. De Seroux envisions a campaign that also includes the $250,000 Vanity Handicap at Hollywood Park on June 22, a break during the summer, and two races in the fall - the Breeders' Cup Distaff at Arlington Park and one prep race.

"She's just so easy to train," De Seroux said. "After the Santa Margarita, I gave her a week off and only had to breeze her twice. She doesn't need a lot. It would be easy to overdo it."

Friday night incentive

Hollywood Park will pay trainers $150 per starter on Friday night programs this spring and summer to offset additional labor costs. The track is hosting 12 Friday night programs during the meeting, which runs from April 24 through July 21.

In addition to the trainers' stipend, grooms will receive tickets for two free meals in the stable cafeteria for each horse they handle on Friday nights.

Hollywood Park will draw entries for its April 24 program on Saturday, April 20. Entries for Thursday, April 25, will be taken on Sunday, April 21.