03/14/2005 12:00AM

Pickle no stranger to quick returns

Benoit & Associates
Megahertz, who hasn't raced since December, finished first in last year's Santa Ana but was disqualified for interference and placed seventh.

ARCADIA, Calif. - The Grade 2 Santa Ana Handicap on Sunday will be a meeting of extreme opposites if the filly Pickle faces lightly campaigned Megahertz in the 1 1/8-mile turf race.

Pickle won her U.S. debut Saturday in a classified race at Bay Meadows, and trainer Sandy Shulman will consider wheeling Pickle back eight days later in the Santa Ana. It would not be the first time she has put together an ambitious campaign, as Shulman pointed out - In England, she won three races in eight days.

Last July in England, Pickle raced five times at four tracks in a 24-day span, and ended her European career with 4 wins from 14 starts. Pickle was purchased by Ron Charles and Clear Valley Stables at the end of the season, and enters spring in the United States as a fresh filly. Her Bay Meadows victory Saturday was her first start in more than five months, it earned a Beyer Speed Figure of 97, and increased her career earnings to $73,595. Sunday, Pickle would be in tough against a top-class filly coming off a three-month rest.

Megahertz is expected to be favored when she runs for the first time since December. A 6-year-old mare who has won 10 races and $1.4 million from 28 starts, Megahertz raced all of six times last year and has a score to settle. Trained by Bobby Frankel, she won the Santa Ana last year but was disqualified and placed seventh for interference. In addition to Megahertz, the field is expected to include Ask for the Moon, Katdogawn, Moscow Burning, and Stupendous Miss.

Delayed debut for Moth Ball

When the 2-year-old English colt Moth Ball arrived in the United States last fall with outstanding form that included victory a listed stakes at York, he looked like a genuine contender to win the Grade 3 Generous right off the plane. He never got the chance.

Moth Ball was loaded in the Hollywood Park starting gate Nov. 27, but he reared, fell over backward, and was scratched.

"I had to back off him a little bit because he had nicks and scrapes," trainer Jim Cassidy said. "He had a little bit of an attitude when he got here."

In the three and a half months since then, Moth Ball has settled down, and will embark on his U.S. career Saturday in the one-mile Pasadena Stakes for 3-year-olds at a mile on turf.

"He's training like a monster," Cassidy said, "I think he's a better horse today than he was for the Generous."

While Cassidy does not have Kentucky Derby aspirations for Moth Ball, the colt may end up at Churchill Downs in early May anyway. Moth Ball will run Saturday in the Pasadena, and April 16 in the La Puente at Santa Anita, then ship to Churchill for the Grade 3 Crown Royal on May 6, Kentucky Oaks day. Moth Ball won 3 of 8 races last year and finished his campaign with a 110 Timeform rating before he was sold.

Owner fined for paddock incident

Owner Michael Conboy has been fined $500 for disorderly conduct in a dispute with a fan in the paddock before the fourth race on March 9.

Conboy, a client of trainer Jeff Mullins, was cited for his reaction to taunts directed at Mullins by a fan wearing a dunce cap, track stewards said. Mullins had a starter in the fourth race on March 9.

Conboy appeared before track stewards on Thursday and apologized for his action toward the fan, track stewards said.

Mullins was at the center of a controversy last week following the publication of a column in the Los Angeles Times on March 6 quoting Mullins as saying that anyone who bets on horses is "an addict or an idiot" and that "if you bet on horses, I would call you an idiot." Mullins said that his comments were taken out of context and were directed only to the writer, T.J. Simers, and not to bettors in general.

Revealed sidelined until summer

Revealed was one race away from Kentucky Oaks consideration for owner-breeder Marty Wygod, but an injury suffered in the March 6 La Habra Stakes will prevent her from racing though the middle of the racing season.

Wygod said Revealed came out of her seventh-place finish in the La Habra with a hairline fracture of her pelvis, and she was not expected to resume training until late summer. She has won 2 of 4 races.

Solis expected back Wednesday

Jockey Alex Solis, who was kicked in the paddock before Sunday's sixth race, was scheduled to work horses on Tuesday morning and return to the races on Wednesday, his agent, Scotty McClellan, said Monday.

Solis was kicked in his right thigh by the 4-year-old gelding Ed Said as he prepared to mount the horse. Solis hobbled back to the jockeys' room and took the rest of the day off.

"It swelled up, and he got a little nervous, but it's just a hematoma," McClellan said.

Huge pick six pool

A two-day pick six carryover of $500,473 attracted another $1,944,314 in wagers on Sunday for a total pool of $2,444,787. There were 48 winning tickets, each returning $32,917.20. Bettors benefited by having a heavy favorite, Sweet Catomine, in the next-to-last pick six race, the Santa Anita Oaks.

The consolation payoff for picking five out of six winners was $237.

* Jockey Kent Desormeaux will sit out the first three racing days of the week. Desormeaux received a three-day suspension from stewards, Wednesday through Friday, for "careless riding," last Friday, when his mount, El Don, was disqualified from third and placed fourth.

* HorseRacing TV will re-air a special on the venerable gelding John Henry on Wednesday at 8 a.m. Pacific. "John Henry: Standing Tall at 30," includes replays of all 12 of John Henry's stakes victories at Santa Anita.

- additional reporting by Steve Andersen and Jay Privman