01/13/2006 12:00AM

Proud Tower Two to stretch in Sunshine

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Proud Tower Too, here winning the Malibu, has never won beyond 7 1/2 furlongs but will try 1 1/8 miles in the Sunshine Millions Classic.

ARCADIA, Calif. - Proud Tower Too, the upset winner of the Grade 1 Malibu Stakes at Santa Anita on Dec. 26, will attempt to win the longest race of his career in the $1 million Sunshine Millions Classic on Jan. 28.

Trainer Sal Gonzalez confirmed on Friday that Proud Tower Too would run in the Sunshine Millions Classic for California-breds and Florida-breds at 1 1/8 miles instead of the $300,000 Sunshine Millions Sprint at six furlongs at Gulfstream Park.

Owned by Tricar Stables, Proud Tower Too has won 5 of 16 starts and $349,014. To date, his longest victory has come in the On Trust Handicap for California-breds at 7 1/2 furlongs at Hollywood Park on Dec. 4. Last April, he finished eighth in the Snow Chief Stakes for statebred 3-year-olds at 1 1/8 miles at Hollywood Park.

Gonzalez is hoping that Proud Tower Too's bloodlines will help with the added distance of the Sunshine Millions Classic. A full brother of his, Proud Tower, won three stakes, including the 2000 California Cup Juvenile at 1 1/16 miles.

"His brother won over a mile and a sixteenth," Gonzalez said. "He's training forwardly, and he looks good. I think he has a chance to perform well."

In the Malibu Stakes, Proud Tower Too led throughout, scoring a 20-1 upset with a one-length win. Wednesday, Proud Tower Too worked a mile in 1:40 at Hollywood Park under jockey David Cohen.

Cohen, who earned his first Grade 1 win in the Malibu, is optimistic that Proud Tower Too can get a longer trip.

"I don't see why not," he said. "He's not a horse that has the personality of just a sprinter. He should have an easier lead this time. We'll get out there and see how long he lasts."

The Sunshine Millions Classic is the richest event in the eight-race series, which features four stakes at Gulfstream Park and four at Santa Anita on the same day.

One leading contender for the Classic is Lava Man, winner of the Hollywood Gold Cup last July.

Giacomo drills seven furlongs

Giacomo, the 2005 Kentucky Derby winner, worked seven furlongs in 1:26.40 on Friday at Hollywood Park, his eighth workout since returning to training last fall.

Giacomo worked alone after a lengthy pre-workout jog and had the fastest of three timed workouts at the distance. The seven furlongs was the longest that Giacomo has worked since he resumed training following surgery to have bone chips removed from an ankle and knee last June.

Trainer John Shirreffs said that Giacomo became tired in the final furlong of Friday's workout.

"It was like his second six-furlong work: He was okay, but not real strong at the end," Shirreffs said. "He galloped out well."

Giacomo has worked weekly since Nov. 23. Unraced since finishing seventh in the Belmont Stakes in June, Giacomo could return to racing in late January or early February. The $300,000 Strub Stakes at 1 1/8 miles for 4-year-olds on Feb. 4 is a possibility, or an allowance race.

"It becomes a question of what the options are," Shirreffs said. "I'm just trying to prepare the horse for his next race."

Folklore looks odds-on

Folklore, the winner of the Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies and two other major stakes last year, will be a heavy favorite when she makes her 2006 debut in Monday's $150,000 Santa Ynez Stakes for 3-year-old fillies.

Owned by Bob and Beverly Lewis and trained by D. Wayne Lukas, Folklore drew post 4 in a field of six. She will be coupled with Dance Daily, who finished sixth in the Blue Norther Stakes here on Jan. 1.

Aside from Folklore, the only other filly in the field who has placed in a stakes is Tallullah Lula, who was a well-beaten third behind Balance in the Sharp Cat Stakes on Nov. 27. Her trainer, Bob Baffert, said earlier this week that it would take "an act of God" to beat Folklore.

Folklore is the leading candidate to be named champion 2-year-old filly of 2005. A winner of 4 of 7 starts and $927,500, the speedy Folklore won the Grade 2 Adirondack Stakes at Saratoga last summer and the Grade 1 Matron Stakes by 14 lengths at Belmont Park in September.

Hectic workout tab on Friday

Because of expected wet weather on the weekend, there were 205 recorded works at Santa Anita and 155 at Hollywood Park on Friday.

At Santa Anita, the millionaire mares Valentine Dancer and Dream of Summer worked in preparation for Sunshine Millions races. Valentine Dancer breezed six furlongs in 1:13.60. She is being pointed for the $500,000 Filly and Mare Turf at Santa Anita. Dream of Summer, who worked seven furlongs 1:26.80, will start in the $500,000 Distaff at Gulfstream Park.

Moscow Burning, the 2004 California-bred horse of the year, worked six furlongs in 1:16.40, preparing for the Filly and Mare Turf.

At Hollywood Park, Balance worked three furlongs in 37.40 seconds, while Texcess worked six furlongs in 1:13.80. Texcess is a candidate for the Sunshine Millions Classic but has been entered in the Barretts January mixed sale on Jan. 23-24.

Stewards suspend trainer Duncan

Leonard Duncan, the trainer best known for winning the 1999 Malibu Stakes with Love That Red and his work with early-season 2-year-olds, has been suspended, Santa Anita stewards announced Friday.

According to a ruling released by stewards Scott Chaney, George Slender, and Tom Ward, Duncan was suspended for failing "to abide by a signed financial agreement."

Duncan, 45, has not a starter in Southern California since Nov. 13. He has since relocated to the New Mexico circuit.

Super Strut may come right back

Super Strut, the winner of Friday's first race, could make a quick turnaround in the $500,000 Sunshine Millions Turf at Gulfstream Park, trainer Craig Dollase said.

In Friday's $70,800 optional claimer at 1 1/8 miles on turf, Super Strut stalked the pace to early stretch and held off a late run from Masarin to win by a neck in 1:48.20.

Super Strut ended a four-race losing streak in Friday's race.

"I wish the Sunshine Millions was here," Dollase said. "He really has an affinity for this course."