01/04/2006 12:00AM

Rain is gone, but impact remains


ARCADIA, Calif. - Although the rain cleared out late Monday, the Santa Anita main track remained muddy Wednesday morning, and horsemen juggled training schedules to accommodate the weather and upcoming stakes schedule.

"The track's not that good - we're just going easy" trainer Richard Mandella said while One Union worked a half-mile in 48.80 seconds preparing for the six-furlong San Miguel Stakes for 3-year-olds on Sunday.

One Union was one of only 19 horses to breeze Wednesday under clear blue skies, and Mandella explained that the main reason One Union, Ulistnintome, and A.P. Surprise worked was "because of the dates" of upcoming starts. One Union will be running Sunday for the first time since finishing fourth Sept. 7 in the Grade 2 Del Mar Futurity. If the 3-year-old colt runs as well as he worked Wednesday, he will be a factor.

"He wouldn't mind it wet, would he?" Mandella said as One Union powered through the stretch in visually impressive style. The San Miguel will be his first start since an irritating bone spur was removed from above his left knee. One Union won his debut Aug. 13 at Del Mar with a Beyer Speed Figure of 99, then finished fourth in the Del Mar Futurity won by Stevie Wonderboy.

The work tab at Hollywood Park was considerably longer, with 71 published works, though trainer Doug O'Neill, pushed back a scheduled six-furlong move by Stevie Wonderboy from Wednesday to Thursday. Stevie Wonderboy, the Breeders' Cup Juvenile winner, remains on target for the Grade 2 San Rafael Stakes on Jan. 14 against the Hollywood Futurity winner, Brother Derek.

Rain has not significantly affected Stevie Wonderboy or Brother Derek, but trainer Eoin Harty said that is not the case with the Hollywood Futurity's fourth-place finisher, A.P. Warrior.

"I was planning on trying to make the San Rafael, but weather conditions are discouraging it," Harty said. "I've been trying to work him for three days."

Harty said he will wait for a fast track before working A.P. Warrior, and that if he misses the San Rafael the colt is likely to run Jan. 29 in the Grade 2 El Camino Real Derby at Bay Meadows.

Brother Derek jogged Wednesday at 8:50 a.m., while trainer Dan Hendricks orchestrated a proverbial tightrope-walk with the colt. The exercise was purposely light; Hendricks said he wanted Brother Derek to "do a little something, without doing anything."

Hendricks has that luxury with Brother Derek, who ran only three weeks ago on Dec. 17 in the Hollywood Futurity.

"I don't think he could be much fitter than he is out of his last race," Hendricks said. "Weather didn't back me up, or hurt me at all,"

Hendricks said Brother Derek will have a long, serious workout Saturday or Sunday, then gallop into the San Rafael.

While Grade 1 winners Brother Derek and Stevie Wonderboy enter winter as the leading two-turn 3-year-olds on the circuit, the San Miguel will provide separation for 3-year-old sprinters. Including One Union, at least eight are expected for the race.

They are Bengal Lore; Bound to Be M V P, an undefeated shipper from Hastings Park; Cause to Believe, winner of three straight in northern California; Corazondelcampeon; maiden winner Peace Chant, who is by Breeders' Cup Mile winner War Chant out of BC Sprint winner Safely Kept; Sailors Sunset, winner of a fast maiden claimer; The Pharaoh, twice placed in graded stakes; and Too Much Bling, running for the first time since October.

Greeley's Galaxy works for San Fernando

Illinois Derby winner Greeley's Galaxy was one of eight horses veteran trainer Warren Stute worked on Wednesday. Greeley's Galaxy (four furlongs in 49 seconds) finished seventh in the Grade 1 Malibu Stakes on Dec. 26, his first start since the Preakness Stakes.

Stute said he expects improvement from the 4-year-old Greeley's Galaxy when he stretches back out to two turns Jan. 14 in the Grade 2 San Fernando Stakes. Stute, 84, said he was not worried about the condition of the track on Wednesday.

"I galloped on it with a pony, and it seems all right," Stute said. "If the track is safe, then I work."

Stute did express dissatisfaction at recent changes in track maintenance.

"A bunch of young trainers got together and wanted to deepen the track, which I'm against," he said. "Charlie Whittingham and I both liked this track hard and fast, not deep and loose."

Bully Bones looks smashing

Bully Bones established herself as one of the best of her class in August at Del Mar when she won the Grade 3 Sorrento Stakes in her second career start, before a ninth-place finish Aug. 27 in the Grade 1 Del Mar Debutante.

Saturday at Turf Paradise, the Southern California-based filly returned with a vengeance. She exploded with a 10 1/2-length win in the Arizona Juvenile Filly Stakes, which earned a Beyer Figure of 97. Based at Hollywood Park with trainer David La Croix, Bully Bones is expected to ship to Gulfstream Park for the $250,000 Sunshine Millions Oaks Jan. 28.