03/21/2008 11:00PM

Polonius eyeing Santa Anita Derby


\ARCADIA, Calif. - Polonius, who won his stakes debut in the one-mile Pasadena Stakes on turf on March 15, is likely to make his graded stakes and main-track debut in the $750,000 Santa Anita Derby on April 5, trainer Michael Pender said.

Pender, who gained his first stakes win in the Pasadena, said he was considering the Wood Memorial at Aqueduct, the Arkansas Derby at Oaklawn Park, and the Santa Anita Derby, and added, "I'd like to stay here at home."

Owned by B.J. Wright, Polonius has won 2 of 3 starts. He beat maidens in a six-furlong turf race at Hollywood Park last July and was off until February, when he finished fourth in an optional claimer on the hillside turf course. The Pasadena Stakes, which he won by four lengths from the front, was his first start around two turns.

Pender said it's worth taking a chance with the turf-proven Polonius in the Santa Anita Derby.

"You're only 3 once," he said.

The Santa Anita Derby is run over 1 1/8 miles on the synthetic main track, and may include Gayego, the runner-up to Georgie Boy in the Grade 2 San Felipe Stakes over 1 1/16 miles on March 15.

Trainer Paulo Lobo said he was undecided between the Santa Anita Derby and the Arkansas Derby on April 12, and will likely decide this week.

Other hopefuls for the Santa Anita Derby are stakes winners Colonel John, El Gato Malo, Georgie Boy, and Yankee Bravo.

The Santa Anita Derby field probably will not include Nikki'sgoldensteed, the runner-up in the Grade 3 El Camino Real Derby, or Shediak, who finished eighth in the Grade 2 San Felipe.

Nikki'sgoldensteed is being pointed for the $500,000 Illinois Derby at Hawthorne on April 5, trainer Bob Hess Jr. said.

Shediak, third in a Group 1 for 2-year-olds in France last year, emerged from the San Felipe with a "ton of mucus," according to trainer Doug O'Neill. Shediak will be pointed for the $750,000 Blue Grass Stakes at Keeneland on April 12.

Reflect Times injured, out indefinitely

Reflect Times, third in the Grade 2 Robert Lewis Stakes on Feb. 2, is off the Kentucky Derby trail after being found to have a bone chip in a knee, trainer John Shirreffs said on Saturday.

Reflect Times was scheduled to undergo surgery on Saturday to have the chip removed. He will be out of training indefinitely.

Owned by Koji Maeda, Reflect Times has won 2 of 4 stars and $99,000. He was fourth in the Grade 3 Sham Stakes here on March 1. The injury was diagnosed after a workout on March 14, Shirreffs said.

Return to old schedule at Hollywood

Hollywood Park has requested a Wednesday-through-Sunday racing schedule for its upcoming spring-summer meeting, which runs from April 23 to July 13. The application request will be heard by the California Horse Racing Board at its monthly meeting in San Mateo, Calif., on Thursday.

Hollywood Park has run on Wednesdays through Sundays in the past, but Santa Anita is running a Thursday-through-Monday schedule at its current meeting.

Hollywood Park will offer a $1 Super High Five, which requires bettors to correctly select the first five finishers on the final race in exact order. The bet was launched at Santa Anita in December.

Santa Anita discontinued the $1 superfecta on the final race to boost interest in the Super High Five, but Hollywood Park president Jack Liebau said that a $1 superfecta will also be offered on the final race.

Gregson Foundation benefit

The California Thoroughbred Trainers association is holding a benefit dinner for the Edwin J. Gregson Foundation on April 15, honoring the accomplishments of Thoroughbred owners Mace and Samantha Siegel.

The dinner will be held at Twin Palms restaurant in Pasadena at 6:30 p.m. Tickets are $200 each, or $2,000 for a table of 10. The Gregson Foundation provides funding for college scholarships for the children of backstretch workers.

For further information, contact Angie Carmona at (626) 447-2339.