03/07/2007 1:00AM

Proud Tower Too out with injury


ARCADIA, Calif. - Proud Tower Too, the winner of the $2 million Golden Shaheen in Dubai in 2006, is out for at least six months after being found to have a tear in a tendon earlier this week, trainer Sal Gonzalez said.

There is a chance that Proud Tower Too will not return to racing and could be retired to stud if he does not sufficiently recover, Gonzalez said.

The injury was detected after Proud Tower Too returned to training on Sunday following a half-mile workout at Hollywood Park on March 2.

"On Monday, I noticed heat in that tendon," Gonzalez said. "We scanned it and he has a very small tear on a tendon. He's been so good to us that it's best not to run."

Gonzalez is taking a cautious approach to Proud Tower Too's future. He said there has been interest from California farms about standing the 5-year-old at stud.

"We'll give him five or six months and see how he feels," he said. "It will set us back a year. We'll see how he does, and if not, we'll stand him."

Owned by Daniel Cardenas's Tricar Stable, Proud Tower Too has won 7 of 22 starts and $1,735,572. He has won four stakes, including the Grade 1 Malibu Stakes at Santa Anita in 2005.

Since his win in the Golden Shaheen, Proud Tower Too is winless in three starts, the most recent of which was a second-place finish in the Grade 2 San Carlos Handicap at Santa Anita in February.

Two out of Santa Margarita

The major stakes winners Joint Effort and Sugar Shake were withdrawn from Saturday's $300,000 Santa Margarita Invitational Handicap on Wednesday because of minor ailments, their trainers said.

Joint Effort, the winner of the $500,000 Sunshine Millions Distaff here on Jan. 27, is fighting an abscess in a foot, trainer Dale Romans said.

Sugar Shake, the winner of the Grade 2 El Encino and Grade 1 Santa Maria Handicap at the Santa Anita meeting, has a temperature, trainer Bobby Frankel said.

The absence of those two has left Balance a heavy favorite in the Grade 1 Santa Margarita, which is run over 1 1/8 miles on the main track. The other probable starters are Ermine, Les Ry Leigh, River Savage, and Vanguarda.

Frankel requested an invitation for Witch Woman, who finished fourth in the La Canada Stakes behind Balance on Feb. 11. At the same time, Frankel questions whether Witch Woman can win the Santa Margarita.

"I don't think she can beat that field," Frankel said.

Joint Effort is based in Florida with Romans. As of Wednesday, the abscess had yet to dissolve, Romans said.

"I won't bring her out there with that kind of blip," Romans said. "She was doing great, but that foot is bugging her."

Romans said the $500,000 Apple Blossom Handicap at Oaklawn Park on April 7 has become a new goal for Joint Effort. Owned by Donald Dizney, Joint Effort, 4, has won 6 of 18 starts and $791,465.

Sugar Shake is in the best form of her career. A 4-year-old, she has won 5 of 11 starts and $358,256 for Stronach Stables.

Thinking World Cup again with Wilko

Wilko, winless in 14 starts since the 2004 Breeders' Cup Juvenile, will start in the $75,000 Santana Mile on Sunday as a possible prep for the $6omillion Dubai World Cup at Nad Al Sheba on March 31, trainer Craig Dollase said on Wednesday.

Wilko finished third in the 2006 Dubai World Cup and was promoted to second after runner-up Brass Hat failed a postrace drug test.

Owned by Paul Reddam and Susan Roy, Wilko has made one start this year, finishing fourth in an allowance race over a mile on turf on Feb. 10. The race was his first start since last summer. Wilko underwent colic surgery last fall.

At one point earlier this year, Wilko was a candidate for the $1 million Santa Anita Handicap, which was run last Saturday, but he was pointed for the Santana Mile instead.

"We're hoping to get an invite to Dubai and this fits our plans," Dollase said of Sunday's race. "He wasn't ready for the Big Cap. He ran so well over that track in Dubai last year. We need to get a race into him. He'll be going in a fresh horse."

The field for the Santana Mile is expected to include C'Mon Tiger, Preachinatthebar, Raise the Bluff, and Yes He's a Pistol. C'Mon Tiger, a half-brother to 2000 Horse of the Year Tiznow, will be making his stakes debut. He has won a maiden race and an allowance race since joining trainer Bob Baffert's stable last fall.

Texas Voyager to pass Baldwin

Baffert said on Wednesday that Texas Voyager will pass Saturday's $100,000 Baldwin Stakes for 3-year-olds on the hillside turf course.

Texas Voyager worked three furlongs on turf in 37.80 seconds on Wednesday at Santa Anita. Baffert said Texas Voyager is more likely to start in the $75,000 San Pedro Stakes for 3-year-olds over 6 1/2 furlongs on the main track April 8. Owned by Stonerside Stable, Texas Voyager has not started since running third in the Sunshine Millions Dash at Gulfstream Park on Jan. 27.

Brother Derek okay after surgery

Brother Derek, the 2006 Santa Anita Derby winner, successfully underwent surgery to have a bone chip removed from an ankle last weekend, an injury that will keep him out of action until the fall.

"The prognosis is good," Hendricks said. "We're going to try to have a fall campaign."

Hendricks said that Brother Derek will need a four-month break before returning to training. One long-term possibility for Brother Derek is the new $1 million Breeders' Cup Dirt Mile at Monmouth Park on Oct. 26.

Owned by Cecil Peacock, Brother Derek has won 6 of 16 starts and $1,593,458, but is winless in eight starts since the 2006 Santa Anita Derby. During that span, he was fourth in the Kentucky Derby and Preakness.