09/14/2004 11:00PM

Pleasantly Perfect works with eye on ultimate goal


ARCADIA, Calif. - Pleasantly Perfect will not race again until Oct. 30 at Lone Star Park, when he defends his title in the Breeders' Cup Classic. But he's hardly on vacation. On Wednesday morning at Santa Anita, Pleasantly Perfect worked five furlongs in 1:00.80, as trainer Richard Mandella continues to mark time until the more serious work begins next month.

"He kind of cruised along," Mandella said. "I'm just giving him a few little things to keep him busy."

Crystal Brown, Pleasantly Perfect's regular exercise rider, was aboard for the drill.

Last year, Pleasantly Perfect came off a lengthy layoff to win the Goodwood Breeders' Cup Handicap at Santa Anita's Oak Tree meeting. He used that as a springboard to the Classic. This year, because Pleasantly Perfect has had recent races, Mandella is training him straight into the Classic.

"He had a couple of races at Del Mar, so I think it's best to train him up to the Breeders' Cup," Mandella said. "He trained two months up to the Dubai race after running in the San Antonio, and this is two months." Mandella said Pleasantly Perfect is "just as good or better" than last year.

Pleasantly Perfect was one of four winners for Mandella at last year's Breeders' Cup at Santa Anita's Oak Tree meeting. Another of those winners, Halfbridled, returned to the track for a light jog on Wednesday after a lengthy vacation. Halfbridled, last year's winner of the Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies, has not raced since tying up the morning of the Kentucky Oaks on April 30.

A candidate for this year's Juvenile Fillies, Del Mar Debutante winner Sweet Catomine, worked five furlongs Wednesday morning in 59.40 seconds. "She worked super," said her trainer, Julio Canani.

Sweet Catomine is scheduled to make her next start in the $200,000 Oak Leaf Stakes on Oct. 2.

Forever Foxy wins again

The 2-year-old gelding Forever Foxy ($7.60) ran his record to 3 for 3 Tuesday at Fairplex Park with a courageous nose win in the $58,200 Beau Brummel Stakes. The problem now will be the difficulty for owner-breeder Lath Hoffman and trainer Jerry Fanning to place him. A son of Foxtrail, Forever Foxy may be in tough against open company, and though he was foaled in California, he is not considered a California-bred because his dam was not bred back in the state.

Danny Sorenson rode Forever Foxy to the win over 7-5 favorite Fallfree, with Lotta Loot another three-quarters of a length back in third. The final time (1:19.20) was the slowest since the Beau Brummel became a 6 1/2-furlong race in 1986.

"I thought he would beat those colts easily the way he trained, so he disappointed me a little bit," Fanning said.

The stakes win was Fanning's 27th at the Los Angeles County Fair, second on the trainers' all-time list behind Mel Stute (42). It was the first Fairplex stakes win for Fanning since the 1996 E.B. Johnston. Fanning, 71, has 15 horses in training, and said "I haven't had anything that could outrun me for about 10 years."

Bisono suspended

Apprentice rider Alex Bisono was handed a three-day suspension (Sept. 17-19) for an incident in the eighth race Sunday that resulted in his mount, Rhino Chaser, being disqualified from first and placed second. Fairplex stewards suspended Bisono "for failure to make a proper effort to maintain a straight course and causing interference in the stretch." Bisono is 1 for 27 at the meet; apprentice David Cohen is 1 for 8.

The immediate beneficiary of Bisono's disqualification was jockey Martin Pedroza, whose Gassan Rock was placed first. Through Tuesday, after five days of the 17-day Los Angeles County Fair meet, Pedroza - the all-time leading rider here - has turned the jockey race into a runaway. Pedroza won with 14 of his first 35 starters, a 40 percent win rate, which has him 10 clear of Omar Figueroa in second place. Pedroza won two races Tuesday, and is on pace to equal the single-season win record of 48 set by David Flores in 1991.

- additional reporting by Brad Free